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Thread: Zeiss Tropica

  1. #1
    Andrey Donchev's Avatar
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    Zeiss Tropica

    Hallo, can someone give me an idea how much this is worth or point me to a source of information? Thanks in advance!
    Andy
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    A fool with mission!

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    There's one on Ebay at the moment starting price $695

    They are beautiful cameras, the metal work is similar to the Zeiss, Rodenstock, Voightlander, Ermann, Goerz, Ensign, Glunz etc etc Avus type cameras.

    As a camera it is still useable Foma & others supply 9x12 sheet film.

    It's actual value just depends how much someone wants one, I was looking at a 5x4 version a few weeks ago but can't remember what it sold for. It's certainly worth more than it's metal bodied cousins which typically sell for less than $200 and in many cases less than $100.

    Hope that helps

    Ian

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Andrey, is it your camera ?

    I ask because it really does appear to be in superb condition. These 9x12 cameras seem something of an enigma, common but unusual because so many different manufacturers produced very similar cameras, with what appear to be only minor differences, usually just the shutter & lens. There is quite a difference in quality and sophistication with the shutters & lenses.

    However there is one major problem and that's a lack of compatibility between the backs and darkslides, with a number of differing standards for 9x12 plate. holders. So you need the right ones for the camera.

    The major common feature is the lens focus bed and the U shape that holds the lens/shutter panel and controls the rise & fall. The panel which holds the lens is either like yours with the quick finder central above the lens or like my Rodenstock where it sits to the right , (looking at the camera from the front).

    I've just come across another name making these cameras - ORIONWERK Akt.Ges. HANNOVER, and I'm sure there are more than I listed earlier, this sharing of parts between camera manufacturers is extremely unusual.

    Back to your camera, it uses a well proven trackbed for focussing including a rise and fall mechanism, with probably the best shutter then available, and an excellent Zeiss Tessar lens. Why your camera so desirable is the superb wooden body that houses everything, and it's unique.

    Oh and Rollex roll film backs are available to fit 9x12 cameras for 6x9 images on 120 film, I just hesitated while writing this to place a bid on ebay and won the ORIONWERK with a Rollex back.

    Your camera screams out to be used, I'd love to use it

    9x12 (cm) is a great format, the cameras are relatively light & portable, far more so than any 5x4 (inch) camera, I've bought a box of film and have some plate holders, I should add I already have another 9x12 camera and am raring to go . . .

    Why am I so optimistic - I already use a 1930's 10x8 (inch) Agfa Ansco with a Dagor lens and its superb, also I use a 1930's Tessar in a Compur shutter on a Crown Graphic again with excellent results, and I have an equally excellent Tessar from about 1913. . . . . . . .

    So if it's yours keep it, if not buy it - but be realistic that Ebay sellers $695 staring price is a lot more than the ones I've looked at sold for, I think I've seen 2 Tropica's sold now 2 9x12's and 1 much rarer 5x4.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 10-05-2007 at 01:38 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    Andrey Donchev's Avatar
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    Hallo Ian, Thank you very much for your answer. No! It is not mine, but I have the chance to buy it. It is the larger version. I saw too the one which is at the moment on eBay and think that this one is in much better condition. However the seller wants $900 for it and most probably I'll pass this. It's a pity!
    A fool with mission!

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    So your saying it took larger format film, larger than 9x12. I guess the need for a bit of wood adds to the size :-)
    10x15 is pretty much the same as 5x4, the camera was certainty sold in 5x4 inch format as well.

    Personally I wouldn't pay $900 for one of these, even in such excellent condition. But it is superb.

    Keep a look at out for other 9x12 cameras they are always on Ebay :-) There are so many superb cameras selling for next to nothing, because the sellers have no idea film is still available.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 10-05-2007 at 03:16 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo, and glitch in APUG system

  6. #6
    Ole
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    "Larger version" in this case means it's a 10x15cm camera, not 9x12. Not the lens, it's a 165mm Tessar!

    10x15's are rarer than 9x12s. Unfortunately so is the film; so the collector's value of this one is far far higher than its user value.
    Last edited by Ole; 10-05-2007 at 02:49 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spuriou's apostrophe's...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Thinking again perhaps this is why it's a slightly larger format, the tooling for a metal body compared to just making a wooden body is expensive, but a camera selling outside its traditional markets.

    It begins to make sense.

    Ian

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    Ole
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    No, there were 9x12cm "Tropical" models too. But the 9x12cm format fits in modern holders the size of 4x5" holders; the 13x18cm film fits in modern holders the size of 5x7" holders; and 10x15cm fits in nothing modern. so the format is essentially dead - especially since it wasn't ever very popular (except for postcard photography in studio settings).

    At the time this camera was made 13x18 was considered the smallesst "serious" format, and 9x12 was good enough for amateur use. I have an adapter to use 10x15 film or plates in a modern 5x7" back, which i'm sure I can find a use for if I ever come across a box of old plates.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey Donchev View Post
    Hallo, can someone give me an idea how much this is worth or point me to a source of information? Thanks in advance!
    Andy
    I have a Teak Body Tropo Adoro (I need to measure the size) in mint condition with a Compur mounted Zeiss Tessar . Mine is not for sale, Mckeown is a price source.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    I have a Teak Body Tropo Adoro (I need to measure the size) in mint condition with a Compur mounted Zeiss Tessar . Mine is not for sale, Mckeown is a price source.
    Mine is an immaculate 1930's Zeiss Ikon Tropo Adoro 230/3 (Teak and Brown Leather) with a 10.5cm f4.5 Tessar in a Compur rim set shutter. This is a 9 x 6.5 cm format camera complete with 6 cut film holders. I now have some Efke PL100 sheet film and will take a few shots with it.
    Tom Hoskinson
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