Zeh  –  Vintage Camera Brand

Zeh Brand Overview

Zeh logo

Founded: 1902 — Wiesbaden, German Empire
  (modern day Germany)
   
Currently: defunct

Zeh Brand History

Zeh (also commonly known as Zeca) was a German brand founded in 1902 by Paul Zeh in the city of Dresden, then regarded to be the photographic capital of Germany and, some would argue, the entire world. The company originally produced photographic supplies and camera shutters but soon added complete cameras to their offerings by 1913. In 1922, the company officially changed its name to Zeh-Camera-Fabrik Paul Zeh.

Although only a handful of cameras manufactured by Zeh were called “Zeca” (a contraction of “Zeh” and “camera”), use of the name and corresponding logo by Zeh was fairly widespread, showing up on packaging and also being engraved onto many of the cameras. Zeh produced approximately two dozen different camera models during the 1930s and 1940s including the Bettax, Goldi, and the wonderfully bizarre Zeca-Flex twin lens folding camera.

It is unclear what Zeh’s factory was making during the Second World War but it would not be at all surprising if the company joined its neighbors Welta, Zeiss Ikon, and Balda in manufacturing components for the German military. Whatever the case, Zeh’s days were numbered. The factory was shuttered for good in 1948, not long before the founding of East Germany and the forced nationalization of many of Dresden’s remaining camera manufacturers.

Interested in starting or growing your own collection of Zeh cameras?
Check eBay to see what’s available.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 708.

“Zeh,” Camerapedia, http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Zeh

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