Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/08/04

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Subject: Re: Exakta
From: "C.M. Fortunko" <>
Date: Sun, 04 Aug 1996 16:46:05 -0600


My first SLR was an Exakta with a 58mm Biotar (jena) lens. It was not a good
camera by the standards of the 60s. I had a lot of trouble with the shutter
mechanism. Also, the construction was strictly sheet metal, as far as I can

Finally, I gave my camera to a friend from Poland who had it serviced there
and is still using it.


At 05:48 PM 6/5/96 +0200, you wrote:
>>Back in the 60s my first reflex was an East German SLR called the Exakta. Is
>>Exakta still a player in the German camera business? There was also the
>>Praktica. Could someone catch me up on these outfits. My Exakta (Ithagee,
>>Dresden) was the first model whose shutter dial didn't spin when making an
>>exposure. Many lenses were available for the Exakta, as I recall. A junior
>>version of the Exakta was available for under $100, known as the Exa. It was
>>an interesting era, very affordable for young people breaking into
>>photography. I believe that the Exakta design predated WWII. For a number of
>>years it was the only SLR on the market, with the scientific market as its
>>major source of income. SLRs didn't catch on until Nikon hit its stride, I
>>understand. Leica disdained making an SLR for many years, depending on the
>>Visaflex accessory way to SLR work.  
>>Bob Rosen 
>The Exacta was developed and build before WWII by a camera factory in
>Dresden (Ihagee), owned by a Dutch businessman, Mr. Steenbergen. Before the
>war, the factory grew big on the camera's success as the Exacta was one of
>the first reflexcameras that was easy to operate and quite reliable.
>After the war, Eastern Germany continued to build the camera and the 1950
>modernized models were not bad. What finally killed Exacta was that the
>bayonet mount was too small and that the final models were build rather
>sloppy. People stopped buying Exacta's and the brand disappeared from the
>Gerard Captijn, 
>Geneva, Switzerland.   
>                   CH-1009 PULLY