Ica Bébé

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First model, 1906

The Bebe (or Bébé; the name appears accented on the camera itself, as pictured here, but is written without the accents in both the English and German catalogues[1][2]) is a small plate camera made by ICA. The first model was made in 1906, and takes 4,5 x 6cm glass plates. The lens is a Zeiss Triotar 7.5 cm f/3.5, and the camera allows some lens board movements.

Second model, about 1925

ICA catalogues of about 1925 show another model of the camera, and describe it as new.[1][2] It is a strut-folding camera, now made in two sizes. Each has a dial-set Compur shutter with speeds from 1s to 1/250 second.

  • Model A (listed as model 40/2 in the German catalogue) is for 4.5x6cm (1¾ x 23/8 inch) plates, or film-packs. with Tessar 3-inch f4.5 lens
  • Model B (listed as model 41/2 in the German catalogue) is for 6.5x9cm (2½ x 3½ inch) plates.

The US catalogue lists the cameras only with f/4.5 Tessar lenses, 3- and 4-inch respectively; the German one lists the smaller camera with a choice of f/4.5 Tessar or f/3.5 Triotar. Both catalogues make a point of stating that focusing is not by a helical mount but by rotating the front element: as the picture here shows, this required two different focus markers, because of the different planes of focus for plate-holders and the film-pack adapter. The German catalogue states that the larger camera has front rise. The cameras have both an 'Ikonometer' folding frame-finder, incorporating a close-up lens, and a smaller Newton finder.