There are several folding plate cameras called Takyr, made in Paris from about the turn of the 20th century. The name is best known as a product of Krauss of Paris, who made several different models from about 1906 until some time in the 30s, but cameras similar to the Krauss Takyr Model I were sold by Joux, also a Paris company, and clearly marked for Joux, at least as early as 1900. Like most Joux cameras, it has a Krauss lens.
The Joux Takyr is a wooden-bodied strut-folding camera for 9×12 cm plates, with a 136 mm f/8 Krauss-Zeiss Anastigmat lens (it is possible that examples made after 1902 might have the Krauss-Zeiss Tessar) and a cloth focal plane shutter, giving speeds from 1/40 to 1/1000 second. Focusing is by a helical thread in the lens barrel; the lens focuses down to two metres. It is mounted in a plate which slides into the front board; this would facilitate the use of alternate lenses, and perhaps allow front rise when the camera was used in vertical orientation (though the advertisement referred to does not mention this facility). The camera has a Newton-type viewfinder, and can also be used with a ground-glass screen. The camera has leather bellows with a single pleat. Eric Carlhan's site Mes appareils photos shows an example (Collection d'Appareils has more pictures of the same camera).
Krauss made a similar camera as their Takyr Model I, from about 1906. Krauss made the camera in two additional sizes, for 8×10.5 cm and 13×18 cm (5×7 inch) plates. McKeown shows an example fitted with a plate-changing magazine. It has an f/6.3 Krauss-Zeiss Tessar. Other examples have other Krauss-Zeiss lenses. The Krauss Takyr differs from the Joux camera in details (the belllows has more pleats, and examples differ in the style of the viewfinder and the struts).
The Takyr Model II is a conventional folding-bed camera. It was made in the same three plate-sizes as the Model I. It has a focal-plane shutter and Krauss-Zeiss lenses, and a similar Newton finder. However, the focusing is done with the sliding bed, with a normal knurled wheel at the front of the bed, so the lenses are not in a focusing mount. The bellows has many pleats, suggesting that great extension and close focus is possible.
The Takyr Model III is an improvement of the Model II, allowing the bed to be dropped to permit the use of wider lenses or a stereo pair of lenses.
- 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). p.559
- 1900 advertisement for the Joux Takyr, from Photo-Gazette of 1900, at Sylvain Halgand's Collection d'Appareils.
- Joux Takyr at Eric Carlhan's Mes appareils photos.
- Joux Takyr at Collection d'Appareils.
- 9×12 cm Krauss Takyr Model I with 145 mm f/4.7 Krauss-Zeiss Unar, sold in September 2009 by Auction Team Breker; this example has the sliding lens-board arranged to give rising front in horizontal orientation.
- 13×18 cm Takyr Model II with 210 mm f/6.3 Krauss-Zeiss Tessar and 141 mm f/18 Protar lenses, and red bellows, sold by Auction Team Köln. The shutter has speeds only from 1/20 to 1/250 second.