Camera of week 12 – Zeiss Nettar 517/16

Today i’ll write about second camera i got from @darko_bojanic. It is German wunderkind Zeiss Nettar 517/16, maybe not WonderChild but still pretty nice and sleek camera. Camera was made in West Germany by Zeiss Ikon AG, Stuttgart,  Production started in 1949 and continued until 1958.  This is small Medium Format folding camera (Folder).  Uses 120 film and takes 6x6cm exposures.  As 220 format was not available during that time, it’s not possible to use it, because of red glass which is used to check how far film must be advanced.  But if 220 film is used, it will get fogged because light gets trough this glass.  Now about specs. This specimen  uses Novar Anstigmat 75mm f/6.3 lens which is quite slow but usable.  It has 3 shutter speeds + Bulb mode. Speeds are 1/25, 1/75 and 1/200th of second. Sadly very limited selection and 1.5 stop difference between them.  Because of this getting correct exposure is quite hard, thus i won’t be using slide film with this nice camera. Focusing is done rotating front ring for distance marks and guessing distance. Not best method but most folders of that time had this, only more expensive models had coupled rangefinder.  Camera also has hole for flash sync and another one for shutter release cable.  I already used it, but probably quite unsuccessful as i released cable almost instantly, forgot that i wanted to use Bulb mode and several second night exposure will be like 1/2 or 1/4 second 🙂 Although i have already finished roll with this camera, i still haven’t developed it, because don’t have enough C41  (Color negative) rolls shot  to justify mixing developer +don’t have 1L bottles for Paterson tank.  Lastly i very much like that it’s foldable and  very compact, camera can also be folded with cocked shutter. So  when situation comes  – Bam swing open (push button and it opens instantly)  it and shoot. It doesn’t have mirror so it’s virtually silent. Price:  Although most of price are super overrated at eBay, there is one listing which now sits at 5 dollars and have 3 days more to go. Collectiblend also suggest last it was sold for 17 dollars.  Don’t pay too much for this, one of my twitter followers picked it up cheap at thrift store.

Some info taken from

Me with Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/16


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