The Tenar lenses were mounted on a few Japanese cameras in the mid 1930s.
The Tenar name is mentioned in various period advertisements, but the original documents found so far do not specify the actual manufacturer or distributor of the lenses. The lens was only offered on 6×9cm or 6.5×9cm cameras (whose standard focal length is 10.5cm), and the documents only mention f/4.5 aperture.
The Tenar 10.5cm f/4.5 lens pictured below is mounted in a Rulex B shutter (5–150, B, T) by Neumann & Heilemann. Its front bezel is engraved Tenar 1:4,5 f=10,5cm Neumann Jena Nr xxxxxx. The marking surely indicates that the lens was assembled and sold by Neumann & Heilemann. The word "Jena" was surely added to deceive the customer into thinking that the lens was made in Germany — though the Tenar might have been assembled from imported optical glass or loose elements.
|Neumann Tenar 10.5cm f/4.5 lens no.684908.|
Picture courtesy of Green Mountain Camera. (Image rights)
Cameras equipped with Tenar lenses
Not all the versions of the cameras listed below had Tenar lenses:
- First and Special First (advertised c.1935, surviving example shown in Sugiyama)
- Gold (advertised c.1934)
- Kinka Roll (advertised c.1937)
- Kokka (advertised c.1935)
- Super and Special Super (advertised c.1935)
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 1043.