Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

Baby-Box Tengor Camera

Zeiss Ikon A.G.

Name: Baby-Box Tengor Camera
Type: Box Camera
Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon A.G.
Country of Origin: Germany
Construction: Simple box camera of metal construction, covered in black leatherette for pictures 3 x 4 cm on 127 rollfilm. The camera incorporates a two-part sight consisting of a fold-up rear sight and a pull out wire finder frame at the front. On all but the first model, the shutter will not operate unless the wire finder is raised.
The Baby-Box Tengor went through several design changes and was available with several different quality lenses.
Plate / Film Size: 127 rollfilm (for pictures 3 x 4cm)
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Production Period: 1930 - 1934

The Baby-Box Tengor was introduced by Zeiss Ikon in 1930 and reflected the need for economy in all things as the Depression started to take its toll on the economy and people's spending power. This simple little box camera allowed 16 exposures of 30 x 40mm size to be taken on conventional 127 rollfilm, that is, double the number that would be taken on a conventional 127 rollfilm camera.

The basic form, as both examples on this page used the Frontar lens and a single speed instantaneous shutter. However there was a better version (less common) that had a better Novar f6.3 triplet lens with iris diaphragm and Derval shutter.

A number of accessories could also be bought for the camera, including development equipment, tripod, leather case etc. The camera sold in the UK for 17s 6d and proved quite popular.

Model / Variant: Baby-Box 54/18
Lens: Frontar F50mm f11
Shutter: Simple single speed instantaneous shutter
Movements: None
Date of this Example: 1930
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 307

<Photographs to be added>

Description

The Zeiss Ikon Baby-Box Tengor is a simple box camera for 127 film. This is also an example of the first model, where the wire finder does not lock the shutter. It is in very good condition, with only minor wear on the rim around the lens. The metalwork is also in good condition.

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Model / Variant: Baby-Box 54/18
Lens: Frontar F50mm f11
Shutter: Simple single speed instantaneous shutter
Movements: None
Date of this Example: c1931
Serial Number: None
Availability:
  • Common [x]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 179

<Photographs to be added>

Description

This example of the Baby-Box Tengor is in fair condition, though the black metal work is showing signs of surface rest and the leatherette covering is a little scuffed in places. However, this example is complete with its original cream, orange, brown and gold sales carton and instructions. The instructions identify the camera as the "Box-Tengor 3 x 4 cm".

Notes

If you arrived here hoping to find that I possess a reasonable spread of Carl Zeiss Jena or Zeiss Ikon cameras in my collection, by now you will have realised that I do not! Generally Zeiss Ikon cameras correspond to the very end of the timeline that I am interested in. However you will find representation of many of the companies that merged together as part of the journey towards the eventual formation of Zeiss Ikon.

Zeiss Ikon was formed in 1926 through the merger under the Zeiss Ikon name of Ica, Ernemann, Goerz and Contessa-Nettel. Many of these companies had themselves merged with others earlier in their history. For example, Ica was formed in 1909 through the merger of Hüttig, Krugener, Wünsche and Carl Zeiss Palmos. Contessa-Nettel of course was a merger of the two distinct companies of Contessa and Nettel in 1919. You will find examples of cameras by many of these earlier makers in the collection.

A useful reference for Zeiss Ikon cameras, including some of the cameras that were made by its predecessors, is Zeiss Ikon Cameras 1926-39 by D. B. Tubbs [6].