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Exa (Version 5) | by Süleyman (Deceased 04.2012)
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Exa (Version 5)


Manufactured by Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen & Co, Dresden, East Germany

Model: 1959, Version 1.5.2, (A&R: 5, Hummmel: 048), (produced between 1959-60, quantity: 38300)

Special feature of Version 5: Exa on the front plate embossed, (not engraved like in all other versions).

Version, manufacturing year, body and lens info are as to Andrzej Wrotniak

The original Exa is known as Exa 0 also.

All Exa 0 produced between 1951-62

35mm SLR film camera

Engraving on the front plate: Ihagee Dresden

Lens release: via a lever on the left of the lens flange

Focusing: via Fresnel matte screen, ring and scalel on the lens, w/DOF scale

Shutter: Mirror acts like a curtain as a part of the shutter, vertical moving, due to this maximum speed is limited to 1/150, speeds: 1/25-1/150 +B

setting: via a lever and scale on the right of the top plate

Shutter release: a knob, on front of the body, w/ a safety locking cap, and cable release socket, it can be pressed with the plunger on the lenses, w/ cable release socket also

Cocking knob: also winds the film, on the right of the top plate

Frame counter: window on the right of the top plate, additive type, manual reset by a thumb ring on front of it

Viewfinder: SLR pentaprism finder , interchangeable with Waist level finder

Finder release: via a knob beneath the Exa logo

Mirror: Stays up after exposure, so viewfinder is dark, cocking the shutter returns the mirror to normal position

Re-wind knob: on the left of the top plate

Re-wind release: by a button just beside the cocking knob

Flash PC socket: two, on the right front side of the camera, F and X

Self-timer: none

Back cover: Hinged, removable, opens by a latch on the left side of the camera

Tripod socket: 378'' w/1/4'' adaptor

Strap lugs

Body: metallic, Weight:557g (wo/ the lens)

serial no. 545089 (inside the camera)


Meyer-Optik Görlitz Lydith 30mm f/3,5 (Zebra), 5 elements,

preset type, Mount: Exakta bayonet mount, interchangeable with Exakta Varex lenses,

filter thread: 49mm, serial no. 4082192, (introduced in 1962)

Aperture: f/3.5-f/22, setting: ring and scale on the lens

Focus range: 0.33 - 6m +inf


+Original leather ever ready case

+ Waist level finder, Ihage Dresden, w/original leather case

+Sunlux Tele Converter, (Zebra), with Exacta bayonet mount and lens release, (Made in Japan), w/ original leather case

+ B+W Skylight filter, 49ES KR1,5 1,1x w/leather case


Although Exa is much simpler than the professional Exakta cameras, the workmanship is equally good, finish similar, and the family resemblance obvious. With its lower price, Exa cameras are addressed to the amateur photographers.

Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen & Co, in Dresden, which was the largest independent camera manufacturer in Germany and was founded in 1912 by Johan Steenbergen.

The true Exaktas and Exas are ones made by Ihagee in Dresden.

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) and Joseph Schneider (Kreuznach). The lenses from these three makers, in terms of the number and variations of lenses produced, are the most plentiful and in most cases the easiest for collectors and users to acquire. Maybe, over 80% of the Exaktas offered for sale are equipped with normal focal length lenses from these three firms.

Notes about Exa/Exakta classification

I use the Exa/Exakta classification of Andrzej Wrotniak. As to me, it is the best.

Some opinions of a serious Exa/Exakta collector, F W Tappe :

Andrzej Wrotniak uses a very sensible classification, listed on his website, which I personally like the best. It is multi dimensional in setup, without being complicated!

Richard Hummel's 1995 book lists an "one dimensional" classification, which is incomplete, but many sources still refer to this.

Aguila and Rouah (A&R) in their 2003 edition of "Exakta cameras 1933 - 1978", come to an improved classification. They built on their previous 1987 edition classification, which was the leading standard among collectors.

Klaus Wichmann, prolific writer of books about Exakta - and Exa cameras, published his classifications earliest.

More info Captain Jack, Maurizio Frizziero, F W Tappe, Exa Original in Camerapedia


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Taken on June 12, 2011