Introduced in 1924. A focal plane shutter with speeds from 1/20-1/000 of a second. A miniature plate camera with a 4.5 x 6cm film format.

The Ermanox camera, made by the Heinrich Ernemann company from around 1924 until it was absorbed by Zeiss in 1926, is well known as the first "candid camera" because its small size and fast lens made it suitable for clandestine picture making, In the early years of Zeiss Ikon, the company's usual procedure was to continue to produce the designs of the predecessor combines with minor modifications (sometimes simply the addition of the Zeiss logo). In the case of the Ermanox a mirrored Albada finder was substituted for the simpler one of the earlier camera: Zeiss also made the camera available with an f1.8 lens, even faster than the f2 lens on the Ernemann version. The product catalouge published by Ernemann-Werke discribes the f/1.8 Ernostar Anastigmat as, "the most rapid ever produced in the history of photography, opens out entirely new possibilities to the enthusiastic photographer."

The Zeiss Ermanox was produced for a very short time, making this a rare camera. The 9x12 version, which by comparison could hardly qualify as a candid camera - but which retained the advantage of having a fast lens, and was a useful hand camera - is even rarer.


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