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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


Name Date(s)      Cat no.      Lens Features Image
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
Tessar 45mm/2.8
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
Novicar f2.8
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
or Pantar
not labelled as "Ib"
Contina II 1956-58 527/24 Novar f3.5 or
Novicar f2.8
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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.).


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