Info on ICA IDEAL 246 4x5 camera : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I found a cool IDEAL 246 camera (4x5) the other day, and plan to attempt to take a few shots with it. I'm trying to find out any information on it that I can... I did find a very similar camera, the ICA Favorit (like the Zeiss Tropica), but am wondering if I can do anything to update the camera, and want to know if using it is a good idea to try using it. The body is metal, the lens looks great, but isn't a well known brand. It's of german make, Dollep-Anastigmat Helke 13,5 cm, and the camera was manufactured in Dresden.

-- Kevin Schoel (, January 08, 1999


Dear Kevin, your camera should be a 9x12 cm plate camera (around 1914) made by one of the four Firms which merged to form Zeiss Ikon in 1926. ICA was at that time the major producer of cameras in the Dresden area. The plate cameras were assembled with a great variety of shutters and lenses. I have a ICA mod."Hekla" 9x12 (year 1911) and the lens is a Zeiss Novar 135 mm f/6.3; it works very well. You could use the camera if you have some of the 9x12 plate holder of the time (does not need to be original ICA, the size was standard) squeezing inside the holder a thin glass plate of about 1 mm thickness (even cardboard could do the job) and placing over the plate a film sheet of the proper size (in Italy it is still possible to buy 9x12 film sheets from Agfa, but you could use a 4x5 film trimmed to mesure). If the distance film-lens correspond to the distance ground glass-lens the results are very good, especially if you work with closed apertures like f/11 or f/16. Many regards, Franco

-- Franco Rallo (, January 18, 1999.

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