Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta B

Cameras of Ansel Adams

The Ikonta series was Zeiss-Ikons top of the line medium format offering in the 1930s and beyond. These were generally of superior quality compared with corresponding folding camera models of their Nettar product line. and then within the Ikonta series, the Super Ikontas indicated a rangefinder.

There were four sizes in the Ikonta line: A, B, C, and D. The first three shot size 120 roll film, with 4.5×6, 6×6, and 6×9 (cm) frames respectively. The D used size 116 roll film to produce a 6.5 x 11 cm negative.

The photo below shows the Adams’ family Super Ikonta B, along with Ansel’s Deardorff 8×10 camera. There are a couple of stories. Ansel described in an interview that he bought this camera, but his wife took it over. His son Michael said that Ansel bought it for her as a gift, but borrowed it back often.

These were a very popular camera with professionals and consumers. Although this is a German camera, the British Army standardized on this camera even deep into WWII. There is a rumor that they were able to buy replacement cameras through grey-markets in Spain and elsewhere.