Kine Exakta in 1950

Exakta Varex IIa
from the late 1950s
with an auto-Quinon
58mm f/1.9 lens

Toronto. Many thanks to George Dunbar for the 1950 Popular Photography ad featuring the famous 35mm Exakta V (Exakta Varex here). I bought my Varex IIa  in the late 1950s being impressed by advertisements that promoted the wide range of speeds and lenses offered,  plus the large viewfinder and through the lens viewing.  The scene through the Exakta view finder and lens is breath taking to one who previously used Kodak boxes and folders, or looked through a Leica screw mount camera viewfinder.

Click on the icon for the Varex IIa (Actually named a VXIIa in the States) to see the ad for the vintage Kine Exakta V. The Exakta cameras originally used roll film or small glass plates. Post war, the Kine Exakta was also offered. Ihagee was one of the first if not the first camera maker to offer a single lens reflex model that used 35 mm cine film in standard 24 or 36 exposure cassettes. The designer was left handed hence the placement of the rewind lever to the left side.

I bought a second Exakta in the late 1960s (an older Varex VX) when it became evident that my Varex IIa was suffering a serious mechanical defect. Both models were similar to the model V of 1950. The later Varex IIa used standard pc connectors for flash instead of the unique two pin connectors used earlier. Years later, I learned that the Exakta’s reflex capability came at a significant penalty. Lenses from normal to wide angle had to use retro-focus designs which resulted in serious compromises in resolution and distortion correction.  Surprisingly, the prints from these lenses looked very good indeed.

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