Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex II 851/16 – 1936


I picked this beauty up off eBay a in March 2015 and it sure didn’t look like this when it arrived.

Both lenses were completely fogged, the mirror was brown with some silver loss and the matte screen was covered in dust and dirt, as was the bodywork. The focus lever and magnifier were also bent out of shape.

Once again, I didn’t hesitate to pull it apart and give it a thorough clean, lube and polish. However, the mirror needs replacing and so I’ve ordered a pattern part from a guy in US and will retro fit later.

This almost 80 year old Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex II 851/16 has a Teronar-Anastigmat 7.5cm viewing lens and less common Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 7.5cm f/3.5 taking lens (4 elements) mounted in a Compur Synchro shutter (1/500s).

Most models from this era had either the Novar 8cm f/4.5 or Triotar 7.5cm f/3.5 (3 elements) taking lens mounted in slower Klio (1/175s) or Compur shutters.

The shutter works well at speeds between 1/10s and 1/250s, and is a little tardy above and below these. The box seems light tight and relatively dent free.  The leather trim had a few Zeiss bumps (since removed) and the art deco chrome shows some brassing.

Overall this (soon to be) octogenarian Ikoflex is a lovely piece of mid 30s art and stands shoulder to shoulder with many early Rolleiflex TLRs for a fraction of the price.

I’m looking forward to putting a roll of film through it as the Tessar is meant to be a good performer…..and of course its now the oldest camera in my collection!


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