Super Ikonta?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Stephanie Brim, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'm pondering perhaps getting more into medium format, but I want to do it relatively cheaply. Zeiss Ikon Ikonta cameras seem to be a good way to do this. I've looked at various models, but the Super Ikontas are the ones that stand out as the best bang for your buck (as long as you aren't looking for mint cosmetics - that can cost you a pretty penny). Does anyone use these? Can you post shots from them? I posted a WTB link on rangefinderforum.com for the non-rangefinder 521/16 model, just as one to test really. Any experience would be appreciated. :smile:
     
  2. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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  3. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    I have a Super Ikonta B (6x6) and really enjoy it as a 'walking around' medium format camera. Even with the rangefinder, it's still more of a guestimate the focus camera since the rangefinder is uncoupled. What are you planning on using it for (ie: landscapes, buildings, people...")? If people are the photographic game you stalk, you might be happier with a twin lens reflex. Many brands that aren't Rolleiflex (Yashica for example) will give quite pleasing results for not too large an investment, with the added bonus of more precise focusing (what you see on the ground glass is pretty much what you're gonna get). Just something to consider in the equation.

    Joe
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Relatively speaking Zeiss Ikonta cameras are quite expensive, especially if in good working condition. If you want something cheap, but potentially very good quality, consider the Russian copies such as the Moscow 4 and Moscow 5.

    Ir you are looking for a excellent walking around camera have a look at the Fuji 6X4.5 folding rangefinders. These cameras are very compact and are capable of outstanding results, better than the older Zeiss Ikontas.

    Sandy

     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi stephanie -

    i was inches away from buying a super ikonta from the certo6 website. he refurbishes the cameras and he has a wonderful reputation. much less of a crap-shoot than buying off of FEEbay.

    i ended up finding an olde mamiya 6 and have been using that since the beginning of december. if i didn't get a good deal on the it, i'd be using certo6 camera ...

    good luck!
    -john
     
  6. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Had a Super Ikonta B, 6x6 and sold it off a couple of years back. Took good pictures but was a little too weighty for me even tho it folded. It's not a pocket camera. A bad bellows would cost as much as another camera or more and the rangefinders can range from ok to totally useless so you really have to watch for that. It's not a fast shooting camera and as a walk about I much prefer a 35mm. For a first mf camera I'd say skip it and buy something else. I don't see it as a good investment unless your a folder fanatic, in which case desire can overlook it's limitations.
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Super Ikonta B is a somewhat massive camera.

    There were four versions of the original model and two of later vintage.

    The original Super Ikonta B was the 530/16, which used separate windows for focusing and composing. The successor model was the 532/16, which unified the rangefinder and composing windows into a single viewfinder. It otherwise is mechanically similar/identical to the 530/16. Both cameras gave 11 exposures, as you lost one shot to the autoframing mechanism.

    After World War II, the Super Ikonta B 532/16 returned, first with an uncoated lens and then later with the coated Zeiss-Opton Tessar.

    The 533/16 is a truly massive camera, adding a noncoupled selenium meter and providing 12 exposures.

    The 530, 532 and 533 all used an f/2.8 80mm Tessar.
    Two final models followed: The Super Ikonta III and IV -- using a smaller body (similar to the Nettar and Mess Ikonta) but offering a nonmetered and metered body.

    These were the only Super Ikonta B's that were offered with either the Novar or Tessar lens. The Novar is a good lens. The f/3.5 75mm Tessar is awesome.

    For the price, the Mess Ikonta 524/16 with an uncoupled rangefinder is an amazing camera.

    I dropped you a note on RFF.com regarding a 521/16.

    Of these cameras, the coated f/3.5 Tessar would be my first choice. The coated f/2.8 Tessar is a very nice lens, performing better at f/4.0 and smaller. The uncoated lenses are fine, although a coated lens should provide better flare protection. That said, I've gotten excellent results from uncoated Tessars.

    My last choice would be the Novar. Not that it's a bad lens, but if you're going to go to the trouble of getting a Super Ikonta, you might as well get one with a Tessar.
     
  8. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    My Rolleicord IV has a Schneider lens, cost me $175(about market) and weighs nothing.Stopped down it's super sharp and wide open it has beautiful bokeh. Add a yellow filter and a hood and you'll never want for anything. It fell off the roof of my car and I didn't lose a frame. And TLR's are really great for portraits and candids..no one knows what or when youre shooting.
     
  9. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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  10. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    For what it is worth, I recently got a super Ikonta 532/16. I have only shot a couple rolls through it, but here is my impression. This is a very well built, tank of a camera. It is not big, but is no light weight. Everything about is top notch.When it opens the lens board is dead on parallel with the film plane- a common weakness with folders. The film advance is smooth and positive. The ergonomics are great. The way to focus and hold the camera leads to good form, meaning it is stable. I find it very easy to cock the shutter with it up to my eye. The lens on mine, 2.8 tessar, while uncoated, seems to be very sharp and contrasty, and not near as flair prone as one might expect. I intentionally took shots in harsh, glary light, shooting into the sun, and was really expecting much worse.A shade is in order, but I use a shade on all my lenses.
    My only quibble, and it is a small one, is that you only get 11 frames. I suppose that is worth the trade off for having a reliable mechanism.
    These are not cheap cameras, but you get what you pay for.
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    You can get 13 frames out of them actually. You just need to know the trick!
     
  12. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    Enlighten me!
     
  13. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Suggestion for a really cheap introduction to MF - the Kodak 66 Model III. This is a relatively new camera ("only" 40 years old), has a nice f4.5 lens and a 5-speed shutter, takes 120 film (unlike the vast majority of Kodak folders), has a 2 1/4" format and can be yours in mint condition via e-bay for $50, possibly even much less.
     
  14. LAMitchell

    LAMitchell Member

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    Oh wow, bought many of these trying to get the right one. Get a tessar if you want sharp images, else novar for the Holga effect. Have a look at a few of my images taken on the a Super Ikonta 534/16 which I picked up for £145; oh there's some holgas in the collection too;

    www.icon-photographic.com
     
  15. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    If this was supposed to be a joke, sure fun it ain't. Novars are EXCELLENT lenses, which compare to Tessars IMHO and IHO of many other posters here, as well expanded in the suggested parallel thread.

    May it be, perhaps, that you didn't tried "many" as pretended, but one single (defective or most probably altered) unit?
     
  16. LAMitchell

    LAMitchell Member

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    Jump down the newbies throat why don't you!
    I have experienced six Zeiss camera's putting many a roll of film through them. That doesn't make me an expert but I think that justifies an opinion. The lenses are okay but the sun dosen't shine out of their apatures. As with the Holga they have character which could be what you want, just dont expect the same as a modern day MF. At the same time, I am using a Zeiss MF as my main camera which has a Tessar lens and I think it is fantastic. What I was trying to put across before you tried to choke me is dont expect too much. Geeze, you really know how to welcome people don't you? I'll go away now and cry in the corner after being shot down.
     
  17. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Newby???

    See, you pushed a delicate button. Ikontas are being collected very intensively recently, and that raised the price of Tessar units (explicitly those on Synchro Compur) to the stars. There's nothing bad in the collecting thing itself of course, but for some reason I hate with all heart seeing these cameras go into some rich businessman's shrine rather than in some young unemployed photographer's hands.

    That said, Novar Aanstigmat units are much less sought after, and they are an extremely valid and cheap alternative for beginners. P. Cancarini Ghisetti and D. Cecchi in their book "Fotocamere ed obiettivi Zeiss" supposedly attribute their production to Schneider-Kreuznach under license, which speaks for itself about quality. Which I can personally confirm, and I'm very sorry if you had such bad luck to meet only bad units on your road. If you bought six and none was good, man, you should really try some wodoo.

    The Holga is a cute little camera with a lot of legacy, and of course the expected performance of lenses dated 60 years can't be the same of current optics. But don't you think that stating that a Novar Anstigmat Super Ikonta shares the same quality of a Holga may put a beginner who wants to keep it cheap and asking for advice on a wrong track?
     
  18. LAMitchell

    LAMitchell Member

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    Okay yeah you are right on the newbe looking at my join date. But look at the posts, all of which are recent so yeah I joined and never posted/lurked.

    The Holga, bit in recollection was a bit strong, you will get a useable image just a little different to what most might expect, non coated lenses, etc. What was meant is these lenses do have a character i.e. the colour and contrast similar to the Holga, scan06 was on a Holga. The inkfet image on my site was taken with a Zeiss 6x9 with Novar lens. Scan03 was with a Tessar, gives you an idea of differences.

    I chose an Ikonta because I wanted to get back into MF and they folded to a compact size. The 534/16 is a beutiful piece of kit and it is loosening up the more I use it. But they are old camera's and they are collectables so you will pay top price for a good working example. If you got time though buy a well used tatty looking one and get it cleaned up, then you will have a camera for life.
     
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I've kind of decided that, since I recently decided to pick up a 35mm only film scanner, I'm not going to get a MF rangefinder yet. At the moment I'm looking at camera bodies with TTL metering and an LTM mount. Heh. Leica. Oh boy.
     
  20. LAMitchell

    LAMitchell Member

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    Leica's NOW you are talking collectibles, beutifully made and yes I do have an M6 which I used a lot for street photography. Images are sharp on these although you are restricted to the size of neg. I personally prefer MF because it is easier to print and scan, it also has a better tonal range. 35mm is convenient though and you wont be disappointed with the camera.
     
  21. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I have a Canon P, but I'd like an M-system camera eventually. The Zeiss Ikon is tempting, but I don't use auto functions. The M2 is what I think I'll end up with. :smile:
     
  22. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Stephanie, aperture priority AE is about the only auto function on my Zeiss Ikon - & there's no reason why you have to use it. Set in manual mode, it's a fully manual camera & you'd never know you had an auto-anything camera if you didn't look at the "A" on the shutter speed dial.

    If you buy an M2, you'll be sacrificing a meter - & it certainly can't hurt to have one available. The Zeiss Ikon meter is spot on in my experience & the camera itself is beautifully built. In addition, you get 28 frame lines on the Ikon & a better viewfinder. If you like this camera except for the AE function, I don't think that should get in your way.

    Bill
     
  23. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Would the warranty period stop if one grounds it off with a file? :D
     
  24. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Only if it's a Leica file. :wink:
     
  25. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    TTL metering is nice, but someone reminded me that I hardly ever use it anyway. :tongue: The M2 is the perfect marriage of affordability and ruggedness that I want in a camera. Like the P, this will be a user camera that will see plenty of abuse most likely...I use my cameras hard. It's very important that they be very durable.

    That said, I'm probably not getting *anything* any time soon. This is just something I'm toying around with.