Near Mint cosmetics! circa1925 ICA Minimal-Palmos, Large Format 10x15cm camera.
Superb! A museum grade, ICA Minimal-Palmos 10x15cm Camera. With Ernemann f3.5/170mm Ernon lens!
Leica NOT included.
This is a wonderful find! This is a circa 1920’s Ica Minimal-Palmos fitted with a very rare, very fast Ernemann f3.5/17 cm (170mm) lens. The camera was built in Germany in the 1920’s when the world looked incredible different than it does now. The camera was a testament of genius, of pride and faith in precision mechanics. It was the cutting edge of professional photography at that time and it was very, very expensive... The high purchase price reflected the time, money and effort that went into the design, production and patient hand assembly of each camera. Now holding this camera some 95 years after it was produced, I see that the effort did not fade into the darkness of all the passing years… it is still a thing of beauty.
These fine professional cameras were produced by ICA A.G. between 1909 and 1926. In 1926 ICA, merged with Ernemann, Contessa-Nettel and Goerz to form the large conglomeration which was then named Zeiss-Ikon.
In its time, the Minimal-Palmos helped set the standard of what was expected of a large format, professional press camera. Focus was controlled by a single knurled knob and could be set even if the camera was closed. Exposure was controlled by a high speed focal plane shutter. And top quality lenses insured high performance and optical superiority under all conditions. And all of this was combined into a superbly designed and constructed camera which folded quickly and easily into a surprisingly small package. As a result these cameras were used to shoot many important historic events in Europe in the first quarter of the 20th century.
The big, impressive f3.5 / 170mm Ernemann is sought after because of its historic importance, its unique optical signature and the fact that it covers large format. Designed for the 10x15cm format, this lens is of course usable on smaller 4x5 cameras such as the Graflex Speed Graphic.
The camera itself is in stunning condition and appears to be completely original. (Please see photos.) Servicing prewar cameras is our specialty but this camera deserves to be in a museum. It’s been in my personal collection on display for a number of years. It appears not have to been used in 50 or 60 years. I have a lot of respect for these early cameras, so even though I’m sure I could manage it, I’m not going to service this one.
The original silk curtains are very stiff and very wrinkled and need to be replaced. They’re so stiff that they won’t allow the shutter to fire correctly. However I won’t change them, simply because I feel that to do so takes away from its originality. Other, future owners may feel differently but that up to them. Understandably, because this camera is not serviced, it is sold as is, for restoration or museum display. Because of this there are no refunds, no returns, no guarantee.