Ebay camera 9


Here’s a unique camera from the 1950s. The Tessina was manufactured in Switzerland from 1957 until the 1990s. The camera used 35mm film cut and reloaded into special cassettes. Each frame was 14x21mm, about one third of a full-frame 35mm.

It’s a twin-lens reflex, just like a Mamiya or Rolleiflex, but only a couple of inches in size. It’s so small it could fit on your wrist, and there was even a special wrist strap accessory. Presumably you covered it with your sleeve and only raised it to your eye when ready to shoot. Shades of Dick Tracy.

You looked down onto the tiny ground glass, or use the eye-level finder. Because the lens image is reflected onto the film via a mirror you have to print the negative through the back.

Are you getting the picture that this is a strange little camera? There is even a rumour that one of the Watergate ‘plumbers’ was arrested with a Tessina, so this tiny camera may have contributed to the fall of US president Richard Nixon.

You can check the Tessina on ebay. There are eight for sale at the moment.


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