a long shot

working for peanuts

Toronto. I saw this Exakta ad long ago. In fact, it was part of my mental background making me decide to go for an Exakta decades ago back before I was married, or a father.  The big selling point was that viewing was through the lens rather than through a squinty viewfinder.

In those days, I had no idea that Leica mirror boxes let you see through the lens as well, all be it in a much clunkier fashion. Or that Exaktas were not really meant for wide angle lenses. Or that the bulk of my photographs would ultimately be taken with a medium wide angle (35mm) lens.

This photograph appeared in LIFE magazine’s “Miscellany” column at the back of the June 3, 1957 issue. It emphasized the virtue of using an SLR over a viewfinder/rangefinder camera back  in the late 1950s before the onslaught of Japanese SLRs and their innovations. Exaktas were made in Dresden which after the war ended up in the Russian zone. My camera body, although imported via New York, is boldly stamped U.S.S.R.

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