Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 520/18 “Baby Ikonta”

The “Baby Ikonta” is a handy little folding camera using 127 rollfilm for 3×4 cm negatives. Medium format for the vest pocket one could say. Introduced in 1931 by Zeiss Ikon AG, this camera carries an f/6.3 or f/4.5 Novar lens in a Derval Shutter. For later models the lens and shutter range was extended to include Tessar lenses of f/4.5 and f/3.5 and Telma, Compur and later Compur Rapid shutters.

Mine carries a f/4.5 Novar anastigmat in a Derval shutter and is therefore one of the earlier models. For it’s age of about 80 years the condition is very good. Thanks to all the previous owners who have taken care of this beautiful and well made camera. But my cameras are not for showcase only but for photography. So how does the Baby acquit itself in the field?

Because of the small size transport is no problem. You could carry the Ikonta in your pocket wherever you go like any digital compact camera of today. Focusing is kind of a problem for me using the distance scale on the lens. I often fail to estimate the correct distance, the result is an unsharp image. But when you get the focusing right, you get quite good images out of this tiny but well-crafted optical device.


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