Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Zeiss Ikon, Ikonta C 520/2, 120 folding roll film camera, c1931

The Zeiss Ikonta 520 series was available from 1930 and there are quite a few shutter and lens combinations. It was common practice for Zeiss to stamp the exact model number into the covering near the hinge so identifying Zeiss cameras is fairly straightforward. It is of the self erecting type, that is the lens is deployed by a spring and locks firmly into place when the release button is pressed. In common with other spring driven self erecting types, the opening should be restrained to allow the bellows to fill with air gently, or risk sucking the film into the bellows, ruining the focus. Closure is started by pressing rearwards on the down braces, unlocking them to allow the hatch to be pressed closed. The 6 x 9cm format would normally result in a lens of 10.5cm focal length being used, but this example uses a Zeiss Jena Tessar of 9.5cm giving a usefully wider view. The body serial number can be tricky to find as it's pressed into the covering hidden beneath the sports finder and only visible when the hatch is open. Ikontas were for the wider market but in common with most Zeiss products it's well made and sturdy and conveys the feeling that a little more effort has been taken despite being at the cheaper end of their range. Construction starts with a sheet steel tray pressed out and folded to form the main box and film spool chambers and then painted gloss black, after which various springs and fittings are riveted on. The body shells are pressed from aluminium with the back shell acting as the hatch and hinged, these are then riveted to the inner steel box. The front hatch is from pressed steel and covered in thin natural embossed leather along with the main shells with the model number on the bottom of the rear shell. The self erecting mechanism is partly chrome plated over brass or crackle painted over an undetermined material. The lensboard is a pressed component, but the material is not certain, possibly tin. As was common two tripod mounts were provided, both 3/8ths but with a threaded 1/4" insert, locked in place with a tiny grub screw. The bellows are natural leather with card stiffeners and a linen liner, glued into the body. The viewfinder is the direct or "sports finder" type, with a small waist level finder too. A short release cable is provided in a neat storage location inside the lens bed/hatch.

This example was donated in November 2011 by Dennis Gittings.

Zeiss Ikon, Ikonta C 520/2, 120 folding roll film camera

Body No. U53962 (visible on hatch when opened on region normally hidden by finder)
Shutter, Compur Serial 1145543, T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 300th
Lens, Serial 1331378, Tessar 9.5cm f/4.8
Condition, 5F

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