F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Pieces An on-line look at cameras etc. by Stephanie Marriott


Movikon 8

Contaflex 126

Super Nettel

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October 1998

Introduction. There are not many equipment manufacturers who made, or at least had their name on, both still and cine equipment. Kodak did, of course, as did Agfa, Canon and Minolta. Some still cameras, like the Canon Dial, were sold in America as a Bell and Howell, but Bell and Howell are best-known for their cine equipment. Rollei and Nikon both had their names on cine equipment, but are better known for their outstandingly good still cameras. Leitz made the Leicina cine cameras and Cinovid cine projectors which are high quality and still popular, but they made a very limited range. The only other big company which springs to my mind is Zeiss Ikon, who made some of the first 16 mm. cine cameras in the 1930s, made the stylistically unusual Movikon and Movinette Standard-8 cameras and then went on to make the Super-8 Moviflex cameras. They also made the Super Ikonta, Ikonta, Ikoflex, Contax, Contaflex, Nettax and many others, for 120, 127, 126 and 35 mm. film, and highly collectable today. So, this month, a quick look at a few of the many products of Zeiss Ikon.

Movikon 8. Introduced in 1953, the Zeiss Ikon Movikon is instantly recognisable, although many people are fooled by the styling into thinking that it is a still camera despite the large winding key to one side of the lens. It is a Standard-8 cine camera which carries the feed spool and take-up spool to the left and right of the lens; a horizontal arrangement where a vertical arrangment is more usual. This introduces a twist in the film before the gate and another after the gate, yet this camera seems no more prone to jamming than any other. It is fitted with a Movitar f/1.9 10 mm. lens which focuses to 8 inches. It has a direct vision viewfinder, and the clockwork motor gives 16 f.p.s and single frame. The first versions of the camera have a brown crackle enamel body, but this version not seen in the UK; most UK cameras have the more familiar grey body. Development of the camera continued, with more speeds being added for example, until in 1958 the new Movikon 8B was announced at the Cologne Photokina. In 1953, the Movikon 8 cost about £66 including over £16 pounds purchase tax. The following year, tax changes reduced the price to £54 including the tax. Picture (brown) Picture (grey)

Contaflex 126. Zeiss Ikon was the first camera company to introduce a reflex 126 camera into the UK. The Contaflex 126, despite its name, is not compatible with other Contaflex cameras and the lenses made for the 126 cameras cannot be used on the 35 mm. cameras. The camera was launched in 1967. It has an automatic shutter priority exposure meter, using t.t.l. CdS metering. The reflex finder has a split-screen rangefinder and gives a good, bright image. This is the only Contaflex s.l.r. to be fitted with a focal plane shutter, although the legendary Contaflex t.l.r. also has a focal plane shutter. The camera does not have an instant return mirror, and while I can name some excellent cameras with this "feature", (e.g. the Hasselblad 500C), I do find it irritating when I'm using the camera, which I do sometimes. The lenses are fully interchangeable, again a departure from Contaflex s.l.r. practice, which has interchangeable front elements. The camera was supplied with a choice of 45 mm. f/2.8 Color Pantar (£128 in 1969) or 45 mm. f/2.8 Tessar (£138 in 1969). Additional lenses were : 32 mm. f/2.8 Zeiss Distagon (about £85 in 1969); 85 mm. f/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar (about £69 in 1969); 135 mm. f/4 Zeiss Tele Tessar (about £67 in 1969). This camera was available for quite a long time (for a 126 reflex!). It was discontinued in about 1971, but it is the easiest of the 126 reflex cameras to find second-hand. The lenses are most easily found with a camera, so if you want lenses, hold out for an outfit. However, if you are wanting to use the camera, I understand 126 film is to be discontinued at the end of 1999, so best not hang around.

Super Nettel. Introduced in 1934, the Super Nettel is one of those interesting cameras which is in the shadow of other Zeiss Ikon cameras, and so it does not get the attention it deserves. It is a 35 mm. camera with a coupled co-incident image rangefinder and focal plane shutter. The camera was supplied with a choice of three non-interchangeable lenses; Zeiss Triotar f/3.5 50 mm. (£18 12s. 6d./£18.62 in 1935); Zeiss Tessar f/3.5 50 mm. (£22 5s./£22.25 in 1935); Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 50 mm. (£24 15s./£24.75 in 1935). Zeiss Ikon claimed the camera was an offshoot of the Super Ikonta development but the camera has more in common with the Contax, including the shutter. Made of metal slats held together with silk, Zeiss Ikon claimed the metal would never deteriorate. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the silk, and these cameras cannot be recommended for use because of the frequently fragile state of the silk. In 1936, the Super Nettel II was introduced. This is essentially a deluxe version of the Nettel, with the f/2.8 Tessar lens, and a luxury finish featurng satin chrome top-plate, base-plate and lens cover. Personally, I prefer the look of the original Nettel. In 1936 the Super Nettel II cost £28 2s. (£28.10). Neither camera seems to have been offered in Britain for very long; the Super Nettel II disappears in about 1937, and the outbreak of war in 1939 stopped all German camera imports. Both cameras are hard to find in the U.K.

The above items have been adapted from
Classic Camera Magazine articles on Zeiss Ikon. All back numbers are available from F. and S. Marriott.
  • Contaflex 126 - Classic Camera Magazine issue 19
  • Contaflex Accessories - Classic Camera Magazine issue 25
  • Servicing a Contaflex Super - Classic Camera Magazine issue 24
  • Contina 526/24 - Classic Camera Magazine issue 2
  • Ikoflex I - Classic Camera Magazine issue 28
  • Movikon and Movinette cine cameras - Classic Camera Magazine issue 7
  • Super Ikontas (11/12 on 120) - Classic Camera Magazine issue 9
  • Super Nettel - Classic Camera Magazine issue 30
  • Contaflex s.l.r. cameras - Classic Camera Magazine issue 23
  • Zeiss Ikon in 1938 - Classic Camera Magazine issue 21

Note: I like to give price information in both sterling and American dollars. However, this information is not always available to me, in which case I use whichever I can get. I do not convert from one currency to the other; market conditions vary and camera prices were often very different in the U.S.A. and Britain, so conversion would not give an accurate picture.

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