Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Tropica

Tropical cameras are generally the most expensive version of a given camera model, designed using teak wood, and joints designed to resist warping, swelling and other ill effects of humidity found in the tropics. The Tropica is the finest tropical camera Zeiss produced, and in 1930, the second most expensive camera in their entire line.

Constructed of heavy teak, it has German silver reinforced corners, black double extension Russian leather bellows is the only leather found on the camera. The bed and even the door covering the ground glass are made of teak. The expected movements are there, front rise and shift, plus rear swing and tilt. The back rotates one quarter turn. The Tropica weighs almost twice what the Tropen Adoro does, and cost almost twice as much.

The Tropica was available in 9 x 12cm (285/7), 10 x 13cm (285/9) and 5 x 7" (285/11). Understandably, the Tropica is very uncommon to find today, especially the 258/11, which was made for the US and British markets.

Ica introduced the Tropica around 1912. In 1926, Ica merged with Contessa Nettel, Ernemann and Goerz to form Zeiss Ikon, and the Tropica was carried in the Zeiss catalog until 1931.