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Zeiss Ikon Nettar camera
Novar lens cross-section

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/16 with 75mm f4.5 Novar lens and 3-speed Vario shutter


The 517/16 - also known as the Nettar II - takes 12 pictures on 120 roll-film. It has a direct vision viewfinder and accessory shoe.

Several versions of this camera were made to suit different pockets. For example, in 1953 the 517/16 with Novar f/6.3 75 mm. lens and Vario shutter was about 13 (283 today (2010)) whereas with Novar f/4.5 75 mm. lens and Prontor S shutter it is about 22 (478 today (2010)). This at a time when a craftsman earned 9 15s a week, a manual worker only 7 12s. However: compared to today's average manual earnings those prices are equivalent to 781 and 1320.

It was discontinued in around 1958.


choose a Nettar portfolio:


thumbnail: climber in orange cagoule on snow-covered summit of Arenig Fawr
thumbnail: Sgurr nan Gillean from Bruach na Frithe, Cuillin of Skye
Nettar in Snowdonia (10) Nettar in monochrome (3) Nettar 2006 (6) other Nettar Photographs (6)


LakeDistrict 1989 (4)


Snowdonia Arenig Fawr Rhinogs Tryfan


ploughing match solarised print Burghley House Burghley park



How to maximise sharpness for exhibition sized prints with the Nettar

Using the normal shutter release on the Nettar body risks camera shake. Experience shows that the pressure required by the linkage tends to gives the camera a little twist. Moral: only use the body release, if at all, at 1/200th sec.  Otherwise fire the shutter with a cable release or, better still,, simply with a finger tip around the front of the lens (the location of the lever on the Nettar makes this surprisingly easy). This method requires only a gentle touch. The panorama of Burghley House (see the 2006 portfolio) was taken on a tripod using the touch release method. The resulting detail in the gates should amaze you.


 this camera was sold 27th Nov 2010

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