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Zeiss Ikon


As I have mentioned elsewhere in these pages, Zeiss Ikon had a confusing tendency to reuse camera names and even model numbers. But I can't think of any line of cameras where they left a bigger mess than with the Ikoflexes. Read on, and you'll see what I mean..

All of the Ikoflexes are 6 x 6 twin lens reflexes.

Ikoflex (850/16)

Often refered to as the "coffeee can" or "original", this camera is destinctively styled, with film counters for 120 and 620 film. Lever focus at bottom front of the camera. Early models have an art deco hood, while the later models are covered with leather. Lenses are Novar 4.5 or 6.3 in Derval, Klio or Compur-Rapid shutters. 1934-37.

Ikoflex I (850/16)

When first introduced in 1936, this camera was the Ikoflex II (851/16) In 1939, the models were reorganized, and this became the Ikoflex I (850/16). The camera underwent some minor changes in it's reincarnation. The nameplate is now black, with a small chrome rectangle in the middle, which contains the name in black letters. Tessar or Novar lens, in Compur, Klio or Prontor-S shutter 1939-51

Ikoflex Ia (854/16)

The sucessor to the Ikoflex I, it is identified by the black nameplate with Ikoflex in chrome. Does not have a folding shutter release. Novar or Opton Tessar in Prontor SV. 1952-56.

Above is an original felt covered box. To the right is an early version of the 1a with a flat painted nameplate, the far right is the later style camera.

Ikoflex Ib (856/16)

Much like the Ia, but with folding shutter release, improved focusing hood, SVS shutter, magnifiers over the shutter speed and aperture dials. 1956-58

Ikoflex Ic (886/16)

Similar to the Ib, but with an exposure meter. The meter needle is visable on the ground glass The meter is behind a flip up door on the front of the viewing hood, causing the name to be moved above the taking lens. 1956-60.

Above left is the meter scale on the ground glass.
Photo above right shows the meter cover in the open position.

Ikoflex II (851/16)

Introduced as the Ikoflex II in 1936, it was modified slightly to become the new Ikoflex I in 1939. Early models have a focus lever on the side, replaced in 1937 with a knob. Identified by the chrome nameplate with black word "Ikoflex" on it.

Pictured at right is an early lever focus Ikoflex II.

Ikoflex II/III (851/16)

Introduced as the Ikoflex III in 1938, in 1939 it was reorganized to the Ikoflex II. Both the taking and viewing lens are mounted in a housing that sticks out of the lens board. Speeds and apertures are viewed through windows above the taking lens, and set by levers under the taking lens. Tessar in Compur Rapid, or Triotar in Compur.

Ikoflex IIa (855/16)

In 1950, the Ikoflex IIa was introduced. It is similar to the Ikoflex II, but the housing no longer surrounds both lenses, instead it surrounds only the taking lens and about the bottom third of the vieing lens. The shutter speed and aperture settings are read through windows on either side of the lens. The nameplate is flat, finished in black with a silver rectangle in the middle with the Ikoflex name in black letters. The nameplate has a painted silver border. The lens was a Tessar lens in Compur-Rapid shutter.

In 1953 this camera was remodeled without change to name or number. The controls for the shutter speeds and aperture are two large wheels sticking out from the sides of the lens set. The nameplate is "Ikoflex" in silver on a black background, surrounded by a raised silver rim. Flash synch was added, the shutter becomes Synchro-Compur.

Pictured at right is the early style IIa.

Ikoflex III (853/16)

Easy to identify by the large Albanda finder, and the crank film advance. Produced 1939-40. Tessar 2.8 in Compur-Rapid.

Ikoflex Favorit (887/16)

The last of the Ikoflex line. Meter on the front like the Ic. Wheel controls for aperture and shutter speed. Tessar lens in Synchro-Compur. 1957-60.

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