Mysterious Zeiss Super Ikonta 530...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ContaxRTSFundus, May 26, 2014.

  1. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    I've raised this question in the Folders Group but thought I'd go a little wider in the hope that one of you guys may know the answer...

    My gf has given me a Zeiss Super Ikonta 530 - that's what's embossed on the leathers - but it's an odd-ball and no one seems able to identify it. It is probably an export model as it has embossed on it: Made in Germany/Industria Alemana

    What is VERY odd is that this 530 has a shutter button on the top plate; I've never seen one with this and I understood that body shutter releases only appeared from 1937 and so wouldn't be on a 530. Furthermore, it has a 7cm 3.5 Tessar instead of the more usual 7.5cm lens; it has a Compur shutter with a top speed of 1:300 as well as B, T. It has an Albada Finder and a sliding cover for the red windows on the back plate. Inside the back plate is the legend Zeiss Ikon Film 6x9cm and a delightful colour label showing a box of Zeiss Ikon film. The camera shoots 6x4.5. It is in a black finish.

    I've contacted cameraquest and classiccameras both of whom have been unable to identify this 530 variant and referred me to zeisshistorica.org, who have completely ignored my emails. Can anyone here help?

    Thanks for your time.
     

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  2. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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  3. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Hello Paul,
    Wow! Many thanks - you've achieved more than any of the experts to date... Although German is not my strongest suit, it still has a touch of mystery about it concerning the shutter button (almost all 530s trigger the shutter from the lens surround) which may be answered by the fact that the writer of the article refers to that version of the 530 being in the Porst catalogue for 1938. I now suspect that this is a very late production model - probably made in mid-1937 as the Zeiss records state that 1937 was the year they introduced body shutter releases to the Super Ikonta models. I've attached a piccie of the standard 530 with a 7cm f3.5 Tessar which shows the absence of the shutter button on the top plate which I found on the web.

    Thanks again for your contribution - much appreciated.

    Graham
     

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  4. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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  5. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Hi Peltigera,
    Thank you for your comments. I had come to a similar conclusion given the paucity of 530s with a body release; and we know body releases started to be introduced in 1937. Thanks very much for the suggestion on the camera group.
     
  6. JPD

    JPD Member

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    German cameras tend to become more user friendly during the latter half of the 1930's. And for some reason they switched to chrome instead of nickel for plating. I wonder how far camera development would have gone if the war didn't take place.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well Leitz had already made the prototypes that eventually became the M series, KW had begun their SLR's that became the first full 35mm system camera after the war (it had a motor drive, Exacta's didn't). If KW and Ihagee had been in the Western sector after the war things might have been very different, KW eventually became Praktica and merged with Zeiss and later Ihagee.

    Ian
     
  8. Argenticien

    Argenticien Member

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    I can remember reading similar things about feature shift during the life of a model, for other camera brands as well. (First one off the top of my head is some Minolta SRT102 examples having mirror lock-up, while others don't.) In today's modern supply-chain management, a model is a model, with distinct release and sunset dates, and if features change, it ipso facto isn't the same model anymore. (The customer-facing designation might be the same, but certainly a model number embossed on a number plate somewhere will have changed at least.) We probably have to get away from thinking in that paradigm when it comes to 40- to 75-year-old machines and the non-electronic supply chains of their time...as disequilibrating as that may be.
    --Dave
     
  9. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Whatever its history it looks to be superb. Have you used it yet?

    RR
     
  10. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Hello Regular Rod, I'm going to try and put some film through it later this week.

    Argenticien makes a good point about camera model-naming. Of course, there are still naming oddities in more modern cameras such as the Contax RTS; there was a variant which carried the standard RTS logo but is actually the RTS Fundus and was a scientific version with a protected shutter release and a lock-button on the front for the shutter speed setting as well as a more heavily damped mirror assembly. Other than the button they looked very similar (the raised bezel around the shutter release was not too obvious) and only a glance at the base-plate might have told you it was a scientific version, but, as with the Contax CGCM, there were a couple of variants and not all had a base-plate with 'scientific' stencilled on it.
     
  11. JPD

    JPD Member

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    That's interesting, I didn't know that about Leica. Kodak had their Retina IIa that was produced in small numbers but cancelled because of the war. Franke & Heidecke would probably have put a 2,8 Rolleiflex 6x6 in production much earlier. It's also possible that lens coatings would have been common in the early 40's.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    All WWII did was switch production at many camera manufacturers (around the world) away from cameras to military optical instruments and coatings were improved.

    F & H couldn't produce a Rolleiflex with an f2.8 lens until Zeiss (West Germany) were fully established after WWII, initially F & H continued using CZJ Tesar and Triotar lenses. Better coatings were needed for the Planar (Zeiss) and Xenotar (Schneider). Both Zeiss & Schneider had fast f2.8 lenses before the war that F & H could have used on the Rolleis but presumably they felt that the Tessar was a better all round lens because it was far less susceptible to flare, Schneiders f2.8 75mm Xenar was 5 elements. The 75mm f2.8 5 Xenar is quite different to the post WWII 75mm f2.8 5 element Xenotar in design.

    Ian
     
  13. JPD

    JPD Member

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    Indeed. Franke & Heidecke made a few prototypes with 2,8 Tessars before the war, and the 2,8 A initially used pre-war Tessars that were actually made for Ikoflex III.

    The five element Xenar was also used in the Kodak Retina as the 2,8/5 cm Xenon, and very different to the post-war 2,8 Xenon (a Double-Gauss design).
     
  14. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    "F & H couldn't produce a Rolleiflex with an f2.8 lens until Zeiss (West Germany) were fully established after WWII"

    FWIW the second model of f2.8 Rolleiflex, the 2.8B, used the E. German Zeiss Jena Biometar lens
     
  15. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Cool looking camera.. Send some film through it, see what you get.

    Todd
     
  16. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

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    Hello,

    2 Super Ikonta's 530/2 (6 X 9 cm) with body release were made during the same period ; with Tessar f3,8 and 4,5 and only in Compur shutter (to 1/250).
    They also have the Albada finder and, on the back, the 2 windows like the later 531/2.
     

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  17. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Hello ToddB - you read my mind; I hope to use it this weekend.

    Hi Andy38 - nice camera. It's got me curious because I understood that the Super Ikonta's were always given the best available shutter at the time of manufacture. I haven't come across that many with the top speed of 1/300 - 1/250 seems the norm and then when you get faster than 1/300, the shutter mechanism is then called Compur-Rapid. My 1/300 version seems to be in no-man's land...
     
  18. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Ikontas are great cameras.

    My Fiance' gave me her father's Zeiss Super Ikonta IV and it's a great camera. I sent it in for a CLA and it's like new. The selenium cell meter still works. The lens is razor sharp. You've got a real treasure.

    Here's a pic.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mainecoonmaniac/5204075341/
     
  19. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Wow Mainecoonmaniac, who did the CLA - it looks immaculate! I might try and find someone to give the 530 a brush-up though over here in the UK, I've no idea where to find them...
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Sadly, Essex camera is out of business. But Jurgen worked on this camera also. He fixed the shutter. He's the best. This is his website.

    http://www.certo6.com/

    Best of luck with your Ikonta.

    Don
     
  21. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Zeiss 532-16. Works!
    Super-Ikonta-B-web.jpg
     
  22. blaine.minazzi

    blaine.minazzi Subscriber

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    Wow. Nice camera.
    Now matter how odd, rare, valuable, or strange some zeiss camera is or may be - it was made to take photos. Anything else is a crime against the camera. ( I love my old 532/16 with Tessar 80 2.8 red T almost as much as my Rolleiflex T )

    Now go shoot - process, and post some photo's already! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  23. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

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    There are several different higher speeds on the 6X9 Super Ikonta's :
    1/100 with Klio shutter, 1/250 with Compur, 1/400 with Compur Rapid and 1/500 with Synchro Compur :
    (from right to left)
     

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  24. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Hi Andy38,
    What a delightful group!

    Surely someone in our broad community must know about a 1930s Compur shutter with a 1:300 top speed...:confused:
     
  25. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The original poster's camera probably is an intermediate model. Zeiss Ikon did this with the 530/2 Super Ikonta. The earliest cameras have the plunger near the lens/shutter housing while other 530/2 models have a body release.

    Uncommon but not rare.