|January 22, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
The Zeiss-Ikon Miroflex cameras are so old, in fact, that the design was originally released in 1919 — one year after world war one ended — and production was continued until 1936. Did I mention that this camera is old? Old and black?
The very same year that this very old camera was introduced, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, passed away. The very first passenger flight to ever take place in the United States departed from New York. Women gained the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed. And, the U.S. Army actually sent an expedition from Washington, D.C., to San Fransisco, CA in order to assess whether it might soon be possible to build some sort of a system that would allow Americans to actually cross the United States by road. Now that’s old!
The particular camera featured in this sale, however, doesn’t appear to be quite THAT old. The Miroflex B was originally introduced in 1919 by the Contessa-Nettel camera company of Germany. Contessa-Nettel was purchased by Zeiss in 1926, and Zeiss continued production of the Miroflex under the Zeiss-Ikon name for another ten years. Since this particular Miroflex bears the Zeiss-Ikon imprint, it’s safe to say that this camera carries a post 1925 manufacturing date. But, still, man! That’s still pretty old.
Zeiss produced the Miroflex in two different sizes: The Miroflex A, which is the less common of the two available models, and is a 6.5 x 9cm camera. And, the larger Miroflex B, which is the model being offered in this particular sale, was a 9 x 12cm camera. Each model also had a different assortment of Tessar lenses available for it, which were not cross compatible between the two versions. This particular model being offered for sale appears to come complete with the Tessar f/4.5, which, I hear tell, is a very capable lens if found in good condition.
If you’d like to see some examples of photos taken with this very old Zeiss Miroflex, Time-Life photographer Alfred “Eisie” Eisenstaedt (Yeah, that guy that took that VJ Day in Times Square photo) used a Miroflex to capture a famous series of photos of rich people hanging out in St. Moritz in 1947. And, if you’d like to see what this camera is capable of when using modern film, here’s some work from a current Japanese photographer who uses a Miroflex A.
If I were you, though, and I was interested in possibly making an offer on this old Miroflex, I wouldn’t get my hopes up regarding its potential use. Apparently, even in its day, the Miroflex cameras were notoriously difficult to repair. And, of course, replacement parts haven’t been made for this camera in probably well over half a century.
All in all, however, this is a fairly cool collector’s piece and it would look awesomely groove-a-licious sitting on any photographer’s funky-camera crammed shelf.
The seller is offering this item at $650.00, which does seem to be rather high — at least according Collectiblend’s estimates who rate this camera’s worth at around $186.00 in accordance with the seller’s claim of a “B” condition rating. The seller is open to offers, however — of which, there are currently none as of the time of this writing.
The sale is located here, and ends on February 20th.