Zeiss Ikon Colora Viewfinder Camera 35mm photo by Karen Brammer, www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
I bought this camera from Ebay a few months ago. It was not working and needed quite a few things to be repaired on it. When I stripped some of it down to see what repairs were needed, I came across a folded piece of paper. It turned out to be the Shipping import note. From this note I have been able to find out a lot about the origins and travels of this camera.
The original import note, photo by Karen Brammer www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
The Colora is a 35mm viewfinder camera made in West Germany by Zeiss Ikon, taking 24×36mm frames "on usual cartridges".
This particular camera was made in West Germany in 1963. It was shipped to the United Kingdom from Dunkirk to the British port of Dover on the 16th May 1964 on board the ship St Germaine.
The original import shipping note from 1964. Photo by Karen Brammer www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
The ship that carried this camera was originally launched on April 5th 1951, and was delivered to France in July of the same year. The ship arrived in Dunkirk on the 24th July 1951 from Helsingor in Denmark. It took it's first maiden voyage from Dunkirk to Dover on the 26th July 1951 before taking up regular service on the 28th July 1951 as a train ferry from Dunkirk to Dover. The ship continued to operate as a train ferry from Dunkirk to Dover, Calais to Dover and Dunkirk to Harwich until 1967. It was involved in a number of crashes during this time. Please click on the button below to find put more about the ship and see some of the photos.
In November of 1969, it then operated as a Sealink Ferry and was painted in the appropriate colours with a blue hull and a red funnel. It operated as a ferry until 1988, it was involved in a fatal collision where two people died. It ended up being broken up for scrap in India in 1988.
I have managed to find out the history of the ship that transported the camera to the United Kingdom due to finding the import shipping note. It's great to be able to trace some of the history behind this lovely little camera.
Photo by Karen Brammer, www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
Here is some more information about the camera. The 1963 body shape is quite like contemporary models made by sister company Voigtländer, such as the Vito C and Vitoret — with which it shares some parts. It was in production from 1963-1965. The Colora F (1964-65, cat no 10.0641) was similar, but with the addition of an AG-1 flash bulb holder in the top plate, hidden under the accessory shoe (and so also slightly taller to accommodate the flash battery).
The shutter for this camera is the : Prontor 125; speeds 1/30–1/125 + B, with X flash sync, no self-timer
Top view of the camera, photo by Karen Brammer www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
The lens for this camera is the: Novicar 50mm f/2.8, stopping to f/22, focusing down to 1m
Rear view of camera, photo by Karen Brammer www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
Compared to the earlier model, the 1963 has a lower-spec shutter and a lighter build with more plastic parts. The shutter release is the grey plastic device on the front; under this is a cable release socket. The button on the top is the rewind release. The frame counter is now in the base; it counts down, and must be manually set to the size of the film. The rewind knob is much shallower than that of the 1961 model, and sits on top of the top plate, without the 1961's recess.
Photo by Karen Brammer www.daisydogphotos.co.uk
The camera is now fully working. I have repaired the shutter mechanism, the camera wind on, I had to reattach the view finder eyepiece, the top of the camera was not joined to the main part of the camera and I have also had to replace missing screws. The Zeiss Ikon logo and plate wasn't attached, the lens was dirty. The camera is now in good working order, with all original features intact. It has it's original leather case and unusually it's original shipping import notice dated 16th May 1964 when it was first imported by the Ship St Germaine from Dunkirk to Dover.
The cost of the camera in 1964 was £3 and 9 shillings, which would be £153.30 in today's money which at the time was a large investment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.