Do all Exa/Exakta mounts have the same registration?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by michaelbsc, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Hey gang, I just bought a box of old cameras - mostly to get the metal 127 spools from some of them - and inside that box was an old Exa 135 SLR.

    A little tinkering and I made the shutter fire properly every time, so I'm curious whether I can put this little guy back to work. It seems way too nice to throw out. So what if it wasn't the super whiz-bang testosterone pumping professional model of its day; the photographer is behind the camera, not in the camera.

    But the lens situation confuses me a bit. I see that there were scads of lenses made in the Exakta mount, many for cameras other than the East German ones. Topcon and several others pop up.

    I can pretty well guess that all of them will mechanically "mount" to the body. And since it's got a focus screen rather than a rangefinder, I'm guessing that the lens registration is not an issue. But is this the only considerations? Is there anything that I'm overlooking that makes some Exakta mount lenses like the Japanese models not a reasonable choice for an Exa body?

    I do note that a number of the lenses don't have the cute button that presses the shutter release, but I don't see how this can hurt anything. I can push the button myself. (Does that little arm poking out do anything else I'm not aware of? Or does it just push the shutter release?)

    So, I guess my question is "can I just buy any lens with an Exakta mount and put it on the camera?" Will that work?

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes except the 127 VP's and much later MF ones based on the Pentacon 6 body shell, there was also an Exacta 9x12 (plate/film) some of which used a very similar bayonet inter-changeable lens system.

    I think there were some Japanese cameras branded with the name with a different mount, possibly K mount.

    I have a very early Tamron 135mm/270mm with Exacta mount (first T mount I think), and some Panagor extension tubed, early Topcon's are the same mount and quite a few other German companies made lenses that fit, Meyer, Ena, Schneider, Travenar etc.

    Ian
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    Topcon used a similar lens mount - Topcon lenses will mount on an Exakta but the automatic aperture mechanism is very different. You are safe mounting a manual or preset Exakta mount lens on a Topcon. Exakta was the only company that made cameras with the auto-aperture 'Exakta' mount.

    If you want an automatic diaphragm lens it has to have that rather bizarre button assembly growing out of the side of the lens. When you push the button the first part of the stroke closes the aperture and the remaining part of the stroke goes on to push the camera's shutter release button. The ones without the button can be either pre-set or manual diaphragm. A preset aperture has two rings: the first has click stops and you use it to set the aperture you want to use; the other turns smoothly between wide open and the setting on the first ring. This lets you focus wide open and then close down to the shooting aperture without having to lower the camera. Preset apertures are the norm on 'T-Mount' lenses - these are the common Japanese 3rd party lenses from Lentar, Cambron, Spiratone etc., they date from the days when 'Made in Japan' meant 'look out: it may be good, or it may be crap'. A manual diaphragm, common on very early German lenses, is a PITA on an SLR.

    The Zeiss Jena lenses are often good, though like everything Comecon/FSU quality and performance of an individual sample is a bit of a crap-shoot - but what the hey, it was a "worker's paradise." The 'Zebra Stripe' Zeiss Tessar is common and cheap.
     
  4. Removed Account2

    Removed Account2 Inactive

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    I have a PLUSflex 35 that has a Exacta bayonet, but that also has a pin sticking into the lens throat that is actuated by a side-ways acting lever inside the camera (contrary to an early Pentax Spotmatic that has a back-and-fort acting lever), this contraption stops down the lens, and since this lens is automatic, it will not work on a bog-standard Exacta, or work on full aperture only.

    Apparently PLUS was a japanese made, re-branded line of cameras with seeral models and quite possibly several makers.... maybe someone has a link?

    This points to th fact that buyers need to be careful or end up with drawers full of orphan lenses like me! :smile:
     
  5. Removed Account2

    Removed Account2 Inactive

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    List of lens manufacturers making lenses for EXA/EXAKTA bayonet :
    (gleande from http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Utilice-objet...m&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_186&hash=item19b39306f2 )

    Access, Accura, Aetna Optix, Aico, Amitar, Angenieux, Aragon, Arco, Argus, Asanuma, Ashreh, Astro Berlin, Atzmuller&Rendl, Avigon, Bass Cam Co, Bausch & Lomb, Bell & Howell, Berlin Optik, Beroflex, Berolina, Birns & Sawyer, Bittco, Boyer, Brandex, Busch, Bushnell, Cambridge Cam, Cambron, Canon, Carl Meyer, Caspeco, Cavalier, Celestron, Century, Chalier, Chinon,Coleman-Dynamic, Cooke, Corfield, Dallmeyer, Danubia, Dollond, Kodak, Edixa, Elgeet, Elicar, Elite, Emil Busch, Encino, Enna, Ernemann, Ernst Abbe Jena, Esplana, Euro-Optik, Exakta, Eyemik, Feinmess, Focal, Fodor, Fokinar, Friedrich, Fujita, Gamma, Gen Scient Corp, Glanz, Goerz, GOMZ, Hakuhor, Hanimar, Hanimex, Harmon, Holm & Jamer, Honeywell, Ica, Ihagee, Ihagee Steinheil,
    Imperial, Ina, Ina Vinson, Infotar, Isco, Itoh, Itorex, Jupiter, Juplen, Kalimar, Kashimura, Kawanon, Kazan, Kilfitt, Kine Camera Cy, Kinoptik, KMZ, Kowa, Kyoei, Leitz, Lentar, Liatz, Listar, Ludwig, LZOS Lutkarino, Mamiya-Sekor, Marexar, Marumi, Masel, Meopta, Mepro, Meyer, Miida, Mosler, Nikon, NKK, Novoflex, Olympus, Optinar, Optomax, Orion, Palinar, Pallas, panagor, Paragon, Peerotar, Pentacon, Pentax, Pentor, Petri-Taron, Photax, Piesker, Plaubel, Plusflex, Ponder & Best, Primax, Prinz, Prisma, PRO, Quarry, Questar, Raynox, Renoit Etoile, Revue, Ritagon, Ritz, Rodenstock, Roeschlein, Rolmax, Ross, Rubica, Rudersdorf, Samigon, Samyang, Sands Hunter, Sankor, Sankyo, Sans & Streiffe, Schacht, Schachtlike, Schneider, Scopus, Sears, Seimar, Sesnon, Seton Rochwite, Siatex, Sigma, Silber, Soligor, Soligor Miranda, SOM Berthiot, Sonnagar, Spiratone, Steinheil, Sterling-Howard, Sun, Sunset, Suntar, Swift, Taika, Taiyo & Co, Tamron, Taylor, Taylor & Hobson, Telec, Telesar, Telisar, Tewe, Tiger, Titan, Tokina, Tokyo Koki, Topcon, Typonar, UGL, Unitor, Universar, Upsilon, Vemar, Vivitar, Voigtländer, Vorn, Voss Photo, Walter Voss, Welt, Weth, Will Wetzlar, Wirgin, Wollensak, WVF Präzisa, Yashica, Zeika, Zeiss, Zoomar
     
  6. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I'm rather sceptical about that list, it just seems to be a list of most brands ever made? :confused:
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely the "big boys", e.g Leitz and Nikon , never made lenses for the Exakta bayonet? And some of the others look rather dubious (Kodak, Edixa, Mamiya, Pentax, Olympus, for example).
     
  7. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    OK, I can see that I cannot simply pick up just any old Exakta mount lens and expect it to work. There's just too much variability in the offerings.

    Since I need another 35mm camera like a I need another hole in my head (and if I spend much money on it my wife assures me I might *GET* another hole in my head), can some folks who use an old Exa give me a few recommendations for a wide and a portrait lens that's not outrageously expensive. I figure that the camera body is basically a "found camera" so I can spend a little hobby money on it. Maybe $40-80 per lens; perhaps more if there's a compelling reason.

    No 50mm lens, more like 28mm to 35mm. And something else for head shots, like 80mm to 135mm. I know there's no good fast glass out there, but since the top shutter speed is 150 it isn't like I need f/1.0.

    As far as dating the camera, I don't have it in front of me, so I cannot give the serial number. But it is marked as made in USSR occupied Germany, so it's a farily early model. Not a later one. Just in case that matters in lens choice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  8. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Actually, basically, you can.
    Apart from a few of the Japanese offerings, made specifically for the Topcon, which *could* introduce some problems, most of the European (and other) manufacturer's "Exakta" mount lenses were made specifically for Exaktas and Exas.

    One thing I once heard is that longer teles (and lenses on extension tubes & bellows) could introduced vignetting on some Exa models because of the Exa's mirrorbox design.
     
  9. ath

    ath Member

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    Here's an interesting site for Exakta.
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    It seems to be a list of everyone who ever made a 'T' mount lens and not those who made dedicated lenses. Nevertheless, Exaktas were the only SLR for a long while and were well established in the early 50's. Most lenses for Exaktas are pretty old. The most recent Jena lenses are very early 70's.
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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  12. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I have an Exa Ia that I'm shooting with a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 4/25, a Meritar 2.8/50 and a Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8/120
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not really true Charles Noble (an American of German origin) took over KW - Kamera Werkstätten Guthe & Thorschin in 1938 swapping it for his US business with KW's Jewish owners. The company already made 127 & 120 SLR's and the first thing Noble did was have an SLR designed which they released in 1939.

    So the Prakiflex was only 3 years after the Kine Exacta, after WWII it evolved, to became the Praktina in 1952 and as a camera system was superior to the Exactas, the first full 35mm SLR camera system with a motor drive. They are rather collectible cameras people building up complete systems.

    The Communists stole the company & put Noble & his son in Buchenwald after WWII, the son being sent on later to a Soviet labour camp, John was only released in 1955 after the US Presidents intervention with Stalin. KW later merged with East German Contax becoming Praktika, then taking over Exacta a few years later.

    After the collapse of the Berlin wall John Noble was given back one his fathers factories, and began making Noblex panoramic cameras, the company went bankrupt and was bought by the employees.

    I like my Eaxcta Varex IIb though, possibly the best of the Exacta's and need to get my Exa 1a fixed.

    Ian
     
  14. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Exa/Exakta Mount Registration

    I haven't had an Exakta for some time. When I did it was a VX 500 with a 50/2 Zeiss Pancolar zebra lens. The lens was reasonably sharp. I think it was one of the better standard lenses in Exakta mount at the time it was made. One of the problems for me was that there was always a little play in the mount when the lens was attached. I ever got the feeling that the mount was as tight as that of a Canon FD or Minolta SLR camera. I still have one lens which is in an Exakta type mount. It's a 105/4 Noflexar bellows lens in Topcon mount. I used it mostly with an adapter on a third party bellows in Konica AR mount. The camera was an FT-1 with a Nikon E screen (grid type) installed. If I did not already have so many other macro lenses in Canon mount I might try using adapters to use the Noflexar on a Canon bellows.

    Back to the original question, from what I have seen most of the Exakta mount lenses fit most Exakta cameras. Whether you are happy with the exact fit is anlther question.
     
  15. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    The Pancolar is supposed to be a fantastic lens. Though I haven't got or used one, not being a 50mm fan....

    Anyway, a loose Exakta camera mount can be tightened if necessary by (very carefully) using a small screwdriver to slighly expand the mount flange (easier seen in reality than trying to describe it....)
     
  16. Removed Account2

    Removed Account2 Inactive

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    I initially solved the lens question this way:

    First a few 50mm's that came with my bodies, old and newer. Like I have 2 RTL 1000 bodies, one of which work, but both delivered 50mm's....

    Then I started searching for lenses and quickly settled for the easy solution: I got a range of Soligor T2 / T4 lenses and found Exakta T2 / T4 adapters, just a few adapters will do, but you can buy the whole catalog of lenses.....

    That settled, just start taking pictures, and as you eventually find more *original* lenses (what is THAT for an Exakta??), CZ J and Meyer for instance, just shift the Soligors over to other camera bodies via more adapters.

    I have adapters for most of my SLR bodies, so choosing a lens sometimes takes a long time!

    :smile:

    Many will berate old Soligor lenses, I have found that that is just more drivel than fact. They are even quite reliable as far as QC goes, I have 3 135mm f:3,5 lenses, all spitting image and all deliver quality results, impossible to see any difference.

    I'm not saying there ain't better lenses under the sun, but for handheld photography outside of a lab......

    Also I find it slightly perverse, putting on a fairy modern zoom lens on a 60 year old camera body and snapping away, I recommed 3.rd party lenses as an adventure and a way to discover more thoroughly how photography WAS, back in the day, for instance getting to know how to manipulate and make pictures in a hurry with pre-set lenses, using a handheld exposure meter, and so on, is an eye-opener for anyone that grew up with autofocus, auto everything cameras and lenses!
     
  17. Removed Account2

    Removed Account2 Inactive

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    Not really.....

    The Firstflex had a leaf shutter, my Plusflex has a EXA I-type shutter, i.e. the mirror itself is the shutter, with all of 3 shutter speeds, B 60 and 125, an ADVANCED construction! :D:D:D

    I offered it for a swap-deal to the australian that has a site that mentions them BTW, its an orphan in my house, and a dead end, but no response yet......
    :tongue:
     
  18. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    So, I've been poking around the lenses on that evil auction site, and I note some are for an Exakta RTL? The bayonet flange looks the same. What's the difference?
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a Praktika body with Exacta bayonet, I think there's an aperture pin inside the lens mount. so while it accepts older lenses with the aperture lever over the shutter release the lenses for it will only be Manula aperture control on older Exacta's.

    It's not such a nice funky, enigmatic camera as the Varex models (VX in the US)

    Ian
     
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    Removed Account2 Inactive

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    You can use all Exakta lenses on a RTL 1000, but not vice versa, unless you are prepared to put up with a few difficulties - which is more or less the POINT of using one in the first place! :smile: I've put film through mine, I would say it was a nice camera to work with, at least when it was new, but of course it was dated even back then compared to the Canon F1 I was using back in the early 1970's.......
     
  21. mbbinvt

    mbbinvt Member

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    I noticed an old post of yours mentioning a Meritar 2.8/50. I just have an old Meritar 2.9/50 and am wondering if it's the same lens. More importantly, I'm trying to figure out the thread size so I can buy a filter/hood. Do you know any good resources for figuring things out about this kind of lens? I don't have any small enough filters lying around to try out, though I suppose I could visit a well-stocked camera store. Thanks for any Meritar wisdom you can impart!