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  1. #1
    ContaxRTSFundus's Avatar
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    Mysterious Zeiss Super Ikonta 530...

    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails top front open.jpg   Film chamber rev.jpg   front rev.jpg  

  2. #2
    Paul Goutiere's Avatar
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    I've never had one of these in my hands, but it looks like a 530 to me.
    Kinda like this one: http://www.djibnet.com/photo/balgenk...991548919.html

  3. #3
    ContaxRTSFundus's Avatar
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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
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Super_Ikonta_530_type1.jpg  

  4. #4
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    I suspect that Zeiss Ikon did a 'soft' change from 530 to 531 (in 1936 according to D.B. Stubbs), adding the van Albada finder and body release as the 530 parts were used up.

    You could ask on the Zeiss Ikon camera group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...tions/messages

  5. #5
    ContaxRTSFundus's Avatar
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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. #6
    JPD
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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.
    J. Patric Dahlén

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPD View Post
    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.
    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. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    I suspect that Zeiss Ikon did a 'soft' change from 530 to 531 (in 1936 according to D.B. Stubbs), adding the van Albada finder and body release as the 530 parts were used up.
    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. #9
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Whatever its history it looks to be superb. Have you used it yet?

    RR

  10. #10
    ContaxRTSFundus's Avatar
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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.

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