|Picture by Paul Desmond. (Image rights)|
The 35mm Nettax (Zeiss Ikon 538/24) was a 35mm rangefinder camera introduced in 1936 as a cheaper alternative to the Contax II. It should have been called Super Nettel III, because it was a successor of the Super Nettel and Super Nettel II, but the Nettax name was preferred just before the release. Its Zeiss Ikon code number was 538/24.
Unlike the Super Nettel, the Nettax is a rigid camera. The shutter is a focal plane model to 1/1000, the same as the Super Nettel, an intermediate design between the shutters of the Contax I and the Contax II. It has a short-base coupled rangefinder, separated from the viewfinder window, and interchangeable lenses with a specific bayonet mount. The lenses incorporate a part of the rangefinder optics, like the lenses of the Tenax II. The very limited range of lenses was the following:
- Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm f/3.5 Tessar standard lens;
- Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm f/2.8 Tessar standard lens;
- Carl Zeiss Jena 10.5cm f/5.6 Triotar tele lens.
An adapter ring allows to mount the Contax mount Zeiss Tessar 2.8cm f/8 on the Nettax, but this lens is not coupled to the rangefinder.
The Nettax was not a big success and is quite uncommon. The tele lens
is very rare, and today the price is high.
|Leaflet for the Super Nettel II and Nettax in English, dating 1937. (Image rights)|
|Zeiss Ikon Classic Cameras|
|Contax | Contaflex (TLR) | Super Nettel | Nettax | Tenax II | Tenax I | Ikoflex | Super Ikonta|