1935 Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta, Rare first version, 6x6, Tessar lens. CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is an original first edition 6x6 Super Ikonta rangefinder camera and it features extra Zeiss-Ikon logos in unusual locations that you won’t see on other versions. The logo is repeated six times, two on the chrome struts, twice on the back, once on top of the camera and once on the lens door.
The serial number (Y71509) indicate that it was built in Germany in 1935. It was the first of a long and successful series of cameras that was produced from 1935 until 1952 with only minor changes to the basic architecture. Produced at a time when Germany was incredible different than it is now, this camera was a testament to genius, pride and faith in precision mechanics. It was the cutting edge of photography at that time and it was 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 Super Ikonta camera 88 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.
Back in 1935 this was the best 6x6 rangefinder camera that money could buy. Then as now, bigger is better and this camera could produce a negative that was more than four times larger than the average 35mm snapshot. It was capable of producing large prints with fine grain, rich tonal gradations and it was the camera that many photographer reached for when a small frame of 35mm film in a Leica or Contax couldn’t provide the necessary detail.
Simply put, if you’re looking for one of the best folding cameras ever built... then you’ve found it. It’s constructed of precision die-cast metal, covered with Moroccan leather and trimmed in black lacquer and chrome. It also has a built in coupled rangefinder which makes focusing quick and easy. And a film wind mechanism that counts the exposures for you and displays the frame number on top of the camera. It’s the perfect camera for people interested in historical photography or WWII period reenactments.
This camera has been carefully and patiently cleaned, lubricated and adjusted and works very smoothly. The top of the line, Compur-Rapid shutter works smoothly and all speeds (T, B & 1 sec - 1/400th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. The coupled rangefinder has also been serviced. It works smoothly and accurately. The bellows are in excellent condition and completely light tight.
The lens is a top-of-the-line f2.8/8cm (80mm) Zeiss Tessar. This lens in combination with a Compur-Rapid shutter made this camera the best 6x6 Zeiss-Ikon camera of its era. The lens is in exceptionally fine condition. It’s clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a wonderful classic camera. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the perfect Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing you had a 6x6 camera with you.