Zeiss Super Ikonta III vs BX

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by robert_lai, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. So, now I have inexplicable urges to get more Zeiss stuff (Zeiss acquisition syndrome). I already have a very nice Super Ikonta BX with a meter that's even accurate, and it has a coated Tessar in Synchro-Compur shutter - all the good stuff. The lens is amazingly sharp, even wide open. Now I'm thinking about the III.
    Why the III?
    Looking at online auctions, it seems that the IV gets all the attention. I'm not sure why, as it has the EV shutter/aperture system, and the selenium meter. The III is basically the IV without the two features that are most likely to be annoying: i.e. the EVS interlock, and meter.
    The BX is beautiful, but heavy. But what advantage would I really have in getting a III to go with my BX? Just lighter weight?
    Before someone mentions it, yes I also have a Super Ikonta C, so I do have the ability to make 6x9 images too.
    So guys, please talk me out of spending more money on getting a III when I've already got a nice BX.
  2. You will, sooner or later, need to get some of the eastern Zeisses -- most particularly the Ercona . ;)
  3. So guys, please talk me out of spending more money on getting a III when I've already got a nice BX.​
    Why talk someone out of getting the enjoiment. I would spend money on Zeiss but I do not associate miself with fine German engineering. Otherwise I would go and get it.
  4. "You will, sooner or later, need to get some of the eastern Zeisses -- most particularly the Ercona . ;)"
    Agreed. I have an Ercona II. Zone focus works nicely and the Tessar lens is bitingly sharp. Highly recommended!
  5. Go, on, you know you want it. Once you've got a III, can then move onto others. Apart from the Ercona, you'll also need to get the Certo Six, since it too has a nice Tessar. Then there will be the lure of the other competitor products....there are the Russian Tessar clones, and the Japanese ones, and so forth.
    Nah, I think we can lead you wildly astray here - the best thing being that it'll be your money we're spending ;-)
  6. If you can't help yourself, I have a III listed here. It has the Novar though. A highly underrated lens in my opinion. There's some threads on them on the site. I won't talk mine up as I'm not exactly an uninterested party, but I do like the way the Novars image.
    I'm not sure why people like the IV's, other than they're newer and should be in better condition. The meter is not something I would necessarily trust, and the coupled aperture/shutter speeds are a PITA to use.
  7. I've streamlined the number of cameras that I own myself. Only one per format, and I don't try to cover every format. So now I have 35mm, 67, 69, and 4x5.
  8. As per YOUR request!
    If you've already got the BX then you don't really need the III. What for? It's not really bringing anything
    but lighter pockets, less shelf space, guilty conscience etc.. Besides I don't have a Super Ikonta C,
    or a III, so there's at least one more available for me if you follow good common sense and leave well enough alone!

    Convincing enough?
    Now you're sure to buy it right?
  9. The III gets 12 shots on a roll, compared to only 11 with the Ikonta Bx. If you shoot enough film this will eventually pay for the camera. How't that for rationalization?
    PS, my III is quite nice in the hands, whereas I've always thought that the B and C are a little "clunky."
  10. Thanks for trying to help. The BX does get 12 frames per roll, so there's not much difference there. The only thing that I can see is that the III is lighter, and lacks a light meter. The III is more streamlined looking, but the BX has that certain industrially serious look about it.
    I think I'll go with Chuck's suggestion and hold off getting the III.
    As it is now, I have two Super Ikonta Cs (both with uncoated Tessars). There's no point in redundancy, so I'll probably let the fully serviced one go (recently CLA'd by Jurgen Kreckel). The other one needs repair, and I don't like unloading junk on the market.
  11. You're being awfully rational about this.
  12. Hi Rob (Budding),
    I'm following your lead. Only one camera per format. Makes sense - no confusion, economical, and requires thought to prune out the redundancy.
  13. I own and use both a BX (latest version) and a III. Basically I would say this: the BX feels like a much better piece of fine engineering, and it is a pleasure even simply to handle. However I do 99% of my photography outdoor and in most cases associated with hiking/trekking/mountaineering, and the III sees at least trice the use as the BX simply because it is way more practical to carry along (it will fit nicely into the pocket of a wind jacket). Even when a Lunasix Pro meter is added in the other pocket, the combination is less cumbersome than the BX. However if it was not for these considerations, I would always pick up the BX.
    The III was not redesigned in order to produce a better camera than the BX, but rather one that a) would be cheaper and simpler to produce, and b) would be more practical in use due to its smaller size and lighter weight. If the latter issue is of little or no relevance to you, then the III apart from its collection appeal would be a retrograde step. And if size and weight really matters, then you could as well take a radical step and go for an A (yes, I own and use even this one... don't ask why...)
  14. Robert (Lai) - You can instead spend the money on film.
    But while we're on the subject of cameras . . . Have you tried large format? The tonality is stunning.

Share This Page