During WWII Hubert Nerwin of Zeiss Ikon began planning for a new 35mm folder. His concepts were developed after the war to become Zeiss's first completely new postwar product. This series soon carried the name Contina.
The first model introduced in 1948 had the Zeiss designation Ikonta 522/24. As Zeiss was unable to produce sufficient Tessar lenses (due to war damage to their production facilities), this is one of the few Zeiss models ever to feature a non-Zeiss (Schneider Xenar) lens. The model was continued in 1953 as Contina, as one of the first cameras of the new Contina series of 35mm viewfinder cameras (one was a rangefinder). After the initial series of folders, later models were rigid-bodied. Some had linked shutter/aperture rings, using the Light-value system. The folding models had knob wind, frame counter and rewind fitted to the bottom; the later ones had top-mounted 180° lever wind, knob rewind and frame counter around the shutter release.
- Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon
- Origin: Stuttgart, Germany
- Introduced: 1951 (folder); 1954 (rigid)
- Film: 35mm
- Shutters: Prontor-SVS, 1sec-1/250 or 1/300 with X & M sync & self-timer, Prontor-SLK or Synchro-Compur
|Ikonta 522/24||1948-53||522/24||Novar, Tessar, or
Schneider Xenar 45mm/2.8
|Contina I||1951-55||522/24||Novar 45mm/3.5 or
|Contina II||1952-53||524/24||Opton-Tessar 45mm/2.8
or Novar f3.5
|Contina Ia||1954-55||526/24||Novar 45mm/3.5||Rigid|
|Contina IIa||1954-56||527/24||Novar 45mm/3.5 or
|Differences to the II are:|
* has a twin range light meter, identifiable by a slot machined through the meter cover,
* plus a dual range meter with scoop cut from outer meter dial, which reveals a green section of scale,
* an EV number scale in the needle meter window,
* the lens mount front plate has very shallow horizontal grooves, and
* the viewfinder window is smaller with no frame around it.
|Contina Ia||1955-57||526/24||Novicar 45mm/2.8||Rigid|
|Contina III||1955-58||529/24||Pantar 45mm/2.8||Light meter + convertible lens||
|Contina "Ib"||c.1956||526/24||Novicar 45mm/2.8
|not labelled as "Ib"||
|Contina II||1956-58||527/24||Novar f3.5 or
|Differences to the IIa are:
* has a single range light meter,
* no EV number scale in the needle meter window with match-needle operation,
* the lens mount front plate is smooth, and
* the viewfinder window is larger with a frame around it.
|Contina Ia||1958||526/24||Pantar 45mm/2.8||Rigid|
|Contina Ic||1958-60||10.0603||Pantar 45mm/2.8||name in script on front||
|Contina-matic II||1958-59||10.0613||light meter||
|Contina-matic III||1959-60||10.0622||Pantar 45/2.8||meter|
|Contina||1962-65||10.0626||Color Pantar 45/2.8||updated, rounder styling; crank|
rewind, second viewfinder
window for bright-line
|Contina L||1963-65?||coupled meter||
|Contina LK||1963-65||10.0615||Color Pantar 45/2.8||coupled meter||
|Contina J||1964-65||10.0604||Color Pantar 45/2.8||no self-timer|
- After McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pages 1046-48.
- Listed by year of introduction as model names are non-sequential (e.g. the 527/24 IIa was introduced before the 527/24 II, etc.).
- Manual of the Contina III (529/24) in David Richert's website (archived)
- Contina II (524/24) page at Camera Portraits
- Contina II (527/24) page at Camera Portraits
- Pages on www.collection-appareils.com by Sylvain Halgand: