Zeiss Ikonta M

If you can look past the flaking paint I think this Zeiss Ikonta M is an attractive camera. Or maybe it’s because of the flaking paint. But that’s just the body any camera systems defining feature is its lens or lenses if they are changeable. The 75mm Novar Anastigmat is constructed using 3 elements so it is a simple design but at f3.5 is reasonably fast for its day. It’s also quite sharp even wide open with the caveat that that is true primarily at the center and has more distortion in the corners

Ikonta M 75mm f3.5
Center Crop from above image

You can see from the center crop above that even when shot wide open at 75mm the center area in focus has a lot of detail. The situation isn’t quite as good at infinity focus but then atmosphere and other factors come into play.

Zeiss Ikonta M (aperture not recorded but likely f11)
Zeiss Ikonta M center crop

You can see that at a 1×1 viewing level the scan lacks the sort of sharpness and detail you would get from a digital file but the roughly 5000×5000 image has plenty of detail for a certain level of enlarging

Composing images for square format is a little different and is a nice change that can help a photographer to see things in a new way. I recommend trying it even if you don’t use a camera like this to do it.

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