Super Ikonta III – Medium Format Rangefinder
Introduction – Super Ikonta III
I won’t go much into history, Super Ikonta III, or Super Ikonta 531/16 is a folding super compact 6×6 medium format rangefinder camera made by Zeiss Ikon. The key difference between Ikonta, and Super Ikonta is the coupled rangefider you’ll find only on the Super models. This makes the camera faster, and easier to use.
The body feels pretty solid, light and compact in size. It’s size is really ridiculous, I can stick it in my back pocket like a pack of cigarettes, something i can’t do with a regular 35mm Slr.
Because it’s a folding camera it may have bellows issues (cracks and holes), just as i had with mine. As you can see from the pictures, i have been using some blue nail lacquer to cover one crack i had in the bellows. Unlike older models, film advance is automatic, so it stops when one full frame is advanced. Newer versions, also cocks the shutter when film is advanced, but i rather cock it manually, so i don’t fire it by mistake.
Cold shoe mount and external flash units
Using external flash units is possible, but there are some issues you have to keep in mind before you mount an external flash. First, you have to make sure your V X M switch is set to X, otherwise your flash won’t sync with the shutter. The switch is located on the left side of the lens, as you can see it in the picture below
Modern flashes communicate with the camera via electrical pins on the bottom of the mounting foot so this might be tricky with this camera. You need to isolate the cold shoe on the camera and then connect the flash to the camera via Pc sync cable.
There’s no meter on this camera, so you need to go for the next model if you really want it. I’m using sunny 16 rule, or my Sekonic L308s flash meter
The lens is fixed, so you can’t change it. My camera has a Novar 75mm 3.5 which delivers pretty impressive results. They say Tessar version is even better.
You can focus by rotating a wheel on the left of the lens, ( nor very handy) or just spin the front of the lens. The coupled rangefinder works like charm, I have never missed a shot.
The viewfinder is not very large or bright, but is good enough so you can focus even in dim light.
I got this baby from a flea market in Negreni, Cluj, and payed no more than 20 dollars for it. I never had one before, so I din’t know what to expect. This is a great compact medium format camera, so it has a cozy place in my collection. On Ebay you can find one in good shape for 200-300 dollars, which is a great price for such a camera.
Ilford Fp4 Samples
More Ikonta 531/16 & FP4 samples on my Fp4 post
Ilford Delta 3200
More Super Ikonta and Delta 3200 samples on my Delta 3200 Post
Expired Portra 160
More Kodak Portra 160 samples on My Portra 160 Post