Zeiss Ikon: the German camera empire

Zeiss Ikon

Zeiss Ikon is probably the most famous and biggest German camera manufacturer that was formed in 1926 by the merger of the classic four camera makers from the early years: Contessa-Nettel, Ernemann, Goerz and Ica. A very important and significant historical moment that financially was co-founded by capital of Zeiss. The company formed one part of the Carl Zeiss Foundation, another part being the optical company Carl Zeiss. That is the reason most Zeiss-Ikon cameras are fitted with the legendary Carl Zeiss lenses. Who sees a Zeiss Ikon camera, raises his eyebrows over the stunning performance these cameras delivered in those days. But like with all brands, you love or just hate them. Zeiss-Ikon only had fans because of their unbeatable variety of cameras and lenses. Nobody came near, not even Leica.

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Addiction

vintage photo cameras

I must confess, a year after buying my first vintage camera, the addiction struck. What a hobby! Be warned, if you like analog photography, cherish rolls of film and are a bit tired of all the digital bits and bytes trivia, there is a high chance you are in for this addiction. Now that the forum is up and running, information is being exchanged, the desire for more is only growing. What has happened in the past 120 years in the field of photography in terms of cameras is simply man’s quest to give meaning to what is happening around them, what he sees and wants to freeze in order to understand. Photography is writing with light. The best addiction ever. Enjoy reading.

For Julian, with love -a vintage approach-

Urbex photography is derived from Urban Exploring. You visit abandoned places and buildings and environments that are not open to the public. These forbidden locations are often so interesting because of the story they tell, but it remains illegal to enter. The most important rule is that you are not allowed to break anything or take anything with you. You show respect for the environment you are in and you leave everything behind as you found it. Urbex photographers protect their locations. After all, they are ‘secret, forbidden places’. However, locations are described with hints on Facebook and urbex forums. Addresses are not done. Find the place, be smart and always try to get in touch with the owners of the place or the building. Some urbex spots have become so well-known that they have been found with simple googling.

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Why analog?

The first question is why do analogue photography? What is analogue photography and why would you go back to equipment that actually can do only less in an era of ultra-modern, digital cameras? Why use manual lenses when you have blazing-fast lenses that autofocus in less than a second? And even with the smartphone you can take fantastic photos and add unprecedented effects these days.

A classic vintage b/w photo, made on a German Adox Golf 63 camera in the late fifties.
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Welcome to the passion

The umpteenth site about photography, camera and lenses. But a little bit different by paying a lot of attention to the expressiveness of photos as an art form. So no too technical treats or reviews that go into the mere pros and cons of equipment. No pixels or autofocus speeds, but the pure essence of photography. Here we follow the quest of more and more creative photographers who want to combine new and old, use classic analogue lenses on their digital cameras for photos and video. But also those who focus on purchasing analogue cameras and want to become familiar (again) with the principles of photography with (35mm) films. Or even go one step further by working with 120 mm medium format and even step up to large format. In this portal we explore classic, analogue cameras, lenses and accessories. What makes vintage photography so popular again? What is the magic formula behind this beautiful hobby? I hope this site contributes to answering that question.