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Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B - 1937
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• Zeiss Ikon's best folder

• $150 with 80mm f2.8 lens in 1938 ($2320 in 2010 dollars)

In the 1930s Zeiss Ikon introduced four Super Ikonta folders, designated A through D. Super Ikontas A, B, and C took 120 film, with image sizes of 4.5x6cm, 6x6cm, and 6x9cm. The D shot 6.5x11cm, or half that size, on 616 film, which is no longer made.

"Super" meant rangefinder; there were similar Ikonta cameras without rangefinders and without Super in their name.

Super Ikontas were steadily improved until about 1960, when they were discontinued. Mine is a 532/16 model, with both M and X synchronization, made between 1951 and 1956. In 1952 a BX was introduced, same as a B but with an uncoupled exposure meter.

Super Ikontas were a pleasure to use: They folded compactly, unfolded crisply, had combined range and viewfinders, and automatically stopped winding at the start of each shot. Setting the starting point wasted film, however, so they shot only 11 photos per roll, instead of the usual 12 for a 6x6 camera taking 120 film. (The BX shot all 12.)

Of my 90 or so Classic Cameras, this is the only one I bought for a shooter, and the only one that's been CLA'd (cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted) on my watch. I got it already CLA'd by Jurgen Kreckel, who's the man to see when it comes to getting a restored folder. I've shot only one roll so far as of July 2011, but the results were excellent. The only downside is that I can't see the whole viewfinder image with my glasses on. (And not much of anything with them off.)

One of my images from that first roll is shown below.

Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta BZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B in caseZeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B in caseGuide entry from Popular Photography, May 1938Ad from Popular Photography, June 1949
Ad from Popular Photography, Sept. 1950Guide entry from Popular Photography, May 1951Ad from Popular Photography, Aug. 1951Ad from Popular Photography, Feb. 1953
Ad from Montgomery Wards catalog, 1954 (layout altered; page showed 8 cameras)Taken with my Super Ikonta B, on Kodak Ektar. Developed by a local processor, scanned by me using VueScan and an Epson V700, and post-processed by ColorPerfect and Lightroom.Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1937)
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B brochure (1941)

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