The Camera Info Archive

Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 6x6 & 6x4.5

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There are SOOOOOOOOOO many Zeiss Ikon folders, I couldn’t cover all of them here (yet), so I’ll cover only a couple that I regularly deal with…

  • Super Ikonta 531A (6×4.5)
  • Super Ikonta 532/16 (6×6)
  • Super Ikonta 533/16 (6×6)
  • Super Ikonta III (6×6)
  • Super Ikonta IV (6×6)
  • Super Ikonta C (6×9 or 6×6 w/ mask)
  • Mess Ikonta 524/2 & 16 (6×6 or 6×9)
  • Zeiss Nettax (6×6)
  • Zeiss Ikonta / Nettar (6×6 or 6×9)

The Zeiss reputation as the “best” folder, probably got started with the 531A, 530, and the 532/16 series.. all of them “Super Ikontas”. If the prefix “Super” is used, it denotes a coupled rangefinder. Until the very late 1950’s, Zeiss’ rangefinder consisted of a stationary or folding arm which held two prisms which rotated as you focused … it also gives the Zeiss Super Ikonta C (and its Russian Mockva 2,3,4, & 5 copies) their distinctive appearance. In general it is tougher to find a really nice solid minty Zeiss Super Ikonta C than most Super Ikontas… same with the Russian copies. BUT, they are usually fitted with the Tessar lens and give excellent results!

The Zeiss Super Ikonta 531A is just a “cute” version of the Super Ikonta C, except this time in 6×4.5. It can be had with a Novar or Tessar Lens, usually f3.5, though it was also fitted with a Schneider Xenar. Really a quality “folder for your pocket!!”

The “Brunhilde” as I call it, of the Zeiss line is the Super Ikonta B, the 532/16 & 533/16. These as SOLID HEAVY cameras compared to most others, they are “tanks,” so to speak. Always fitted with a Tessar, at least I have not seen them with Novar lenses, and usually has a Compur-Rapid shutter (synched) and after 1953, Synchro-Compur shutters. The camera has full auto film wind. Excellent quality, but often show their age and heavy use.

One very under-rated Zeiss folder I think is the so-called “Mess-Ikonta” 524/2 or 524/16. Basically it is an Ikonta B 523 with an uncoupled rangefinder added. The rangefinder is every bit as good as an Isolette III. Lenses for the Mess-Ikonta are often Novars, but they can be had with Tessars as well. Theses are usually found in very excellent condition.

Click for more about the Zeiss Super Ikonta III and IV »

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