Classic Camera Review: The Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide - Trust Me Shops

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Classic Camera Review: The Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide

Classic Camera Review: The Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide

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In addition to its innovative image-processing abilities, the recently introduced Zeiss ZX1 is also notable as being the first camera to wear the Zeiss nameplate in five decades. This Classic Camera review is about the last camera to wear the Zeiss nameplate—the Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide (1969-71), which was as technically remarkable as its 21st-century follow-up act. Although this article is a classic “camera” review, the story is really about the camera’s unusual lens.

Photographs © Allan Weitz 2021

Featuring an optical viewfinder larger than the lens, the angle-of-view of the 15mm f/8 lens on the Zeiss Ikon Hologon Ultrawide was so wide (110°) it wasn’t compatible with any existing camera. It didn’t go into production until a body was designed for it.

At the time of its introduction in 1969, the Zeiss 15mm f/8 Hologon was the widest-angle lens available for 35mm film cameras. Originally created by a Zeiss design team led by Erhard Glatzel, it couldn’t be placed into production because, unlike 99% of all camera lenses ever produced, the 15mm f/8 Zeiss Hologon was only the second lens ever designed that had an angle-of-view too wide for any existing camera system. *

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