ZI Tengor Scratchy Negatives

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_van_nooij, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Recently I acquired a little Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor from a fellow shutterbug in the UK. It's one of the early models with controls similar to the Model F box Brownie.
    It came together with a portrait lens and a crusty carrrying case. All for the price of shipping it to 'Dutchie Land'.
    Inspection showed that it had a little surface rust here and there, but the rollers were clean and the lens was in nice condition too.
    Doing a little research I learned that the f-stops are supposidly f/11, f/16 and f/22 respectively, though I doubt this. I guessed the shutterspeed to be about 1/30th of a second.
    Having learned from previous experiences with the Box Brownie, I loaded it up with 400 ISO Kodak BW400CN and waited for an opportunity to shoot with it.
    I guess the exposures were okay with a little bit of camera shake here and there; but the biggest negative, pardon the pun was that somethings really scrathed the negatives in a bad way, all along the length of the film. I'd love to blame this on the 1-hour photo guys, but I fear this cute box camera's to blame.
    Veterans at the Capelsch Veer Memorial two weeks ago (The willow in the background was the last tree standing after 30 days of fighting in the winter of 1944/1945)
    7th Armored Tank Destroyer re-enactors with a 'captured toy' during the "Footsteps" march in the Ardennes last weekend.
    So I inspected the insides of the camera and found a few probable causes, there's two little lips of metaal sticking up in front of the rollers, but I doubt these would touch the film when it's wound tight as usual.
    The rollers themselves might freeze up when film tension is too high. doubtful.
    There's two other metal lips along the short edges of the focal plane, I suspect the backing plate pushes the film up against them too tightly causing the scratches....hmm what too do...
    Sand them down a bit, removing any rust and sharp edges there might be on there?
    Somehow lower the pressure of the backing plate?
  2. There is something about shooting these re-enactments with contemporary cameras that is quite fascinating. The pictures look so much like the real thing. Great job. For the scratches? Maybe get some jewelers' rouge, "sanding" may cause more scratches than it cures.
    For me, it's more difficult. I have been having a terrible time getting cameras that are contemporary with the French and Indian War (Seven Years War elsewhere) re-enactments that we have here.
    Also, I collect old DDR cameras, and my efforts to form a Wachregiment „Feliks Dzierzynski“ re-enactment group here have run into a few snags (but the good news was that they did finally send me back from Guantanamo).
  3. "Felix Dzierzynski" re-enactment. LOL. You have to have "clean hands, warm heart and cool head".
  4. The galleries are full of folks who have invested a lot of photoshop time trying to make pictures look like that, especially with the scratches! Nice job.
  5. I know what you mean August, sometimes I see pictures from a Living History event, and you can tell that they were all photoshopped with the same scratch-mask they downloaded from somewhere.
    I guess I'm just spoiled with all the other good cameras I own. I've never had such scratched negatives before. The metal lips at the edge of the focal plane look like they can be folded inward a bit, that should help.
    I need to take a few more steps back next time so that I get my subject in focus properly.
    In other news, Nearly done repairing the bellows on my Kodak Vest Pocket. Time to order some 127 film.
  6. To troubleshoot, have you tried something like rolling bathroom tissue through the film course and seeing where it snags?

    The trouble with so many pseudo-old photos is that it can't be done right without understanding of both the circumstances and the equipment with which the original photos were taken. With that knowledge, one can get convincing old-photo effects out of modern hardware. But in most cases it is still easier just to use old gear.
  7. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    I have the little Baby Box Tengor, and I sanded it after getting scratches on its first couple of films. It was a rough edge on one side of the film frame. I didn't use anything outlandish; just the finest emery paper I could get, not too much effort, and a good wipe and blow afterwards to get the dust off. The films I've taken since have been better.
  8. Thanks for confirming it Pete,
    I'll be doing the same thing to my Tengor.
    Now I understand why the guy gave this camera away too, haha. But I'll turn it into a shooter yet!
    I have not been able to find much info on the Portrait lens. Does anyone know what the focal point and DOF are for this? It's marked "Z" or "2". I've never used one before on a box camera.
    Unfortunately last weekend I did not bring any other classic cameras, I shot most pictures with my digital R-D1 (Booh Blasphemy!). I'm pretty pleased with this one .
    My stay in Fanzel wasn't as cold as Bastogne in December (no wind chill factor this time). But the "In the Footsteps of the 82nd Airborne" march was a lot tougher in my opinion. Steeper climbs and deeper snow/mud to wade through. Good fun though.
    I was rather surprised to find that the organizers had used one of my photos from the 2005 march on the certificate you get when you reach the finish. I've had words with them before about using my images without my consent.
  9. I sanded the edges of offending metal lips smooth now, hopefully we'll see some less scratches now.
    I've also opened up the front of the camera and cleaned the lens and shutter. Performance should be improved now. But I don't have a lot of opportunities to test it until March I think.
    Thanks for the hints and tips everyone.

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