Super Ikonta C 531/2

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by theoria, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I recently bought a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta C 531/2 with a Tessar 105 3.5 and a Compur-Rapid shutter. According to this page the camera was manufactured in 1950. The thing that still puzzles me is that the lens is stamped"Carl Zeiss Jena". Wasn't it manufactured in Oberkochen, or is it just a brand name that came to be used in the west immediately after WWII?
    Though I bought the camera mainly as a decoration item, I plan to shoot with it occasionally, and therefore a coated post WWII lens would be a great bonus.
    BTW, has anyone had any experience with some version of this camera/lens? How does it compare to similar cameras of its age?

    Many thanks,
    Bogdan
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,513
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There was still some co-operation between CZJ and Zeiss West Germany until 2 or 3 years later. So if it says Jena it's an East German lens. The two halves of the company still hoped to re-unite in 1950, and CZJ were still making lenses for the West although there were some quality issues. Zeiss (West) used the name Opton for a time to show these were there own lenses although it's thought a few were still from CZJ but passed through Oberkochens quality control first.

    I have a 1952 (approx) 150mm f4.5 CZJ Tessar T coated, and it's a very good lens, the same lens was supplied to Linhof until the East severed the ties between the two companies.

    Welcome to APUG BTW :D

    Ian
     
  3. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you for your informative answer and warm welcome. Nice to know that it still might be coated :smile:. I am eagerly waiting for the parcel to arrive, glue the holes in the bellows and shoot a few rolls with it.

    Regards,
    Bogdan
     
  4. premo

    premo Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    easter NY, 2
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I had a 6X6 version of the Ikonta from the late forties, CZJena in a compur. Very sharp.
     
  5. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Lyon , Franc
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Not sure this lens is coated...
    The page you mention is unfinished : I have a pre-WWII 531/2 with an uncoated f3,5 CZJ Tessar and a Compur Rapid.
    An other 531/2 with f3,5 Novar exists and I have seven different 530/2 models (I think there are more...).
    When you receive your camera, please tell us what is the version.

    I have made some rolls with coated (f3,5 Zeiss Opton-531/2) and uncoated (f4,5 CZJ Tessar_530/2) lenses : when the camera is in a good working condition, the results are very good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2010
  6. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What should I look for, except for the tint of the lens, in order to determine if it is a pre or post WWII camera?
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,513
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the camera is post WWII then the factory fitted Tessar's were all coated, Zeiss started coating some Tessars before WWII there was a T coated 150mm for sale last year with a 1938 serial number.

    The lens and Compur shutter serial numbers will give a good indication of when it was made.

    Ian
     
  8. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    According to this page the lens was made in 1937, judging by its serial. I guess the mystery was solved. I'm waiting to satisfy my other, more important curiosity, that is to see what pictures it is takes.

    Regards,
    Bogdan
     
  9. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Lyon , Franc
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The lens of mine was made in 1938, with serial number 2287xxx.

    Before taking pics, try to see if rangefinder is adjusted, if lens infinite is correct with rf; I have often noticed it's not...
     
  10. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Andy for pointing out that issue about the rangefinder. Good to know its quirks, and go beyond fixing the obvious holes in the bellows. Do you have scans of pictures taken with some of the Ikontas in your collection, so that I could have a standard for what the camera is capable? I am prepared to take it to a specialist to do precision restoration work, if needed, but I don't want to chase an image quality that might not be achievable. I must confess, I've never shot a camera that old (except maybe for my grandfather's Agfa Box, when I was a kid). My oldest lens is a 65mm Zeiss Jena Flektogon for P6, manufactured in the mid-sxties, which is still quite a capable piece of photographic equipment. I feel this camera is going to be fun...

    B.
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,485
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Bath, OH 442
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thanks Ian,

    I just received a pre WWII 6x9 cm Welta Weltur from Jurgen Kreckel certo6. So far I have not found a serial number on the body. The link to the serial number listing you gave helped me date the Compur Rapid shutter as early 1939 and Carl Zeiss Jena f4.5 uncoated Tessar as late 1937. The lens must have sat in someone’s inventory for a while until the rest of the camera was put together just before Blitz Krieg started. Thanks for helping identify an approximate build date.

    John Powers
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,513
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's quite common for the shutter & lens dates to differ by a year or two, obviously manufacturers bought them in batches and some sat on shelves longer than others as you say.

    Ian
     
  13. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,485
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Bath, OH 442
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    "Just in Time" logistics were 50 years away.

    John
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,513
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That just in time ideology was what really hit Agfa, Kodak, Fuji & Ilford hard 6 or 7 years ago.

    Big stores & particularly chains cut out a tier of stock levels, in addition independent wholesalers disappeared.

    Ian
     
  15. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As stated previously, if it says Jena it's East, Opton or just Carl Zeiss, it's West.
    Jenas can be great, better optically than the Western ones even, so, choose wisely and you will be rewarded!:wink:
     
  16. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can confirm the CZJ greatness, as I shoot Pentacon Six mount cameras. The late MC versions are truly outstanding.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,513
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There were also the CZJ lenses made for Bronicas, these were equally as good as the Zenzanon, Nikkor and Komura lenses available for the same cameras.

    Ian
     
  18. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Lyon , Franc
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sorry, I haven't found scans from my Ikontas (I hope they aren't lost...).
    I remember that B&W pics of my (coated) 531/2 were excellent.
    But these cameras aren't easy to use, with too small viewfinders, IMHO.
     
  19. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Well, then I'l post some myself, after I'll get the camera.

    Bogdan
     
  20. Jojje

    Jojje Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This one is shot with a 1937 uncoated Tessar. F 4 if my memory serves me right - heavy overcast day. Slightly front-focus.
     
  21. theoria

    theoria Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is beautiful Jojje, much better than my expectations.
     
  22. Jojje

    Jojje Member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you! (Of course much better when printed...)
    This Tessar is uncoated but I seldom put a lens hood on.
    Must try colour some time.
    Additionally I do own an Ercona I with a multicoated Tessar. It is of course "a DDR-made Ikonta" from the period when the Zeiss name couldn't be used anymore. Very good performer but shutter needs attention and I rarely need 6x9.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2010