Tessina - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Tessina

1960

Original model

Concava

Lugano

Switzerland

Image of Tessina

Lens:
f2.8, 25 mm Tessinon, apertures to f22.

Shutter:
Speeds 1/2 - 1/500, B. Self-capping. X, F, M synchronisation.

Construction:
Metal body.

Format:
Around 20 exposures, 21 x 17 mm on standard 35 mm cine film, held in special cassettes. The cassettes hold 16.5 inches of black & white film or 14.5 inches of colour film.

Focusing:
To 0.3 m.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen without condenser. Eye-level finder (lens/lens).
Film advance by spring-powered motor moving a single sprocket wheel. The motor when fully wound will advance 5-8 photos.
Depth-of-field scale. Frame counter. Removable exposure table for film speeds of 14, 17, 23 DIN and 20, 40, 130 ASA.

Identification:
All chrome dials, X, F, M synchronisation. Marked 'Patents Pending'.

With:

  • Two Tessina cassettes in metal canisters.
  • Tripod plate.
  • Instruction book, three instruction sheets (English, French, German). Letter from Concava dated Nov. 1960 apologising for the delay in supplying the instruction book which was due to translation difficulties.
  • Case with wrist strap. Brown case for fitting to a belt.
  • Box.

The Tessina was designed by Dr. Rudolph Steineck, designer of the Steineck ABC watch camera, and distributed by Concava, the manufacturers were Siegrist of Grenchen Switzerland.

It is a well-designed and well-built precision camera directed at the increasing interest in sub-miniature cameras. It is unusual in being a twin-lens reflex and using 35 mm film which allowed a large picture area. The image from the taking lens is directed down onto the film, the image from the viewing lens is directed up to the ground glass screen. As the mirror will invert the image the film is reversed when printing.

The standard viewfinder is removable and can be replaced by a pentaprism or other finders. Next to the finder is an accessory shoe. The bottom of the camera carries lugs to which the tripod plate and wrist strap attach, a plate carrying instructions also attaches here.

Early Accessories
  • Cassette loader.
  • Pentaprism with 6x magnification (available 1961).
  • 8x Magnifying finder (available 1961).
  • Tripod plate.
  • Wrist strap (similar to a watch strap).
  • Neck chain.
  • Case to fit on to a belt.
  • Case with handle.
  • Slide mounts.

Later accessories
  • Light meter, fits to the accessory shoe and couples to the aperture dial.
  • Flashgun.
  • Watch, fits to the accessory shoe.
  • Condenser lens to fit over the ground glass screen.
  • Sports finder, similar to standard finder but without lenses.
  • Filters.

References & Notes:
BP 762641/1956. US Pat. 2,949,833 filed 1954. US Pat. 2,940,682 filed 1956 covers the spring motor. CH325484. CH340412. CH359027.

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