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Art Deco Cameras

Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 54/2


Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 54/2
Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 54/2
Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon
Produced: 1934
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:6 x 9 cm
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Goerz Frontar
Focal Length:100mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:1m - inf.
Aperture Type :Multihole
Apertures :f/11, f/16, f/22
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/50s)
Size (w x h x d):83 x 110 x 115 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star star
Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention

I consider this camera to warrant 3 stars for the following attributes:


The Box-Tengo 54/2 is a substantial well-built camera. It takes 8 (6 x 9cm) pictures on 120 film. It has two bright viewfinders for landscape and portrait images. On the right-hand side there's a bright metal winding key. There are tripod mounts on the side and the base for portrait and landcape images.

On the side of the camera is the shutter release and shutter release lock. There is a tab for engaging 'T' mode and a tapered cable release socket. It has a lever on the front panel at the top to change the focus range, with choice of 1-2 m, 2-8m and 8-inf. Focus range change is achieved by internally swinging extra lenses into place. It has a lever on front panel at the bottom to change the aperture giving a choice of f/11, f/16 or f/22.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is widely available.

The aperture choice is f/11, f/16 or f/22. The measured speed on this camera was 1/50s. As the shutter speed is only 1/50s, it is advisable to use a tripod to get clear shake free images. However, holding it against a wall or other solid object would work as well. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100 film. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Modern film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day (May-August) in the UK.

Remember that the exposure guide in the manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/22+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/11Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/11-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/11-2 Stops
Not Acceptable