Near Mint! 1937 Zeiss-Ikon Ikonta 6x9, Freshly Serviced, CLA'd!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This week we have a freshly serviced Ikonta. It’s a lovely camera that easily slips into a jacket pocket or a backpack and yet folds out to take 8 beautiful 6x9 exposures on 120 roll film. When it comes to photography, bigger is better and with this camera you can create a negative that is about 6 times larger than the average 35mm snapshot. So whether you’re interested in large prints, fine grain, rich tonal gradations or lovely colors, this camera will do all of that and may just become your favorite photographic companion.
This is a quality Zeiss-Ikon camera in exceptionally fine condition. It’s one of the nicest example I’ve ever seen! (And I’ve been collecting and using vintage cameras for over 40 years.) There appears to be little to no wear on the pressure plate or the blued spring steel clips that press the film onto the spools. Even the internal Zeiss-Ikon decal and wooden spool looks factory fresh.
The serial number, D96101, indicates that it was produced in Germany in 1937. This camera is based on the legendary Super Ikonta design and it shares the many of the same parts. This includes the body, door, leather bellows, pressure plate and many other details. (If you look closely on the photos you can even see the two black screws on either side of the viewfinder that could be used to hold the Super Ikonta’s rangefinder unit.) And in case you wondered, the real leather bellows are soft, supple and completely light tight.
The excellent performance of this camera is due to its old world, quality build and the fact that it is after all a Zeiss-Ikon product. Additionally this Ikonta has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. It’s equipped with a top of the line Compur-Rapid shutter which is considered the best shutter of its era. The shutter works beautifully and all speeds (B & 1 sec - 1/400th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy. I should also mention that this shutter is synched for flash. We’ve readjusted and tested it and it now works correctly with an electronic flash (rather than flashbulbs). The flash will fire at any desired shutter speed, which is of course handy for flash fill.
The lens is a big impressive f3.5/10,5cm (105mm) Novar, which is a classic Cooke design with three elements in three groups. It’s well known for the attractive rendition and bokeh it produces. Great lenses are not simply defined by high resolution. What artists and photographers love about certain lenses is the beautiful rendition in the fore and back-ground. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. This lens has an excellent reputation in Europe for a lovely bokeh and its soft smooth backgrounds. The glass is exceptionally fine. It’s, clear and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos with modern color & B&W films.
All in all, a very enjoyable 83 year old vintage camera that’s been waiting patiently to find its way to you. 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 vintage camera with you…