The Exakta brand name was used for various series of SLR cameras.
In 1933 (not 1930!), the VP Exakta, taking 4×6.5cm exposures on 127 film, was the first camera designed by Karl Nüchterlein for the Ihagee company. He later developed a smaller model taking 35mm film, after the success of the first cameras for that film format, such as the Leica or Contax. This original Kine Exakta (1936) was the first 35mm SLR; the word Kine derives from its use of 35mm cinema film. At least two variations of the Kine Exakta exist: the earlier one has a round loupe in the hood; later ones have a rectangular loupe. A 6×6cm model was also released c.1938, retaining the trapezoidal shape of the other Exakta models.
After World War II the camera series was continued by the East German Ihagee company. A lot of other accessories were offered for this long-lived camera line. A system of exchangeable viewfinder modules was introduced with the 1950 Varex, and a great variety of finders were developed, including some with built-in meters or with a bayonet for to use a lens as a loupe.
In 1953, a brief attempt was made at reviving a 6×6cm model, this time with the film vertically running in interchangeable backs, but this second Exakta 66 was also short-lived.
The last Exakta models keeping some features of the original 1936 design were the Exakta VX 1000 and VX 500. In 1969 Ihagee was incorporated into Pentacon. The Exakta RTL1000 was based on the Praktica L, LTL and LLC series, with an Exakta bayonet mount instead of the 42mm screw mount. It had interchangeable viewfinder heads; one of these offered TTL metering but this was a fairly crude arrangement. The RTL1000 lacks the precise design of the Ihagee models, and many consider the RTL1000 not to be a true Exakta.
From the mid-1960s, the West German company Ihagee Kamerawerk (or Ihagee West), completely independent from its Eastern counterpart, used the Exakta brand too. Its first model was the German-made Exakta Real, which sold poorly. Later 35mm SLR models sold by this company were rebadged cameras made by Japanese manufacturers such as Petri or later Cosina.
In the 2000s the brand name Exakta was used by Pentacon GmbH for compact digital and film cameras; as of 2008 the brand is certainly still owned by that company but is not used any more.
Made in Dresden
|Exakta Varex IIb w/ Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f/2.8
image by clicks_1000 (Image rights)
- Exakta Kine and Varex Series
- Exakta RTL 1000
- Exakta 500 (name variant of the Exa 500)
Made in West Germany
- Exakta Real
Made in Japan
- Exakta Twin TL and Exakta Twin TL 42
- Exakta TL 500
- Exakta TL 1000
- Exakta FE 2000
- Exakta EDX 2
- Exakta EDX 3
- Exakta HS-1
- Exakta HS-3
- Exakta 6×6 (horizontal model, 1939)
- Exakta 6×6 (vertical model, 1953)
- Exakta 66
- Exakta 66 II
- Exakta 66 III
- Aguila, Clément and Rouah, Michel. Exakta Cameras. 1933-1978. UK: Hove Books, 1987. 190 pages. ISBN 0906447380.
- Emanuel, W. D. Exakta guide: How and why with the Kine-Exakta I, II, V and VX, EXA, VP Exakta, Exakta junior and the 21/4" x 21/4" Exakta. Focal Press, 15th edition, 1953. 110 pages. ASIN B0000CIO5W.
- Ihagee Products and History by Hugo Ruys and supporters. More links. Partly German, French
- Classic Exakta Cameras, by Andrzej Wrotniak, at Wrotniak.net
- EXAKTA.pl, by Pawel Fila and Jerzy Szajta
- Exakta.org website by Maurizio Frizziero, with many Exakta and Exa models presented
- Exakta Varex IIa at Classic Cameras by RaúlM.
- Exakta/Exa manuals on Mike Butkus' site
In English and German:
In English and French:
- Exakta camera and user manuals at www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand, including:
- Exakta VX
- Exakta VX IIA
- Exakta VX IIB
- Lionel's Exakta Varex 1000 overview at 35mm-compact.com
- Curtain replacement on a VX IIA on Dirapon's site
- Exakta and other Ihagee cameras at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr
- Archiv Zeiss / Exakta by Mori Ryōsuke (with some English)