Nice Zeiss

My father bought this camera around 1937, a Zeiss Super Ikonta using roll-film.

It's pretty advanced for the time: it has a good rangefinder (the bit sticking about just above the lens: turning the thumbwheel shows two overlaid images which you have to line up to get focus), a wide range of speeds and one of the best pre-war lenses, the Zeiss Tessar f/3.5. The weakest point is the viewfinder (closed in the photo) which opens up to make two lenses which give a reasonable idea of the field of view (though as always with these it's not entirely accurate).

The negative size is unusual. The film is 120 size - probably the most popular size for amateurs in the 1930s, though there were some smaller sizes (even apart from 35mm which was very new). Most cameras took 8 shots on a roll, giving a negative size of 3.25 x 2.25 inches (83 x 57mm): the Ikonta takes 16 on 120, giving a negative of 2.75 x one-and-seven-eighths inches (57 x 43mm). This is a very convenient size - 16 is a useful number on a roll, and the size is small enough to be convenient and large enough to give noticeably better quality than 35mm.

Many of the older photos in this blog were taken with this camera (the pre-1937 ones were taken with a glass plate camera about which I don't have any details). I later moved to a 35mm camera, mostly because of being able to use interchangeable lenses and close-up rings, but the picture quality was never quite as good. The Zeiss wasn't designed for colour, but I did take one colour roll as an experiment and I will post one of the pictures in a later entry.

Click here to see a large version of the photo

Posted: Fri - August 11, 2006 at 09:01 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM