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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 names.The Dresden company finally lost all lawsuits and the name of their camera has been changed to Taxona. You can see a Taxona here. The West German Zeiss Ikon Company re-used the Tenax name for a standard 24x36 camera in the 60s.

camera shown here has probably been made in 1940, a year after the launch. Its number is in he 12.000s, it is said that they made about 10.000 a year in the beginning. They stopped to make them in 1942 because of the war. The camera's main features are:

Novar 3.5/35mm lens, F 3.5 - F16, a version with Tessar lens exists, but probably these are after the war production
Fast shutter cocking and film wind via big lever
Shutter: Compur, B, 1s - 1/250, no flash contact
65 x 109 x 45 mm, Weight : 340 g

Front, finder closed and advance lever folded.

Seen from above,
finder closed and advance lever folded. on the lens you can see the hole for a cable release and the distance setting.

Front. 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.

Back view. Finder.

Seen from above, finder unfolded and quick advance lever unfolded as well.  Rewind knob, rewind release and exposure number indication. Turn to 0 after film charging.

Seen from below. Tripod mount. Film compartment opening, Z (Zu) = closed, A (Auf) = open. Z = closed position.

Turned to A = open position and shifted.

Film compartment open and spool. Be sure that the spool is included in your purchase.

Camera back open open, film compartment and spool.

With a leather case.

The case.

The Taxona was much cheaper than the Tenax I, although it's the same camera. But now prices have dropped, so I purchased a Tenax as well. 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, set the counter to 0 and action film advance and shutter twice. Spacing is not as tight as the Robots, nevertheless a 36 eposure film will give nearly 50 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 and Tenaxes are fun to use. Both lenses are 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....