Zeiss Ikonta A 520 in 4.5 x 6cm sixteen exposure format has a well proportioned appearance relieved of the chunkiness of its siblings. The 120 roll film Ikontas came in three formats, Type A, 4.5 x 6cm (16exp.), type B, 6 x6 cm (12exp.) and type C for 6 x 9cm (8exp.)
Construction, as per the rest of the family, is based around two folded steel trays to form the focal plane and film chambers, to which are riveted the pressed aluminium shells. The front hatch is pressed steel, and opens with a release button on the top, this also serves to free the viewfinder which pops up enthusiastically, ready for action. The bellows are of natural leather, with a linen liner as is usual. The finish is gloss black enamel over the metal parts and linen backed faux leather for decoration. The bright parts are mostly nickel plated, but the struts are chrome plated. The expensive models came with a rim set Compur shutter and a Zeiss Tessar lens. The cheaper end of the market, as per our example, were supplied with a self energising Derval shutter and a Novar anastigmat lens. Some sources state 8cm focal length, but this example is 7.5cm.
This Ikonta was acquired as part of a job lot of very dilapidated cameras in October 2020. Although in poor condition it was decided to save this cute little Ikonta A. Many Zeiss cameras from this era suffer from aluminium corrosion beneath the leather covering, be it natural or faux. This will be seen as blistering under the material causing unsightly lumps, this being one such example. The only cure is to remove the covering as sympathetically as possible and remove all the corrosion back to clean metal. In this case the cases were repainted too, then the covering re-applied. The camera also received a deep clean and the shutter overhauled, requiring a new detent spring and ball, as both had gone astray at some point and been replaced with a piece of roughly cut bar.