Zeiss Ikon Contina

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Classic Scale Focus Cameras:

Zeiss Ikon Contina

by Karen Nakamura

Overview and Personal Comments

The Zeiss Ikon Contina is a simplified point-and-shoot made by the Zeiss Ikon corporation around 1956 (none of that complex rangefinder nonsense) as well as match-needle metering. Although this camera just says "Contina" it's more properly the Contina IIa (527/24). Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

It featured a coupled-meter. You turn the shutter and aperture dials until the two needles align. It's a simple and effective system. The lens on the camera is a Nova-Anastigmat 45mm f/3.5.

Despite being a glorified point and shoot, the camera is incredibly well built, perhaps overbuilt. The inside the of camera is very solid. You could hit a mugger with this without leaving a dent in the solid chromework.


There's no rangefinder, you have to scale or zone focus.








Technical Details

Camera Name
Contina IIa (527/24)
Zeiss Ikon
Place of Manufacture

West Germany

Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Scale focusing

Lens use helical focusing

Fixed Lens

45mm, f/23.5, Novar-Anastigmat

Minimum focusing distance = xx feet

Right focusing (infinity on right side)


Prontor SVS Shutter

Flash sync at all speeds

Metering System

Selenium cell mounted on top right of camera body
Coupled match needle metering.


f/3.5 - f/22


Cold accessory shoe mount on camera top
PC flash sync socket on camera front

Film type / speeds

Type 135 film (35mm standard)
Negative size: 24mm x 36mm

Battery type
Dimensions and weight


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About Zeiss Ikon

Zeiss Ikon was formed in 1926 out of the merger of five companies: Carl Zeiss/Jena A.G., ICA A.G., Erneman A.G., Goerz A.G, and Contessa-Nettel A.G.

Zeiss-Ikon was a huge corporation with offices in five cities in Germany and it offered a huge variety of cameras. Unfortunately, that was also its downfall. Various divisions competed against each other horribly and there was much, much reduplication of effort. It never really took advantage of its size.

Carl Zeiss, the main company, can actually trace its roots to 1846, to the very dawn of photography and is renowned for such designs as the Tessar and T* coating. Even now, Carl Zeiss lenses grace the very best cameras from Contax to Hasselblad.

In 1972, Zeiss formed into a partnership with Yashica Corporation of Japan. Zeiss now only does lens design and makes a small amount of photographic lenses. Yashica manufactures the Contax series of Zeiss cameras.


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