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120 film RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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Super Ikonta 532/16 with synchro compur need to check if film counter is working
Old 09-28-2008   #1
scottyb70
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Red face Super Ikonta 532/16 with synchro compur need to check if film counter is working

I have a Zeiss Super Ikonta 532/16 with a coated tessar 2.8/80 and synchro compur shutter. Before I load film I would like to make sure the film counter is working. Can I check this before I load the film or does film have to be in the camera?

I can move the number dial with my finger but when I rotate the film winding knob the dial won't rotate.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-28-2008   #2
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Mine is a pre war one with an uncoated Tessar, and the film counter advances when you turn the film rewinding knob, even without film loaded.
Sorry, but it looks like there's bad news for you. You can always look to the numbers in the back paper through the red window.
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Old 09-28-2008   #3
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You can check this before inserting film. But then you have to wind-tension shutter/fire-wind through all 11 photos.

Note that this camera gives 11 frames, rather than 12.

If you push and rotate the frame counter disk until the camera locks (and then turn the film advance knob slightly), it should stop at "1."

Dry fire the shutter. You should now be able to "wind on" to frame No. 2. Dry fire and repeat.

After you dry fire No. 11, the film advance knob should continue to spin and spin without stopping at NO. 1.

Regarding the frame counter disk: Are you saying that when you turn the film advance, the frame counter never moves?
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Old 09-29-2008   #4
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I have removed the top plate and looked at all the gear and nothing seems broken. There was a loose spring but I reset it according to davidricherts pictures on his website. I reassebled the top plate but I feel I may have the washer and the plate spring in the wrong order for the film winding knob.
This is what happens :
  1. I can turn the film counter to 1 by pressing it down and twisting
  2. The shutter will fire
  3. The film winder knob will not turn the film counter, it did a little before disassembly.
  4. When I push down the film counter and move it to the other numbers the shutter will cock and fire.
This is all I am able to figure out so far. I think someone esle tampered with it and couldn't succesfully get it right. I think the gears might be off.

The gear that I am pointing to with the arrow has a little play and the spring I am pointing was the one I put back according to the picture.
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File Type: jpg 532 ikonta.jpg (113.7 KB, 33 views)
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Old 09-30-2008   #5
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Smile

Fixed it. Thanks for the help..
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Old 09-30-2008   #6
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The position of the brass disk with notches is very important. If you don't have it positioned correctly, the frame counter might in some cases not autostop after several frames. Make sure you test it so that the frame counter stops the film advance on all 11 frames.
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Old 10-01-2008   #7
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Thanks Zeiss fan, luckily I was able to get it at the right setting, the main the I noticed was the very bottom gearing with the little brass gear is stripped a little so I guess I am going to have to buy a parts camera to fix it. It works and stops but if you turn the film advance to roughly it tends to make a tiny skip, very minute.

I heard you can get filters for this camers, I think Kodak VII, what is the size of the slip on I should get. I really want to get a UV and a polarizer for this folder.

I am also looking into getting a zeiss 6 x 9, what would be the best and 2nd best on to get?
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Old 10-03-2008   #8
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The slip-on filters are designated as A37. The Zeiss Ikon filters come in small dark brown bakelite cases. The filters have three prongs,which grip the side of the lens.

I've been able to get a small collection of Zeiss Ikon filters in various sizes for a small amount of money. I don't think that I've ever paid more than $9.99 for a filter.

Although the filters are now at least 50 years old, they're optically fine. Almost all of them will need to be cleaned. Clean them like you would a lens.

Now, regarding a Zeiss Ikon 6x9 folder. You have several options. First, think whether you would like a camera with a Novar or Tessar. The Novar (a triplet) is a fine lens although the Tessar should perform better at larger apertures.

Next, do you want a coated lens or an uncoated lens? I have had no problems with using an uncoated lens with color film. The more important factor is whether the lens is clean and not scratched.

And finally, do you want rangefinder focusing or zone focus? If you'll be shooting portraits and such, then go for a rangefinder. A zone focus combined with a handheld rangefinder is perfectly adequate too although less convenient.

All 6x9 Zeiss Ikon cameras have body numbers that end in "/2."

Among zone focus cameras with Tessars, there is the 520/2 (prewar) and the 523/2 (postwar).

The Mess Ikonta 524/2 is a very impressive camera -- very well made. It has an uncoupled rangefinder, so you always have to remember to check the lens so that it's set to the correct distance.

And finally, there is Super Ikonta 6x9. The most-coveted model is the one with the coated Tessar. Again, the camera with the uncoated lens is excellent.

Some of these bodies have shutters that are released with the lever on the shutter. Early Super Ikontas have a small plunger near the shutter. Others have a release on the body, and it's always a left-hand release for the 6x9 models.

I have some mini-reviews of the various models on my site. I haven't written reviews for every model, as I just haven't gotten around to it. I tend to write these in bunches.

The most important factor of any folding camera (regardless of brand) is to get a camera that hasn't been dropped or abused/used hard. Some photographers are very hard on their gear, and it's their camera. You just don't want to be the next person who owns it.

My favorites are the Super Ikonta 530/2 (uncoated lens), the Mess Ikonta 524/2 (coated lens) and the Ikonta 520/2 (uncoated lens) ... in that order.

The Ikonta 520/2 is the best value, I think. The prices for the Mess Ikonta and Super Ikonta have been pushed up by collectors. The Super Ikonta with the coated lens goes for ridiculous amounts, making the Mess Ikonta look like a bargain considering that it has the same lens.
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Last edited by ZeissFan : 10-04-2008 at 19:56.
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Old 10-03-2008   #9
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ZeissFan,
I really like your site!

I have four 532/16s. All have the Tessars and two of these have Opton lenses. The Opton lenses, in my case, seem two come in two varieties:
-One camera has a chrome plated shroud, Opton lens and is obviously coated. -The next has a Opton lens, a black shroud and the glass looks uncoated but somehow clearer than the third camera with the non-Opton Tessar.
Can you tell me what "Opton" signifies?

All three cameras function beautifully. After a really good CLA the shutters give reliable and accurate performance with the exception of the oldest which has a hard time with 1/400th sec. coming in at about 1/280th. I can live with it.

My two 531/2s (one coated) don't get used too much. They set up like small tents and my Abada finders are just useable. They have a somewhat flimsey aspect to them as well, but if they are used on a tripod, stopped down to f11 the images they will produce are really excellent. (maybe I shoulda gotta a 530/2 instead)

My favorite camera, by far, is my coated 531/16. I've had good results wide open at f 2.8.
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Old 10-04-2008   #10
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After the end of World War II, Carl Zeiss moved its operation to Oberkochen in what became West Germany. It began marking its lenses as Zeiss-Opton to signify that its lenses came from the West German Zeiss operation rather than the Jena operation in the East Zone (later East Germany).

Later, Zeiss dropped "Opton" from its lenses and simply marked them as "Carl Zeiss," which continues to this day. The East German lenses are marked in different ways, including C.Z.J., "aus Jena," Carl Zeiss Jena and sometimes hiding the original markings under a second lens bezel.

Some of the early Zeiss Opton lenses aren't coated, and you might have one of those lenses.

I have two uncoated Zeiss Opton lenses -- one on a Super Ikonta 532/16 and the other on a Super Ikonta C (can't recall the model number, and the camera is in a rolling bin).

I have a 531/16, but I usually reach for the 532/16 instead because of the unified rangefinder/viewfinder. Although I have some cameras that have dual viewfinders, I prefer using a camera with a unified system.

The van Albada viewfinders are a mixed blessing. The early ones often have a dark tint, while others have become cloudy. On the other hand, you do get to see the frame lines ... sometimes well, often barely.
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