Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Ergo

The Ergo is a detective camera designed to look like a monocular, taking images on 4.5 x 6cm plates at a right angle to what it would direction the user would appear to be viewing. It was fitted with a 4.5 Tessar in Compur shutter.

The Ergo was originally produced as the Argus (no relation to the American camera of the same name) in 1911 by Nettel Kamerawerk. When they merged with Contessa to form Contessa-Nettel, the design was continued. At some point the name was changed to Ergo, most likely during the Contessa-Nettel period. It was again carried over through the next merger in 1926 that formed Zeiss Ikon. The camera was discontinued in 1931.

In spite of it's long production life, it is a very difficult camera to find today.

The Ergo deceptive angle camera.

This example of the Ergo is marked "Contessa Nettel".

A close up of the lens.