Thursday, October 10, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet Camera for October: Zeiss Ikonta 521/2 Medium Format Folder

Zeiss Ikonta 521/2 6x9 Format Folding Camera
ca. 1947-1951
This month's camera is from deep in the closet. A somewhat random ebay purchase from years back, I don't remember what I paid for it, but I remember thinking hey, if it's a Zeiss camera, it's got to be worth that much. It wasn't a lot.
I have not used this camera much to date, largely because the shutter was a little sticky, and more importantly, the shutter trigger, which loads as part of the film winding process, was a little unreliable. That's all fixed now, thanks to Jurgen Kreckel. You may remember that I sent off my lovely Agfa Record III to Jurgen for service. When I did that, I decided to get this camera fixed up as well. It came back working very smoothly, and is now ready to get out and shoot.
(Click Here) if you want to contact Jurgen Kreckel (certo6). I recommend him highly for service of folding cameras. I think he's the best in the business.
Although my 521/2 shoots 6x9 format (very large negatives) on 120 film, I don't expect it to replace the Agfa Record III as my current favorite folding camera for a couple of reasons. First, while my Record III has the top of the line Solinar lens, my Zeiss has the second tier Novar 1055cm f4.5 lens. The Novars are not bad lenses, just not as renowned as the Tessars. Second, the 521/2 has no rangefinder built-in, not even an uncoupled one like the Agfa does. And further, there's not accessory shoe to even mount up a finder to it. So, it's guess focus and guess exposure. Far less convenient than the Agfa in this respect.
My 521/2 has a Compur shutter, with speeds from 1 second to 1/250, plus B. F-stops range from 4.5 to 32. Close focus is at 1.5m.
Well, I'll get it out and shoot it this month. Let's see what it can do!