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Zeiss Ikon Mess Ikonta 524/16

Ikonta 524/16

Style, film format Folding, unmetered 6x6 120 roll-film with uncoupled rangefinder

Lens, shutter Coated Zeiss-Opton 75mm f/3.5 Tessar, Synchro-Compur

Photo quality Excellent

Ergonomics Very easy to use. Don't forget about the uncoupled rangefinder.

I've often said that this is a larger sibling of Zeiss Ikon's Contina II. In operation, it's nearly identical, although the larger size of the Ikonta 524/16 gives it an advantage.

The camera has an uncoupled rangefinder. You focus the camera using the knob near the shutter release while peering through the circular viewfinder. Read the distance from the dial and set the lens. Set your shutter speed, cock the shutter, compose your photo through the square viewfinder and take your photo.

The coated Zeiss-Opton Tessar is an excellent lens, providing terrific sharpness, contrast and clarity. Photos are sharp to the corners. In fact, this lens is one of the sharpest lenses I've encountered.

The camera has double-exposure prevention. You can override it by tripping the shutter using the small flat lever near the lens/shutter assembly, but generally it's a nice way to keep from accidentally double-exposing your film.

When folded flat, the camera is very compact, especially for a roll-film camera. It's an excellent camera, mechanically and optically. It lets you be as creative as you want to be.