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Art Deco Cameras

Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 56/2


Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 56/2
Zeiss Ikon Box-Tengor 56/2
Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon
Produced: 1951
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/9, f/11, f/16
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
Acceptable: Modest and restricted

I consider this camera to warrant 2 stars for the following attributes:


The Box-Tengor 56/2 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, shutter release lock and a tapered cable release socket. There is a tab for engaging 'T' mode . 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/9, f/11 or f/16. Film advance is linked to the shutter release to avoid double exposure. A telltale indicator is located on the top showing red when the shutter release is armed and white if it is locked.

How to Use

Find the manual here for the 54-2 model which is similar:- Zeiss-Ikon 54-2 Manual

This camera takes 120 film which is widely available.

The aperture choice is f/9, f/11 or f/16. 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/16+2 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/16+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/11Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/9Good
Open Shade
Nonef/9-1 Stop

Photographs taken with this Camera

Kodak Portra 160 film. Developed in Tetenal.

Forest Farm, Whitchurch, Cardiff
Forest Farm, Whitchurch, Cardiff
Sluice on River Taff, Cardiff, Wales
Sluice on River Taff, Cardiff, Wales
Green Man, Forest Farm ,Cardiff
Green Man, Forest Farm ,Cardiff
Whitchurch Church, Cardiff, Wales
Whitchurch Church, Cardiff, Wales