Yoshizen's Blog

Zeiss Ikonta is this ?

Ikonta mini(1)-004

After Brownie camera and its 90mm lens, Ebay sent me quite few Junk (they say vintage) camera’s AD = then,  £10  Zeiss Ikonta  caught my eyes. — When I was young and interested in to such as 6×9 format camera, I envied the Zeiss Super Ikonta 531/2 of which quite few professional photographer was using for their daily work. (such as taking picture of Kabuki dancer for their stage photo = because those old camera’s shutter makes almost no noise and unlike modern camera, no noise of moving mirror or even film winding noise = essential to the live theater environment)    So that, a second-hand 6×9 Super Ikonta was traded with the price much more than a Nikon F camera then. (No way I could afford.   I settled with an old Mamiya Press and modified it for macro work.) 

Ikonta mini(2)-002

So, I bought one of them from Ebay—– without knowing what I’ve actually bought.   😀    ( and it arrived in a large box)

Ikonta mini(3)

Then, with my utter amazement, what I got out of the box was —– a really tiny Zeiss camera !    Till this moment I didn’t anticipate to see such a tiny camera. (I found, it was nicknamed Baby-Ikonta)  Especially under the name of Zeiss Ikon.   (The funny things was, as I’ve found a description on the lens  ” Nover-Anastigmart  1:4.5  F5cm”  which suggests that the format (or the size) of the picture is about the 35mm image —– yet still I didn’t think of the 4×4 (in fact 4×3 on this camera) size, using 127 film —– which was not mentioned on the Ebay AD)

Ikonta mini(4)-A09A8290

This tiny camera was in a well used condition, and on top of that, the winding knob was missing. (see a cotton bud stick on the picture)  And the view-finder was not an original, etc = not possible to test this camera with a film = its mean, only a positive use could be, to test the lens on a 35mm DSLR for a fun !

Ikonta mini(5)-5

(Photo right = Top left, M42 extension ring, M42 to NEX adapter. Middle left, M42 to M39 adapter, ring to fix the lens bottom, a spacer, panel ring I made to mount the lens to M42 Extension ring, The bottom, the back of the lens = fixing was 18mm )

I took the lens, out of the old body and mounted it on the Sony A7R = while making a metal panel to screw the lens on, and mount the lens in the exact position by adjusting the minute shift of M42-M39 ring. = One rotation of this ring shift the lens 1mm forward or backward  (—– this lens has front focus design = only 1mm shift of the front lens makes Infinity to 1m adjustment, which makes the distance of the lens to censor very critical) —– It took me a while to find the exact position.   😀

Ikonta mini(6)- A7R

They are the test shot on far subject. And the enlarged center of F11 and F4.5 (right photo) —– Not so much difference between the F11 and F4.5.

Ikonta mini(7)-008

And they are on the minimum distance = 1m.    Left was at F4.5 and the right was F11.   F11 image is pretty good, and fully opened F4.5 image shows almost iconic Zeiss softness. Since the lens has no coating, the halation is inevitable, still the lens made 80, 90 years ago showed this quality IS remarkable. (Though, to get this quality needed to pay so much attention.  The focus needed to have A7R’s critical focus peeking and use heavier tripod with remote trigger )   There must be the hundreds of the Anastigmat lens design, yet still, the Carl Zeiss able to keep this “Softness character” over the years, there must be an established policy or philosophy behind. —– (of which, the rumor said that non of the Japanese lens could manage to copy)  That IS what we call “The Tradition”or even “German Spirit”

Ikonta mini(8)-007

(To make the point clear, I show you the comparison, the images made by the latest Zeiss lens for Sony E-mount = FE 1.8 / 55 ZA.  The photo above left was F1.8 and the right was F8 — at F1.8, the image showed slight chromatic aberration (blue edge) — still, this is the today’s standard of the image quality (away from the traditional softness). (Above photos may need to compare with Zeiss Planer 55mm   somewhere in the other post)

(What I found so far was, that this old lens still makes good images as long as the focus was correctly given and the camera was rocksteady.) —– Now I may need to go out for a  walk with this Lens.    😀

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2 Responses

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  1. Morning Sky on Oct’18 | Yoshizen's Blog said, on October 22, 2018 at 18:24

    […] —– / Zeiss Baby Ikonta lens on Sony A7R […]

  2. […] the lens on A7R is easy to change, I put (yet again a modified) Zeiss Baby Ikonta camera’s 50mm lens. (This lens has front-focushing = And, it was set to infinity though, the image was not sharp at […]


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