Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Contina I and II (folding)

The first model of Contina was the export model of the earlier Ikonta 35. It was a folding design with a drop bed, and a self erecting front standard. It was knob advanced, an the film sprocket holes drive the double exposure prevention. If you have one of these cameras, and you want to test the shutter, you will need to open the back and trick the camera by advancing the sprocket wheel.

The Contina was initially available in two types. The Contina I (522/24) was the basic model, and had no rangefinder or exposure meter. It was available with a 45/3.5 Novar in Prontor SV or a 45/2.8 Tessar in Synchro Compur.

The Contina II (524/24) was the same as the Contina I, but with an uncoupled rangefinder. It was an intermediate model between the Contina I, and the more expensive Contessa, which had both a meter and coupled rangefinder. The lens and shutter combinations offered were the same as the Contina I.

Both cameras were introduced in 1952. The Contina II was dropped from the lineup in 1953, the Contina I was discontinued in 1955.

These cameras, along with the Contessa, were competing with the popular Retina and Retinette lines, built by Kodak AG. Ironically Kodak AG was originally founded as the Nagel Camerawerk by Dr. August Nagel, a disgruntled former Zeiss employee.

The folding Contina I, with it's case.

The folding Contina II.