Taxona is a re-baptized Tenax camera. In 1938 Zeiss Ikon Dresden
launched a camera called Tenax, an advanced 24x24mm camera with
interchangeable lenses, like the Robot, which had even a rangefinder, a
feature that Robot only introduced with the Royal series. This camera
was soon renamed Tenax II, because in 1939 they introduced a simplified
version with fixed lens under the same name, the Tenax (I). During the
war only few cameras have been made, but after the war production was
relaunched in the Dresden factory, then part of Eastern Germany. In
1948 this factory was nationalized (or confiscated) and became VEB Zeiss Ikon.
As Zeiss was a stock company, the share holders moved the seat of their
company to the Stuttgart plant in Western Germany and transferred all
the name rights with it. They sued the Dresden company because of the
In 1953 the fixed viewfinder was integrated into the
housing and a film counter. Shortly after this the Dresden company
finally lost all lawsuits and the name of the camera had been
changed to Taxona. The West German Zeiss Ikon Company re-used the Tenax name for a standard 24x36 camera in the 60s.
shown here has been acquired in 1954, shortly after the name changing.
It came, nearly unused, with all the papers, including the receipt. It
has been very expensive in those days, the price was 249 Marks, about
2/3 of a month's salary in then. The camera's main features are:
Zeiss Tessar 3.5/37.5mm lens, F 3.5 - F16, a cheaper version with Novar lens exists Fast shutter cocking and film wind via big lever Shutter: B, 1s - 1/300, flash contact Size: 70 x 109 x 50 mm, Weight : 388 g
Big lever for shutter cocking and film advance. Speed indication
window. Shutter release lever. Speed setting lever below. Around the
lens aperture setting and (not visible) distance setting..
from above. Rewind knob, rewind release and
exposure number indication.
from below. Tripod mount. Film compartment opening, Z (Zu) = closed, A (Auf) = open.
Film compartment open and spool. Be sure that the spool is included in your purchase.
open, film compartment and spool.
With original leather case.
The lens is quite short.
The camera, its original box, a light meter and all the documentation.
The Filux extinction light meter made by Platin-Werke.
The reading of an extinction light meter. There
are numbers from 2
to 22. You take the highest number you can see, it's the 11 on the
You put the black part of the scale under the number you read. On the
scale there are three scenes, indoor, cloudy and sunny/snow. You can
now read the shutter/aperture
combinations for your photo. It's an advanced guess, but it works.
Taxona is much cheaper than the Tenax I, although it's the same camera.
If you just want a standard lens, it's a good alterative to the more
expensive and more complicated Robot. It's easy to use. Film loading
needs a bit of attention. The wind spool has no hook for the sprockets,
so you have to fold the tip of the film leader sharply. Do at least one
turn with the film leader to be sure that it's well engaged. Make sure
that the sprocket wheel meets the sprockets. Then close the back and
action film advance and shutter twice. Spacing is not
as tight as the Robots, nevertheless a 36 eposure film will give nearly
photos. The rewind knob doesn't give a very good grip and the rewind
release has to be held down all the time of rewinding. So rewinding may
seem a little long, but do not open the camera before all of your film
has been rewound. A 36 picture film is more than 1.50 m nevertheless.
The Taxonas are fun
to use. The Tessar lens is very sharp. As it is small and rapid, you
don't attract any attention in street photography. Last, but not least, it's mechanical beauty....