Sunday, 17 June 2012

ICA A-G (Toska 215) history


In 1909, the four German camera makers Hüttig AG, Kamerawerk Dr. Krügener, M Wünsche AG and Carl Zeiss Palmos AG joined forces to become the Internationale Camera Actiengesellschaft (ICA AG)  in Dresden. Later in 1926 the company joined Zeiss Ikon. 

ICA A-G Toska 215 (full name) was manufactured sometime between 1911 and 1921 and cost around $25.   That’s all I know.

 


This is a typical folding camera of the time  (very compact) but with very limited front and back element movements. The lens is Carl Zeiss Tessar 135mm 1:6.3, the shutter is Compur B,M,Z (time) 1-250 and cable release socket. The camera has bubble level and optical viewfinder. It takes 9x12 cm plates or film sheets.


Front element can be moved side to side and up and down. Back element has some limited tilt movements. Although color photography didn't exist at that time (with few exceptions, like Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky) the lens produces excellent color rendition even by modern standards. See samples in my garden gallery.

It is very well built camera and is still fully functional today.

I bought this wonderful camera in early 80s when I was  inspired by Josef Sudek and made couple pictures that are still hanging on the wall. 

Today I am extremely happy that after 25 years I can use ICA Toska again!


Cheers,
vk




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