1937 Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta, Tessar, CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
It’s time to capture all the lovely autumn scenes with the classic camera you’ve always wanted.
Nikon F4 NOT included
Imagine for a moment that you could one own only two film based cameras, one 35mm camera and one medium format. I imagine the 35mm camera would be a relatively easy choice, since you undoubtedly have one you use more than any other. It’s easy because your favorite 35mm camera, be it Nikon, Canon, Leica or even a humble Pentax Spotmatic, gives you distinctive lens qualities you like combined with a body that lets you work easily, quickly and instinctively.
A medium format camera on the other hand might pose a more difficult choice. The choices are varied and generally the cameras are large and heavy but the extra effort rewards you with a wonderful leap in picture quality. While others might debate the pros and cons of many fine cameras, the choice for me is simple. I like simple things. I want a camera that doesn’t fight me for artistic control. I don’t need an automated camera that second guesses my intentions and then gets it wrong. I also believe that the best camera is the one I have with me. There’s no point in owning the latest Hasselblad if it’s at home...
So, if I could only have one vintage medium format camera, then this would probably be it, the model 531, Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta A. It’s considerably smaller than a 35mm SLR yet it folds out to take 16 beautiful 6x4.5 exposures on 120 roll film. When it comes to photography bigger is better and this camera can produce a negative that’s more than three times larger than the average 35mm snapshot. So whether you're interesting in fine grain, rich tonal values, lovely colors or big prints, this camera can do all that and its compact size will never give you a reason to leave it at home.
This quality Zeiss Ikon camera has a built in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about the distance or the focus. These classic cameras are popular with photographers as well as collectors. If you haven’t tried one, I recommend you do so. I think you’ll enjoy it.
The serial number on this Super Ikonta D80500, indicates that it was produced in Germany in 1937 in a time and place that looked very different from ours today. This camera is the rather hard to find transitional model with an exposure interlock housed in a black lacquered cover located under the film advance knob, later versions had the usual chrome plated housings. Additionally, are two decorative disks on the bottom of the camera which have a much finer finish than later versions. (These disks can be pulled, when the camera back is opened, to release the film spools.) Overall, the camera sports the expensive professional look of the 1930’s which favored a purposeful, black and chrome scientific look. (Please see photos.) It’s the perfect camera for people interested in historical photography or WWII period reenactments.
This camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works as it should. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. The coupled rangefinder image is easy to see and works well. The quality Compur Rapid shutter works smoothly and all speeds (B & 1 sec - 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. Unusual for a prewar camera, this shutter is synchronized for flash. It's been adjusted & tested to work with a normal electronic flash. An electronic flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (This is of course very convenient for fill flash.)
The Zeiss Tessar lens (a superb four element design) is very clean and clear. There is no crystallization, separated elements or other problems. 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 very enjoyable 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 that you had a classic medium format camera with you...
Search terms: Tessar, Compur Rapid, medium format, rangefinder camera, 120 film, authentic WWII, WW2, 2WK, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, war correspondent, war photographer, USAAF