The Exa 1b is a 35mm film SLR camera, manufactured by VEB Pentacon, former East Germany, and produced between 1977-85. It is a continuing model of the long lasting Ihagee Exa series by Pentacon.

VEB Pentacon licensed the production of screw-mount Exas to Certo Camera Werk, Dresden-Großzsachwitz, a part of VEB Pentacon. Cameras built by Certo have serial numbers preceded with a letter C. Some late Exa 1b version 4.4 and all Exa 1c version 4.5 made by Certo. [1] The later models of Exa 1b have black plastic top- and bottom plates.

Exa 1b body is virtually identical to Exa Ia except rewind knob replaced with a crank and the lens mount is M42, instead of the traditional Exakta bayonet mount. The camera also has internal aperture coupling for M42 automatic lenses.

Exa 1b uses most standard Exakta viewfinders, waist-level and prism. Standard lens is Meyer Domiplan, other main lenses are Tessar, Makinon and Super Takumar.

Exa 1b is not a real part of the Exakta/Exa system, although its family relationship with Exa cannot be denied. Exa 1b renamed as Exa 1c without practically any other changes.

There are 4 versions of the Exa 1b according to Andrzej Wrotniak [2].


Version 4.1[]

  • Produced between 1977-83 with quantity 206.400 units
  • A&R 1, Hummel 059
  • Serials: 600000-810000
  • While the body is virtually identical to that of Exa Ia (with rewind crank replacing a knob), the lens mount is different: M42, accepting Practica/Pentax lenses. The camera also has internal aperture coupling for M42 automatic lenses.


This data belongs to the version 4.1 in the photos.

  • Lens release: simply screw counter clockwise
  • Focusing: simple matte glass screen,
  • Shutter: Mirror acts like a curtain as a part of the shutter, vertical moving, due to this maximum speed is limited to 1/175; half-depression of the shutter release allows a depth of field preview.
  • Speeds: 1/30-1/175 +B setting: dial under the rewind crank knob
  • Shutter release: on the left front of the camera, w/cable release socket
  • Cocking lever: also winds the film, short stroke
  • Frame counter: on the cocking lever knob, regressive type, manual setting
  • Viewfinder: eye level SLR pentaprism, interchangeable
  • Finder release: by a small lever on the back of top plate, turn it left and pull-up the finder
  • Mirror: not instant return. Mirror is actually a part of the shutter mechanism. When the shutter released, the mirror goes up as in a conventional SLR, but when the exposure is over, a second cover rotates upward to block the light. There is no real shutter curtain.
  • Flash PC socket: M and X, setting with the speeds knob
  • Back cover: removable with the bottom plate, opens by a thumb wheel on the bottom plate
  • Film loading: special take-up spool, removable
  • Others: Memory dial; Tripod socket 1/4 inch; Strap lugs; Engaving on the back cover: Made in G.D.R.
  • Body: metal; Weight:
  • Lens: Standard lens is Domiplan (Meyer Optik), 50mm f/2.8, fully automatic, 3 elements; filter thread: 40.5mm
  • Mount: M42 screw mount
  • There is a standard M42 type arc/lever on the body, that depresses the pin on the lens that closes the diaphragm blades. When the pressure is let up, the lens opens fully again. A half-depression of the shutter release allows a depth of field preview.
  • Aperture: f/2.8-f/22
  • Focus range: 0.75-12m +inf

Version 4.2[]

  • Produced between 1983-84, with quantity 49.800 units
  • A&R 2, Hummel 060
  • Serials: 810000-860000
  • The front plate, previously chrome, is now made of black plastic.

Version 4.3[]

  • Produced between 1984-85, with quantity 29.900 units
  • A&R 3, Hummel 061
  • Serials: 820000-890000
  • The top plate, previously chrome, is now made of black plastic

Version 4.4[]

Exa 1b black

Exa 1b version 4.4

  • Produced in 1985
  • A&R 4, Hummel -
  • Serials: 880000-890000 (quantity ?)
  • The camera back and bottom, previously chrome, are now of black plastic. See [6].

Notes and references[]

  1. According to Andrzej Wrotniak [1]


Ihagee Exa series cameras
Exa (original) | Exa I | Exa Ia | Exakta 100 | VX 100 | Exa 1b | Exa 1c | Exa II | Exa IIa | Exa IIb | Exa 500 | Exakta 500 | VX 200