Rollfilm Tenax

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The Rollfilm Tenax (sometimes Roll-Tenax) is a series of folding bed cameras for roll film, made by Goerz in Berlin. A plate adapter could also be had as an accessory for at least some of these cameras. The cameras are metal-bodied with black leather bellows and covering.

The first cameras were made in about 1909.[1] These early models are for large roll film; McKeown lists two models (single and double bellows-extension) in 8x10.5 cm size, and two in 8x14 cm.[1] A much smaller model, the Roll-Pocket Tenax[2] for 4.5x6 cm pictures on 127 film, was introduced about 1914. These cameras were available with various Goerz lenses including the Dagor, and shutters including the Ibso and Compound (and later Compur).

New models, also covering intermediate sizes (4.5x6 cm, 6x9 cm, 6.5x11 cm, 8x10.5 cm and 8x14 cm), was introduced in about 1920.[1]. These cameras have the interesting focusing 'barrel' on the right side of the bed; earlier models have a more conventional knurled wheel at the front corner. A 'Luxus' version was made of the smallest model; this has gold-plated fittings, and some examples have blue-green leather for the covering and bellows,[3] though one example sold at Westlicht has normal black leather.[4]

The camera illustrated is the 6x9 cm (2¼x3¼ inch) model, with a Compur shutter giving speeds 1, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 1/250 seconds in M (moment) mode, plus Z (time) and D (bulb) mode. The lens is a Goerz Dogmar 10 cm f/4.5; it might also be an f/6.3 Dogmar or Tenastigmat, or an f/6.8 Dagor. The lensboard is hinged to the standard, so that the standard remains connected to the rails on the folding bed when the bellows is collapsed and the camera closed. When opened and unfolded the standard and lensboard are locked in place; focusing is by shifting the rails forward by means of the knurled barrel in the side of the bed. On the other side is a distance scale and pointer. The camera has just a brilliant finder of less than "WYSIWYG" quality. Some Rollfilm Tenaxes have the finder combined with a spirit level.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p356-7. McKeown lists some of the later models as 'Roll-Tenax'.
  2. There are also a Vest-Pocket Tenax (a strut-folding camera for 4.5x6 cm plates) and a Coat-Pocket Tenax again, strut-folding, for 6.5x9 cm plates), from around the same time.
  3. Roll-Tenax Luxus (no serial no. given) with 7.5 cm f/4.5 Dogmar and Compur shutter, gold-plted fittings and blue-green leather, sold at the 24th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 November 2013.
  4. 4.5x6 cm Roll-Tenax Luxus serial no. 245200, about 1922, with 7.5 cm f/6.8 Dogmar, Compur shutter and gold-plated metal fittings, but with black leather, sold at the eighteenth Westlicht auction, on 4 December 2010.