The November 2022 snap shots Camera of the Month article featured the WW II-era Tenax II camera, prompting a letter from Wes Loder, author of The Tenax II: Zeiss Ikon’s Precision, Fast-action Camera: A Pictorial Compendium and Gallery of Work (Hemlock Lodge Press, 2017). His letter, printed in the January 2023 snap shots (pg 4), added interesting background information on the Tenax II, and led to a request that he speak at an upcoming PHSNE meeting.
PHSNE is pleased announce Loder will present a Zoom meeting program Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 7:30PM EST, concentrating on the history and use of the Tenax II, Zeiss Ikon’s only interchangeable-lens, square-format (24mm x 24mm) 35mm camera. Today a rare collectable, the Tenax II was the first 35mm camera specifically designed for fast-action, candid photography. Loder will discuss the camera, lenses, accessories and potential use today, and explain why this camera is important to the history of 35mm photography, and how its features pioneered many of the operating features we take for granted in miniature cameras today.
Loder is a retired academic librarian, long-time photographer, and photographic historian. After he purchased a beat-up Nikon S2 in 1968 to use while cave exploring, he got interested in the older rangefinder Nikons. By the time he left the Air Force in 1971, he owned six Nikons and a number of lenses 21 to 400mm, both for rangefinder and reflex, and had plans to become a full-time photographer and teacher. While in graduate school, first at Rochester Institute of Technology, then at the University of Oregon, Loder researched the history of Nikon. But with little money and a growing family, he found less and less time to pursue his photographic interests. He became a librarian and ended up at Penn State for over 26 years.
With more leisure time in 2003, he started using the web to research Nikon’s history again and discovered a lot of false information which he felt needed correcting. That research led to his first book, The Nikon Camera in America, 1946-1953 (McFarlane Press, 2008; still in print and still a standard.)
After concentrating on Nikons, Loder branched out in 2013 and purchased his first Zeiss Tenax II only to fall in love with the 24 X 24 format. He now owns a comprehensive collection of Tenax items. More recently, he began collecting, using, and researching other post-war German rangefinder cameras from the 1950s, including Agfa’s Ambi-Silette, the Akarette/Akarelle series, and the Leidolf Lordomats.
In addition to his books, Loder has published a wide range of articles in the Nikon Historical Society’s Nikon Journal, and in the Zeiss Historica’s journal. He continues to post articles on his blog http://wesloderandnikon.blogspot.com/ and his writing website is https://wesloderwriter.cc/ His email is: MWL2@psu.edu.