Cutest Camera in the World!

8

Here’s the Zeiss Ikon Tenax I, possibly the cutest camera in the world!! If you’re a cutie of whatever species
or gender out there, you’re going to love this camera!! It will match you!!

The Zeiss Ikon Tenax I is a tiny, mechanical, scale focus camera with a reverse Galilean collapsable viewfinder, and square format 24×24 on 35mm. Commercial automated scanners are confused by this and won’t scan these negatives correctly. For these negatives, it’s best if you have your own scanner. Custom scanning is too evpensive. It cost me US$53 + tax to get the roll for the gallery scanned. This was after the photo children at the CVS Photo Kiosk tried to scan them, then crashed their Noritsu twice, screamed naughty things in Armenian, and one of them kicked the machine several times (riot grrrrls every one and the managing gnome was away at lunch). I would not go to a sporting event with any of them, and I’m buying my own scanner, soon.

Anyway, the data:

Size: tiny, fits in your coat pocket.
Weight: much heavier than it looks.
Material: metal, glass, and leather.
Viewfinder: folding, reverse Galilean.
Shutter: Compur, 1 – 1/500 + B (very accurate), no flash sync.
Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar F = 3 3/4cm (intensely sharp, excellent contrast).
Aperture: f/3.5 to f/22, no click stops.
Focus: by scale, 0.9m to infinity.
Format: 24×24 square negative, 48-50 exposures on a roll of 135-36.
Vintage: East Germany, possibly 1952-1953 (I’m guessing).
Service life: probably forever.

I bought this camera with a clean leather case at an estate sale in South Pasadena, California for US$30, very clean looking, but with a sticky shutter. I got it CLA’ed at Camera Max for US$45. It now works perfectly. Harry at Camera Max says that Tenax I’s were made for a long time and are fairly common at estate sales, especially in Europe. Watch for one to buy. A Tenax I is the way to go for economical square photos.

written by herbert-4 on 2010-06-29 #gear #tessar #square-format #review #cute #old-camera #square #antique-camera

8 Comments

  1. falsedigital
    falsedigital ·

    Some good shots in here but it looks to me like they turned up the sharpness filter way too high while scanning these in...which is a shame considering how much you paid them to do it.

    The camera sale looks fun. Not a bad price either, I would have had a field day :P

  2. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    sweet review herb! and wow! camera sale!!! :D

  3. dogma
    dogma ·

    Nice camera indeed! and interesting experience with scanning :))

  4. simonjamesonweston
    simonjamesonweston ·

    Great story and very amusing to read about your scanning experience.

  5. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    53 US dollars??? I'm agreed with @falsedigital and there's also some moire effect like in picts n°38 (top right)! You really need a scanner and you can do a better scan for sure! however..great review my friend! maybe it's more easy to find the later version of this camera, it's called Taxona.

  6. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Noted!! Newton ring top right corner pic #38, exacerbated by too much sharp filter. I think the scanner I'll buy will be a Canon 8800f.

  7. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Beautiful fotos and marvellous camera...

  8. cubilas
    cubilas ·

    have one too and this is definitely a great camera!
    but I agree on the scans...

More Interesting Articles

  • A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-08-04 #news #gear
    A Compilation of Lomo'Instant Stories

    There are many possible reasons for taking pictures. It could be to document an event, to capture breathtaking scenery, to preserve a fond memory, or simply, to have a snapshot of someone close to your heart. Whatever the reason, there's almost always a story behind a picture, no matter how significant or trivial it may be. And for lomographers, nothing beats the feeling of having that story unfold in your hand, in the form of a print. If you want a quick keepsake from that treasured moment or a snapshot of that special someone though, you can have it instantly, through Lomo'Instant Stories!

    2
  • 11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-09 #gear
    11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    For some, it marked their first foray into the wonderful world of analog photography. Others consider it a trusty, go-to camera despite having a massive camera collection which sometimes include some of the best gear there is. Whatever the case may be, toy cameras will always hold a special place in the hearts (and shelves) of analog photographers everywhere, quirks and all.

  • A Round-up of Lomography Events Around the World in September

    written by dop on 2015-09-03 #news
    A Round-up of Lomography Events Around the World in September

    If you are looking for some lomographic entertainment this month in your home city or if you are traveling the world and want some insider tips from our lomography teams, here’s a selection of what is going on in Lomography Gallery and Embassy Stores around the world.

  • Shop News

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    20% Off on Selected editions of the La Sardina

    Bring your own unique happy snapper to all of this summer's festivals and dance the night away! Grab La Sardina editions at 20% off!

  • A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by shhquiet on 2015-11-16 #news #videos #gear
    A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    New York City - the ideal place to go to if you're looking for unstoppable energy. There's plenty of exciting things going on, but you need to be lightning-fast if you want to seize the moment. This is what makes the Lomo'Instant Wide the perfect camera to use - it captures all the details in one wide instant snapshot! See it in action with our special video after the jump.

  • Select Holiday Shipping Deals for Last Minute Shoppers!

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-17 #news #gear
    Select Holiday Shipping Deals for Last Minute Shoppers!

    Have you been searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones and have yet to find it? Or maybe all of your shopping is done and it's time to treat yourself? Whatever the case may be, you're in luck — we've got awesome holiday shipping deals available around the globe! Depending on what country you order from, any order over €150/£150/$200 may qualify for free express shipping before the cut off dates. Scroll down to see more details!

  • A Secret of the Cosmos: Launching the Newest Lomography Product

    written by Lomography on 2016-01-19 #news #gear
    A Secret of the Cosmos: Launching the Newest Lomography Product

    Shh! We've got a secret matter at hand, and it's coming at you at the speed of light! We're being as mysterious as the Cosmos about our new out-of-this world product, constantly orbiting around our big reveal. But the eclipse will pass and soon the stars will align. Until then, there must be some questions floating around in the universe, right? Well, there's no need to look to the stars to find your answer! Stay on Lomography's wavelength as we kick into hyperdrive. Let your imagination skyrocket and see if you can decipher our otherworldly clues!

    19
  • Shop News

    Say Aloha to the Lomo'Instant Honolulu!

    Say Aloha to the Lomo'Instant Honolulu!

    Ride the wave of infinite creative possibility with the Lomo'Instant Honolulu! Sway with the palm trees, dig your toes in the sand, and start snapping amazing instant photos!

  • Watch: Shelley - A LomoChrome Purple 16mm Movie By Julian Hand

    written by shhquiet on 2015-11-18 #news #videos #gear
    Watch: Shelley - A LomoChrome Purple 16mm Movie By Julian Hand

    In case you missed the news, the LomoChrome Purple film that you know and love is now available in 16mm format, in limited quantities only. If you have a 16mm camera or know someone else who does, make sure to share the news! This beautiful film delivers a nostalgic, dream-like effect in purple tones. To illustrate, check out the movie by Julian Hand after the jump ...

    2
  • Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    written by rancliffhasenza on 2015-09-27 #gear #tutorials
    Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    Browsing through the Lomography website, you can find a lot of redscale shots, which are all done on color negative films. I asked myself if it’s possible to redscale a slide or chrome film and then cross process it. (And yes, it is.) In this tipster I’m going to teach you how to create the bloodiest homemade redscale film I've ever come across.

    10
  • Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-19
    Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    Colors may be amped to look unreal, like nothing of this world. Shots may be doubled, cross-processed, post-processed, mixed up into collages. The possibilities are infinite, yet some photographers still prefer black and white. Even in 2016, it is an ode to classic values of precision and balance. Light and shadow must be one pleasing dance. And just like in a well-choreographed piece, forms are obvious or playing coy. It all depends on how you're looking.

  • Shop News

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    The ultra-lightweight, low-maintenance 35mm camera that fits perfectly in your hand for some wild and spontaneous shooting!

  • Photo Stories: Storytelling for Edward & Minas by storyteller

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-08-09
    Photo Stories: Storytelling for Edward & Minas by storyteller

    Love makes the world go 'round, as it is often said, and in this feature, @storyteller re-enacts in a photograph one such romantic story.

  • Rewind: Lomography Event Recaps From Gallery Stores and Embassy Shops

    written by shhquiet on 2015-12-30 #news
    Rewind: Lomography Event Recaps From Gallery Stores and Embassy Shops

    2015 was a super exciting year for the world of creative photography. We introduced new products, paid homage to analogue photography and collaborated with like-minded folks. If you missed any of the festivities, don't worry - we promise that there will be more fantastic things to come next year! In the meantime, here's a look back into all the happy Lomography memories!

    1
  • LaserSoft Imaging’s SilverFast Brings Your Scans to Life (Part 2)

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-09-30 #gear #tutorials
    LaserSoft Imaging’s SilverFast Brings Your Scans to Life (Part 2)

    There is an assortment of applications you can use to scan your film, but I will tell you why you should be using SilverFast over all of the others. Its power is unrivaled, and once you get the hang of it, you will not want to go back.

    8