Perfection from the thirties: Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta

Zeiss Super Ikonta C 531/2

Sometimes vintage cameras can perform something that has not (yet) been enabled digitally. That is the case for this brilliant Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta C 531/2 from 1936. A vintage folder, but with superior image quality thanks to the super large 6×9 medium format. One of the very best pre-war cameras and still unrivaled today. And it’s pocket size!

Continue reading “Perfection from the thirties: Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta”

The East German Queen: Exakta Varex VX

Exakta Varex VX

She is graceful, but also bombastic, but that is part of the real lady. The Exakta Varex VX is glitter, the former East German bling bling camera from 1956. At the same time ingeniously built and with a real optical viewfinder. Jimmy Stewart used it in the classic “Rear Window” movie by Alfred Hitchcock and also the Invasion ’68 in Prague was legendary captured by it.

Continue reading “The East German Queen: Exakta Varex VX”

Leica Summitar 2/50

They were considered the best lenses from the first half of the last century. The summarit, summarex, summar, summitar, elmarit, elmar …. unforgettable names for lenses that each guaranteed the impeccable quality of its makers Ernst Leitz and Max Berek. Today we review a summitar F2 / 50 mm that will look out of place on a modern digital camera, but with an adapter surpasses many modern lens in terms of sharpness and color rendering.

Continue reading “Leica Summitar 2/50”

Leica III is a feeling

There is no other camera that is as fascinating and inspiring as the vintage Leica from the forties and fifties of the past century. Without this camera, photography would not have become what it is today. No wonder that this masterpiece by Ernst Leitz and Oscar Barnack is still the most beloved old-timer from the analogue era.

The Leica III, mod f, originally from 1934, modified and upgraded in 1954 to the ‘f’ (flash syn). Photo: Albert Kampermann
Continue reading “Leica III is a feeling”

Pentacon Carl Zeiss Jena lenses: the Sonnar 2.8/180

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180/2.8
Carl Zeiss Sonnar: a class apart

Using lenses on a big Pentacon SIX medium format means the lenses come huge as well. The most legendary lens is the Sonnar 2.8/180mm, based upon it’s original design for the 1936 Olympics. Over the years, the lens got updated many times and finally got scaled up to the 6×6 medium format coverage. The lens is crisp sharp from wide open and easily covers up to 6×9 and that is noticeable as you hold a lot of glass in your hands. 1350 grams is the total weight. A body builder.

Continue reading “Pentacon Carl Zeiss Jena lenses: the Sonnar 2.8/180”