1930 Zeiss-Ikon Kolibri Camera, CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This lovely little camera is a Zeiss-Ikon Kolibri. Kolibri is the German word for ‘humming bird’ and it’s high praise for this elegant, precise, fine handling design. It was an expensive high end camera produced in Dresden Germany prior to WWII. This Kolibri is in lovely condition and comes with its original brown leather case, a filter and a removable rod which serves as a “foot” to allow it to stand up. (Please see photos.) The rod can be screwed into the camera when desired and it’s held in the case when not in use. Understandably this rod a rather rare item since it was often lost.
The Zeiss-Ikon Kolibri was only produced briefly from 1930 to 1935. Based on the serial number of the Zeiss lens indicates that it was produced in 1930, which would indicate that this particular camera is from the first year of production.
The Kolibri produces 3x4 cm exposures on 127 roll film. By the way in case you’re wondering, 127 film is still available from specialty film firms on the internet. The 127 format is still very popular among collectors who actually use their vintage cameras because of the very compact size of the cameras and the generous format of the film which is considerably larger than 35mm. In fact many photographers of the 1930’s preferred these cameras above early 35mm cameras for precisely this reason. The generously proportioned 3x4 cm negatives produced a superior image when enlarged.
This Kolibri been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted and everything works as it should. The quality Compur shutter works smoothly and all speeds (T,B & 1 sec - 1/300th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy.
The lens is a 3.5/50mm Carl Zeiss Tessar, which is of course a superb lens with four elements in three groups. The classic Tessa is well known for its lovely rendering and bokeh. It produces lovely photos with smooth, attractive backgrounds and this lens is very popular in Europe. The glass is clean and clear but there are numerous cleaning marks. However if you use the 1930’s technique of keeping the sun behind you (something that we recommend with all prewar lenses) it is capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, an interesting addition to you vintage camera collection.