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Thread: Huttig and Ica 'House' Lenses - Who made Them?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Huttig and Ica 'House' Lenses - Who made Them?

    As a big fan of Ica cameras, this is something that has vexed me for a while. Ica, and, before the merger, Huttig, sold many, many folding cameras that were available with a choice of lenses, often five or six options for the higher-end cameras, and, as the attached catalog scans show, they also sold lenses outright. But here's the thing: neither Huttig nor Ica were lens makers, which means the lenses they sold under their own monikers must have been produced by another maker. The leading candidate seems to be Zeiss, but I'm not 100% sure.

    For instance, in the catalog pages you can see that Ica offered the 'Maximar,' which was a Dagor clone, in f/6.8 and f/5.4 variants. To my knowledge Zeiss only offered one Dagor-type during this period (1900-1925), the Amatar, and it was only ever made in f/6.8. Hugo Meyer, however, offered a range of Dagor types (the Doppel Anastigmats) with maximum apertures ranging from f/4.8 to f/6.8. Also, the construction of the Huttig/Ica 'Huttar' appears to be identical to the Hugo Meyer Aristostigmat. Was there a similar Zeiss dialyte from this period?

    Other catalogs show that Ica did offer a wide range of Zeiss lenses in addition to those sold under their own house brand. I suppose it is possible that ALL the lenses they sold were Zeiss-made--how nice for Zeiss!--but what I've outlined above leads me to think that perhaps Meyer was the main or at least an alternate lens supplier for Huttig and Ica at the time.

    Anyway, I own a 30cm f/6.8 Ica 'Maximar' and a 16.5cm f/5.5 Ica 'Huttar' which are excellent lenses in beautiful barrels with top notch machining. They are in no way "lesser" or generic lenses. Whoever made them made them very well. I'm just curious to know if anyone has any ideas on who the real maker was.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Huttig and Ica 'House' Lenses - Who made Them?

    Another possibility is Rodenstock

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