After decades of innovation and development in the field of photography during the 19th century, the 20th century saw a period of commercial success for camera manufacturers, with increasing accessibility to photography equipment. In 1926, four of Germany's largest camera manufacturers merged to form Zeiss Ikon - a part of Carl Zeiss, the optical company. Using Carl Zeiss lenses, the amalgamated company produced various types of cameras, ranging from 8mm movie cameras to the 35mm folding Contessa rangefinder. After the War, the company was disjointed by the division of Germany, with different lines being produced by the West German and East German parts. In 1972, Zeiss Ikon ceased production entirely. Today, Zeiss Ikon cameras in good condition are sought-after on the collectors' market, with prices ranging between $5 and $10,000.

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