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Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 information?
Old 12-19-2009   #1
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Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 information?

My first folder. I managed to buy it on the *Bay for a price of few Mojitos . The lens is 75mm Tessar and shutter is Compur-Rapid. I assume it's 6x6. Seller says the camera works but we'll see about that when it arrives.

I know it's between Nettar and Super Ikonta but that's about all I know. Can someone share some experience about this Ikonta? Any quirks I should know about?
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Last edited by Mablo : 01-03-2010 at 19:45. Reason: corrected the numbering
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Old 12-19-2009   #2
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That is a Ikonta B, and what's more, one with the best lens and shutter it could be ordered with - i.e. one of the best scale focusing 6x6 folders.
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Old 12-19-2009   #3
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This is a postwar camera that replaced the 520/16. Zeiss Ikon always used a "/" rather than a "-" in its model numbers. Small thing, but it does help you to correctly identify camera models.

The Ikonta "B" was produced from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s. Most of these you'll see with either a Novar or a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar. Occasionally, you'll see one with a coated Tessar -- the same lens that's on the Mess Ikonta 524/16.

I think that if it's a CZJ lens, it should be marked in centimeters. Zeiss Ikon used many of its uncoated prewar lenses on cameras immediately following World War II until Carl Zeiss was able to get enough capacity.

Like all Zeiss Ikon folding cameras, they're very well made. This particular model seems to get a lot of small bumps under the leather at various spots (not just over the rivets).

As long as it's not been dropped, it's an excellent camera. I guess you can say that about nearly all cameras.
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Old 12-19-2009   #4
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Yes, the Zeiss Ikon 521/16 is the Ikonta B.

It's a nice small 6x6 folder. I have a post-WWII model with a Zeiss-Opton Tessar 1:3,5 75mm and a Compur-Rapid shutter. Produces fine images on 120 rollfilm.

The viewer is from the fold-type so it's not that accurate but the medium format allows for some spare space around your subject.

The Ikonta B has a Double Exposure Prevention mechanism so you have
to transport the film before you can use the shutter release button.

Transporting to the next frame is with help of a red window in the back
and numbers on the films backpaper.

I nice feature are the 2 ears to attach a belt. So you don't need a case
to carry it from your neck.

To insert a filmspool you have to open the back and pull the roundels on the bottom plate.

Only things i miss on this folder are a rangefinder, accessory-shoe and a
Depth-Of-Focus scale.

The shutter has a Flash-unit contact but i'm not sure if this is allready a
X-contact (for electronic flashunits).

My Ikonta B has an aftersale fitment of an accessory-shoe. Looks a bit strange.

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Old 12-19-2009   #5
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Hans, that's a very nice Ikonta that you have, and with the coated Tessar. You're right -- the accessory shoe seems out of place.
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Old 12-19-2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanskerensky View Post
The shutter has a Flash-unit contact but i'm not sure if this is allready a
X-contact (for electronic flashunits).
It should. I've never encountered a shutter with only a bulb contact - these are all 40's/50's extras in addition to X, the latter being the original delay-free sync contact.

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Old 12-19-2009   #7
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Hi Sevo,

Think i will try to determine the flash contact (if it still works) on my shuttertester.
The Ikonta B is a relative old camera (about 1948-1953) so chances are that the
contact is still not adapted for the immediate Xenon flash-units (X-contact).
My Ikonta B has no switch to choose between M and X.


Edit : Just did a test and the time-delay is minimal between 0,5 and 1 milliseconds so it indeed seems to be a direct contact.

Regards,

Hans
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Last edited by hanskerensky : 12-19-2009 at 12:06.
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Old 12-19-2009   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanskerensky View Post
My Ikonta B has no switch to choose between M and X.
If it can't switch, it is the same as X. X is the original "synchron" contact without delay or advance, for long time flash with bulbs. Extra settings for small bulbs with a variety of timing protocols were a later development, and only start to appear after WWII - when they came up, "sync" was renamed to "X", older shutters had a nameless or "synchron" socket.

The earlier way to predelay for short flash with bulbs, common on Makinas and Speed Graphics, was to trigger the camera from the flash through a (slightly delayed) solenoid.

Cheap M only shutters later on appeared on many of the low end "cube flash" point and shoots of the fifties to seventies, but these one to four speed shutters can hardly be mistaken for a Compur.

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Last edited by sevo : 12-19-2009 at 11:09.
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Old 01-03-2010   #9
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Here is my new Ikonta 521/16. It's a bit rough on the edges but bellows seem to be light tight and shutter works pretty well. The Tessar lens is clear and clean too. I'm waiting for milder weather to take it out to burn some film.
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Old 01-03-2010   #10
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Hi Matti,

Looks good enough to make some nice photos with.

btw The item on the foreground is a lenshood which came with the camera ?

Have fun with your Ikonta and show us your results !
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Old 01-03-2010   #11
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It looks like it is ready to soldier on for another 60 years. Enjoy.
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Old 01-03-2010   #12
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Thanks guys.

Hans that is just some random hood that I yanked under the camera to get it positioned better Speaking of which, I assume the original hoods are few and far between. So what do people typically use as a replacement hood?
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Old 01-03-2010   #13
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Matti there was a thread about Mess-Ikonta Lenshoods earlier.
Will not be much different with your Ikonta.

Somewhere in that is a link to Mike Eleks pdf about that.

Look here :
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=77456
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Old 01-03-2010   #14
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Hans, thank you again. Folders are new to me but I find them really fascinating. Mike Elek's pdf is really useful. If I read it right in my case (ZI 521/16, Tessar) I'll need either 32mm slip-on or 35,5mm screw-on filters/hoods.
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Last edited by Mablo : 01-03-2010 at 19:44. Reason: corrected
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Old 03-10-2010   #15
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My folder story continues:

I shot a test roll with my new ZI 521/16. Unfortunately the results were a mixed bag. The camera is light tight and shutter speeds seem to be right but my photos were curiously soft and not at all sharp. I'm not very sure why this happens. Maybe some haze in the lens or the lens focusing mechanism is not right - or both.

I'm collecting courage to remove the lenses for cleaning and trying to understand how to collimate the lens. Don't hold your breath yet, it might take some time.

In the meantime I found another ZI folder. This time it's an older model, an 520/16 with Novar - Anastigmat 7,5cm/f:3.5 lens and an unspecified shutter (speeds from T/B to 1/300s). It is almost in mint condition from outside, no Zeiss bumps or anything. It even boasts a beautiful brown everready case with Zeiss Ikon logo on the front flap. Unfortunately the lens seems to need some cleaning and the hood is not the same size with my 521/16 so I need to find a new one again.

Let's see what this old lady can do when I load it with a roll of fresh film. My expectations are high.
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Last edited by Mablo : 03-10-2010 at 09:17.
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Old 03-10-2010   #16
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Hi Matti,

Don't be disappointed with the soft and not sharp photos. Allmost all the folders i bought had problems with the focus and/or dirty lenses. Try to get the focus on infinity right and that will most probably solve the shapness problem.
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Old 03-17-2010   #17
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Thank you Hans. Now I have managed to remove lenses from my folders safely. When I watch the removed lenses closely with a flashlight I can see a lot of cloudy haze. I'd like to sort that out first.

I have Zeiss cleaning fluid and some microfiber cloth. It helps a little but I cannot get all the haze cleaned away.

Any tips for cleaning haze out of lenses?
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Old 03-17-2010   #18
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Hi Mablo,

I myself use ROR (Residual Oil Remover) a lot. Cleans better then i.e. Kodak lens cleaning fluid. When the haze is caused by fungus it's a whole other issue. I myself used Ponds facial Cream a couple of times but there are many other recipes. Just google for "lens fungus removal". Or even better, you could try to find some postings from Fallisphoto in this forum about the same fungus issue. Start with the "non-aggresive" recipes first.
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Old 03-18-2010   #19
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Thanks again, I ordered some ROR. No fungus as far as I can see, just some milky haze.

Next step is the collimating procedure I guess.
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Old 03-20-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mablo View Post
Thank you Hans. Now I have managed to remove lenses from my folders safely. When I watch the removed lenses closely with a flashlight I can see a lot of cloudy haze. I'd like to sort that out first.

I have Zeiss cleaning fluid and some microfiber cloth. It helps a little but I cannot get all the haze cleaned away.

Any tips for cleaning haze out of lenses?
1. If the haze has an oil component, then lighter fluid would be the first thing to try. It will dissolve oil fast and (as long as you don't actually SOAK glued-together elements in it for hours) it is very benign.
2. If the haze is fungus, then I would use a 50/50 mix of drugstore hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. That is also benign, and is what Leica recommends for cleaning fungus off of their lenses. It works pretty fast and it actually dissolves the fungus, unlike a lot of the other fungus "cures" you see recommended on the web that just kill it. It is also a heck of a lot easier to clean off of the glass than the next most effective fungus cleaner (Pond's cold cream).
3. If it is tar (cigarettes, pine pollen, etcetera), then denatured alcohol is the best solvent for that. DON'T use rubbing alcohol from the drugstore; at best it is only 90% pure and only god knows what the other 10% is, but it can contain things like balsams and oils -- the idea is to get the crud OFF of the lens, not to put more on.
4. For pretty much everything else, just plain old distilled water and elbow grease works wonders.

Now about cleaning methods:
I would NOT use a microfiber cleaning cloth or lens cleaning papers. A few seconds thought and you will realize that if your lens is dirty, you don't want to trap the dirt between the glass and a cloth and rub it around; that's pretty much asking for "cleaning marks." Many of the lens cleaning tissues (really meant primarily for eyeglasses) are actually abrasive, even without the dirt. I use cotton buds (Q-tips) and I twist them as I wipe, in order to keep a fresh surface against the glass and lift grit away from it. I've been doing this for years, to my own and other people's cameras, and no lens has ever left my hands with more cleaning marks than it arrived with. I do go through an awful lot of Q-tips though.
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Old 03-26-2010   #21
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Thanks FallisPhoto, very good information there. If you don't mind I'll copy your text and save it locally in my "Camera Repair" file folder for further use. I tried to clean my 521/16 lenses with lighter fluid first but it didn't work out very well. I could still see some haze there. I then tried with Zeiss cleaning fluid. It worked better but I had to use it quite liberally. I must admit I did use microfiber cloth. I won't do it again.

Well, all in all I'm happy with the outcome. My 521/16 Tessar lenses are now clean and clear. I took a test roll today and results are beyond my expectations. I got nice, sharp and contrasty images. What a joy!
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Old 03-28-2010   #22
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Both of my Ikontas are now in good shape and work nicely. The 520/16 on the right had a loose inner lens which took me some time to find out. Thanks for your help!

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Old 03-29-2010   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mablo View Post
I tried to clean my 521/16 lenses with lighter fluid first but it didn't work out very well. I could still see some haze there.
The lighter fluid doesn't get everything, just oil and grease. You have to go over it again with distilled water afterward. In addition, lighter fluid, after a few years sitting on a shelf, becomes slightly alkaline and sometimes it reacts with the oil and grease to form a thin film of what is basically soap. Again, this comes off with distilled water.

I never use lens cleaning solutions. Most times I have no idea what is in them and some contain glycerine. Glycerine is used to make cleaning marks and scratches "disappear" (they're still there, but you can't see them); unfortunately, it also changes the optical properties of the glass.
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