The original Exa is a 35mmSLR launched in 1951. It is part of the Exa series and manufactured by Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen & Co, Dresden, former East Germany. The true Exaktas and Exas are ones made by Ihagee in Dresden.
It is quite the opposite of its big brother, the Exakta Varex, consisting of the bare necessities of mechanical internal mechanisms.
The camera is quite compact and robust, using the same finders and lenses as the Exacta Varex. Some limitations exists with respect to the use of telephoto lenses.
There are 6 versions and many variants of the original Exa series. The original Exa is also known as Exa 0.
↑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, Schneider-Kreuznach and E.Ludwig. The lenses from these makers, in terms of the number and variations of lenses produced, are the most plentiful. Maybe, over 80% of the Exaktas are equipped with normal focal length lenses from these firms.
↑Andrzej Wrotniak made a very sensible classification, listed on his website. It is multi dimensional in setup, without being complicated. It is improved version of Aguila and Rouah classification in their 2003 edition of Exakta cameras 1933 - 1978
↑In 1954 the Ihagee plants in Dresden had problems with the production capacity. So the VEB Rheinmetall plants in Sömmerda started to made Exa cameras. The production in Sömmerda finished in early 1955 with the quantity of 15000-21000 cameras