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Superb! 1937 ZEISS-IKON SUPER IKONTA A, 6x4.5, Tessar lens, CLA’d, Freshly Serviced!


Superb! 1937 ZEISS-IKON SUPER IKONTA A, 6x4.5, Tessar lens, CLA’d, Freshly Serviced!

$ 545.00 USD

Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!

Imagine for a moment that you could one own only two classic 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 an incredible 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 classic medium format folding camera then this would probably be my first choice, the Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta A which is small enough to always have with me. Smaller than many 35mm cameras, it easily fits easily into a jacket pocket, yet it folds out to take sixteen 6x4.5 exposures on 120 roll film. Each exposure alive with all the details, the rich tonal gradations, the lovely colors, that only medium format can provide. When it comes to photography bigger is better and this camera will produce a negative that’s more than three times larger than the average 35mm snapshot.

This camera’s life has been long and colorful. I can’t tell you the stories of where it’s been but I can tell you that based on its serial number it started its long journey of many roads and many years in Dresden, Germany, 1937. It’s obviously also evident that it was extremely well looked after. It’s one the nicest examples I’ve seen. (I’ve been collecting cameras for some 50 years.)

More than eighty years later, this Super Ikonta still works flawlessly. It uses normal 120 film and is an ideal camera for a photographer with historical interest, who wants to work regularly with a vintage camera.  Additionally, this camera has just been completely serviced and is ready for immediate use.

It has a built-in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about the distance or focus. These cameras are true classics and are very popular with owners who like them for their compact size as well as the very lovely photos they produce.  

It’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The quality Compur Rapid shutter was the very best shutter of its era. It works smoothly and all speeds (T,B & 1 sec - 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. The bellows are soft, supple and completely light tight. The coupled rangefinder has also been serviced and focusing is clean, accurate and easy. The original folding viewfinder is clean and gives a good view of your compositions.

The f3.5/75 cm (75mm) Carl Zeiss Tessar lens (serial number 2178198) is a classic design with four elements in three groups. 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 vintage camera. The perfect camera for photographers with a historical interest. 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 classic camera with you.


Search terms: Carl Zeiss Jena, Tessar, 75mm, 7,5cm, Compur Rapid shutter, medium format, rangefinder camera, 120 film, authentic, original, vintage, WWII, WW2, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, USAAF, war correspondent, war photographer

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