An online guide to collectable cameras and related
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
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.