In Part 1 of this article, I talked about the Canon AV-1 my aunt handed down to me. Well, she wasn't the only one in my family to hand down their old camera in the past few months. Read on to find out what camera my grandfather handed down to me and what I had to do to get it working!
My grandfather gave me his Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 532/16 folding camera for Chinese New Year, and what a beauty this thing is! Of course, I couldn’t wait to try this camera out when I got it, but first I had to do a little research. The Super Ikonta 532/16 is part of the Super Ikonta B series which are 6×6 rangefinder folding cameras. This camera is equipped with an 80mm Tessar lens and a Synchro Compur shutter. These German cameras were made between the 30s and 50s.
While the Super Ikonta 532/16 uses 120 film, it has an interesting locking mechanism with a film counter knob, so that you don’t have to use the window on the back (except for aligning the first picture).
Unfortunately, the locking mechanism no longer works on this camera, which means that the shutter release button on the top of the camera doesn’t even work when you cock the shutter. But luckily there is another shutter release, albeit in a very awkward location.
So, now at least I have a a way of taking pictures, but I ran into another problem. Because the locking mechanism didn’t work, neither did the film counter knob. The only way for me to know when to take my next picture is by using the window on the back of the camera. But after going through a test roll, I realized that the window is not aligned with the 6×6 frame number markings on the 120 film — It’s aligned with the 6×9 frame number markings, which only takes 8 instead of 12 pictures. So, in order to get 12 pictures, I ran a roll of 120 film through the camera with the back open in order to figure out how many turns it took to get from picture to picture.
Now that I was finally ready to take a roll of film, I loaded the Super Ikonta 532/16 with Kodak 400 T-Max and went to DUMBO to shoot. I was incredibly nervous that I would make a mistake counting turns and that I’d wind up with overlapping photos. But all went well — besides one accidental double exposure and getting 11 shots instead of 12 from this roll. Check out some of the results!
For more info on the Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B, check here.
You may also want to read Secondhand Love Affair: Adding a Hand-Me-Down Camera to the Collection — Part 1!