New Camera Day!

My new to me 1925 Icarette 0, 127 camera


sonny rosenberg

5/12/20232 min read

I'm trying as hard as I can (I think!) to stop acquiring new cameras. I really hadn't intended to purchase this camera.

It all started when I was researching 127 format cameras. I do believe that 127 is a really under rated format. 127 has almost the negative size of 120, but 127 cameras tend to be much more compact. Just because this format of film is difficult to find and often exorbitantly expensive when one does find it, so what?

Because I have a 1920 horizontal 6x6 Ica Icarette that I'm quite fond of, I thought I would investigate whether Ica ever made any 127 cameras? It turns out they did, for one year, 1925. The same camera was continued for a while after Zeiss-Ikon absorbed Ica, but it was of course a Zeiss branded camera with a different name.

When I started to research the Ica Icarette model 488 (or Icarette 0) it turned out that there was on ebay in seemingly near perfect condition and at a great price. Still I resisted and was stalwart in my resistance for at least a couple days. When the seller made me an offer of 50 Euros for the camera, my resistance crumbled.

When the camera arrived last week, I opened the box with a bit of trepidation, worried that it couldn't possibly be in as good of condition as the photos made it seem. It wasn't. It turns out that the photos didn't do it justice. It seems almost new!

There is one thing missing though, it doesn't have them bright prism viewfinder that all Icarettes normally have. The pivot point on the frame is there, bt no viewfinder. On closer inspection it seems that nothing was ever attached to the pivot point, the paint in and around the pivot hole is completely unblemished. Weird, but it appears that this Icarette was never fitted with a bright finder, only the wire frame Iconometer. Oh well, maybe another view finder will turn up down the road. In the mean time, I'll somehow survive without it.

This little Icarette is fitted with the highest end lens that was available for this model, the Zeiss Tessar 75mm f/4.5. I'm told that f/4.5 was very fast lens in 1925.

Without further ado, here are the photos. I still can't believe I stumbled on a 1925 Icarette in this condition. It's currently loaded with Rerapan 100 (Silberra Pan 100). Unfortunately I won't get a chance to shoot it until I get out from under this mountain of grading finals. Still, I can admire it until then!