Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Ideal and Stereo Ideal

Zeiss Ikon had quite a number of different models of plate cameras to choosefrom after the merger as most of the pre-Zeiss Ikon companies had several. Most of the early offerings were remaindering out of pre-merger unsold stock. Only a few of the folding plate models lasted much past 1930. Ica's Ideal was one of those that did.

The Ideal was available as 250/3 (6.5 x 9cm), 250/7 (9 x 12cm), 250/9 (10 x 15cm) and 250/11 (13 x 18cm). All but the smallest size have interchangeable lenses mounted with a bayonet. They all use special pop off backs, and most have double extension bellows, rise and fall, and shift movements. A few had drop beds for use with wide angle lenses. They are found with Tessar, Dominar and Double Protar lenses in Compur shutters.

The Ideal line was discontinued in 1938, as with many others as Germany was gearing up for war and resources were becoming scarce. Zeiss did not re-enter the cut film camera market after the war.

The Ideal was also offered in two stereo formats, 6 x 13cm and 9 x 18cm. They are normally found with Tessar lenses in dial set Compur shutters, but occasionally they can be found with Hekla lenses. The Stereo Ideal was most likely another camera that was not really produced by Zeiss Ikon, but was merely existing stock that was marked after the merger and was remaindered out.

Ideal 250/7 and 250/3.

Ideal 250/3. Note store metal tag on side of camera.

The Ideal 250/7.

Double extension bellows fully extended. Note the clips that keep the bellows from sagging when not fully extended.

A typical case, embossed with the Zeiss logo on the back.