Zeiss Ikon

Zeiss Ikon was formed in 1926 by the merger of Contessa-Nettel AG of Stuttgart, Ernemann AG of Dresden, Optische Anstalt C. P. Goerz of Berlin, and Ica AG of Dresden. The merger weas orchestated by Carl Zeiss, hence the name Zeiss Ica-Contessa... Ikon. Though Ziess Ikon shut down in the early 70's they've recently relaunched.

As one of the worlds most famous opics companies you'd expect most of their products to be of a high quality, so a box camera may seem a little out of character. However there are box cameras, and their's the Zeiss Ikon box camera!

While most boxes are simply that - boxes, the Zess Baby Box Tengor was available with a range of features, and this top of the range example (model number 54/18(E) introduced in 1931) features I,T & B shutter settings, 5cm f/6.3 Novar-Anastigmat lens (adjustable down to f/11), and Focusing. If even has tripod sockets, and a shutter interlock so that the shutter cannot be fired unless the wires which form the viewfinder have been raised. Finally just when you think you can't expect anymore from a box camera you notice the threads for a shutter release cable!

In other words what looks like a box is actually a fully featured camera. Any lingering doubts are dispelled when you pick the thing up - though tiny, it simply has the feel of quality.

It's a half frame camera, taking 16 shots per roll.

The non-focusing version (54/18) was also introduced in 1931, initially with a plain front. A Hexagonal front similar to the focusing version was added in 1934. All were discontinued in 1938.

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