Zeiss Ikon is a legendary name - and when it comes to cameras that wear the badge, Zeiss was 100% serious, even if it's just a regular old box camera. At the time this camera was produced, there were many fantastic options available to both pros and amateurs, and so Zeiss created a box camera that could easily compete with cameras in other categories.
The Box Tengor went through several refinements over time, and the 56/2 represents all of the best box camera features, and a few more added on just because they can.
There simply is no better box camera ever made, in our not-so-humble opinion. There were a couple that are prettier, but none that can match the features and the overall attention to detail in the manufacture of these cameras.
We'll start with the advanced "Always On" shutter, which has no fewer than four different controls compared to zero or one on most box cameras. With the Box Tengor 56/2, you get Time mode, a cable release socket, a lock to prevent you from accidentally triggering the shutter, AND an interlock to prevent double exposures.
The lens is external, but heavily recessed and is often in very good condition as a result. You get three focal distances with a switch on top, and three apertures with a switch on bottom.
Even with all of these features, the internals of the camera are still relatively simple, accessible simply by removing two small screws on the sides, and easy to maintain or fix if needed.
It doesn't stop there, of course. The beefy knob winder is easy on the hands and tensioned to keep film tight. The smaller knob under the winder holds the back in place. Simply pulling it outward releases tension to remove the outer shell for film loading. The top strap is made of leather and is often intact, which is very handy because you can simply let the shell dangle while you load film into the integrated film holder (another bonus). The red window on the back has a very convenient sliding metal cover (no more gaffer's tape!) and the entire camera made of metal.
If that's not enough for you, there's a PC socket on the left side to attach an electronic flash. As far as we know, the Box Tengor 55/2 and 56/2 are the only boxes ever made with this feature.
As you can see by the rating, this camera blows everybody out of the water. It has the widest array of features, high build quality, and it's really very easy to clean and repair despite the seeming complexity.
If you're a box camera user, and why would you be reading this if you weren't - you owe it to yourself to own a Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor 56/2.
APERTURES: f/9, f/11 and f/16
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50 (?)
MIN. FOCUS: 1m/3ft
BEST FILM: 50-100 ASA
BUILD: Pressed sheet metal construction, metal parts, vinyl covering, glass lenses and viewfinders
MFBOXCO RATING: 20.5
Simply the best box camera ever made - by a large margin.
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