The Exa is a 35mm SLR developed by Ihagee, and is a simple but reliable version of the Exakta. Despite of the slow maximal shutter speed even the Exa I cameras were well designed for ambitious amateurs since these cameras had exchangeable viewfinder units. Later models had fixed viewfinders but faster shutters. Some early Exas had been made by Rheinmetall, some late Exas by Certo.

The true Exaktas and Exas are ones made by Ihagee in Dresden.

Although Exa is much simpler than the professional Exakta cameras, the workmanship is equally good, finish similar, and the family resemblance obvious. With its lower price, Exa cameras are addressed to the amateur photographers. Ihagee did not produce their own lenses. Instead, they relied on many of the major optical firms of their day to each produce a series of lenses for their cameras, eg. Carl Zeiss Jena, Meyer-Optik Görlitz and Schneider-Kreuznach. The lenses from these three makers, in terms of the number and variations of lenses produced, are the most plentiful and in most cases the easiest for collectors and users to acquire. Maybe, over 80% of the Exaktas offered for sale are equipped with normal focal length lenses from these three firms.


The original Exa line, 1951-77

Screw mount M42 Exas, 1977-87


  • Allinson, K. L. Exa Photography Technique And Practice. Morgan Publishing, 1965. ASIN B000S2ZNSY.