Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Tenax II

On the heels of the success of the Contax system, Zeiss built a number of different 35mm camera models creating some of the most interesting and imaginative cameras ever introduced by one manufacturer in such a short period of time.

The Tenax II was a 35mm camera which shot square format pictures 24x24mm. The Tenax was an unusual design, using a lever next to the lens to wind the film and cock the shutter. The concept was later mimicked by Konica in the 1950's on some of their 35mm rangefinder cameras. It used the Compur-Rapid shutter, and was available with either a 40/2.8 Tessar, or a 40/2 Sonnar, the later being less commonly found. The lens was interchangeable, and a 27/4.5 Orthometar and a 75/4 Sonnar were also available, but both of these lenses are very scarce. Also available was a special Contameter set, 1339, for close-ups, very similar to that offered for the Contax II and III.

The camera was introduced in 1937, and discontinued in 1941, and carried the catalog number 580/27.

The Tenax II with the less-common 40/2 Sonnar.

The Tenax II with the 40/2.8 Tessar.

With the lens removed.

The lens mount.