Mr. Zeiss told his engineers that he wanted the finest 35mm ever built. The result was the Bullseye which was the finest 35mm of its time (produced through 1959-1966).
Zeiss Ikon Contarex “Bullseye” camera with it’s original Zeiss Planar 50mm f/2 lens.
This camera is made of machined metal and is solid, and incredibly heavy! It is composed of over 1100 individual parts. It takes mechanical complexity to a whole new level! The Contares Bullseye is probably the the most complicated mechanical camera ever made, it takes something like 42 steps to even remove the top plate. This is repairperson’s hell.
This camera used a selenium-cell meter with the needle visible both on the camera deck and in the viewfinder. Because of the huge eye for the selenium cell, the camera gained the nickname of Bullseye (US) and Cyclops (UK).
Adjust the knob of the exposure, tuning the desired aperture and CLACK! The Bullseye sets the aperture only when you press the shutter button and the sound is so mechanical. You can almost feel all the parts of this camera aligning together for the shot. Then you manually move the film for the next exposure.
Original Instruction Booklet
July 1960 Magazine Advertising on Popular Photography