Most "professional" body that will take Exakta lenses.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by 2F/2F, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hello,

    By luck, I came into possession of a very well-regarded Steinheil Macro-Quinaron 35mm f/2.8 lens. It came as a "throw in" with a Linhof Super Tech III that I purchased, and it is in like-new condition. It has two focusing ranges. The first goes to 1:1, and the second goes to 2:1, all without extension tubes. The lens itself is probably worth at least half of what I paid for the entire Technika kit, so I consider myself blessed to have come into this rare lens for such a bargain price.

    However, I have no way to use the lens as of now, so it is worthless to me. I am exploring my options. So, what are the best bodies for Exacta mount? I would be getting the camera solely for use with this lens, so I need a camera that works well for macro use. I need mirror lockup, and a camera that is of professional quality (such as the Nikon F or Canon F-1) not "clunky" to operate and has an excellent viewfinder.

    If there is no Exacta camera that matches the level of quality and smoothness of use of the cameras I mentioned, then I am going to need to find a good adapter. The cameras I have that are likely candidates are Nikon Fs, and Canon F-1s and FTbs. I notice that Exakta to EOS adapters are very common on E-Bay. I also have a Canon EOS 3, which I consider to be a "pro" camera, however, I think that it is a bad choice for macro pix for several reasons. I cannot seem to find any Exacta adapters other than EOS ones at the moment.

    If there are any cameras that you would suggest, or good adapters, please post your thoughts. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,934
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One of the Exacta fit Topcon cameras is probably the most rugged, I'm not sure of the model numbers, but a Varex !!B is a nice desirable Exacta and can be found at reasonable prices.

    Ian
     
  3. Luc More

    Luc More Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you can source it, Canon did produce a "Mount Adapter E" which allows mounting Exakta lenses on any FD (maybe FL) body. But few FD bodies had mirror lock-up. It would probably take an F-1 or something, apparently you have an F-1n that might do the job. I have the more common "Mount Adapter P" which does the same thing for M42 lenses. See http://www.cameraquest.com/nikonaf.htm
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,934
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    All Exacta's have the wind on the left, it's great, the Practika made RTL1000 isn't really an Exacta, nor are the K mount Exactas :D

    Ian
     
  5. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Exakta VX bodies are very robust. They don't have mirror lock up but when the shutter is fired the mirror stays up until wound again. Very minimal mirror slap compared to modern SLR's. The 2 shutter speed dials can be set for anything from 1/1000 to 12 seconds but both can not be wound at the same time or the camera will lock up and be useless. I found that out the hard way. Film can also be wound from one cassette to another and the built in film knife will separate the exposed film without using an entire roll. A very advanced camera for its day and still a good user. I have 3 of them still in great working condition.
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,939
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The old Topcon Super D/RE Super are very well made, robust and smooth, as well as having a very high cool factor in a metal brick kind of way.

    The viewfinder isn't as bright as newer cameras, of course, but I found it good enough. The meter cell is on the mirror, behind some slits.
     
  7. BrianL

    BrianL Member

    Messages:
    547
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto ON C
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The Exactas, especially the Varex series are great cameras built to take punishment that will destroy most others. I'd suggest the VB as it has electronic sync and the finders can be changed to either waist level or accept a metered or non-metered prism finder. When these were out, many companies made 1st rate lenses for them and today most can be had for cheap as the system fell out of favor as it did not keep up with the developments such as instant mirror return and the control layout did not conform to what was to become the norm.

    Today, a serviced body and a system built around it can still knock off many newer and electified cameras.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for all the information.

    The VX1000 and VX500 are looking good to me.

    But are there any good-quality Exacta mount cameras with mirror lockup?

    I have found a Canon-made FD-Exacta adapter recently (and locally, about ten minutes from me), but it has a problem that means I would have to completely dedicate an FD body to it...and for what the guy was asking, I didn't think it was worth it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  9. Wishy

    Wishy Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a serviced varex VX which is in the ebay pile if your interested.

    I've found the Exaktas to be somewhat finicky, even once serviced. I've also found the uncoated lenses to have real contrast problems, but you probably already know what to expect from a 35mm camera of this era.
    They do feel very special to use, but unfortunately the finicky parts include the back doors popping open rather easily, and problems with the film wind mechanism (It seems all too easy for tear a sprocket, you've really got to listen to what its telling you as far as film wind is concerned)

    Personally I wouldn't bother with the VX1000 and certainly not the VX500. While it gives you the amazing function of an instant return mirror, the build quality had dropped and it just doesn't feel as well made.
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For my use (macro only, and one lens only), I am thinking that I should just get one of those cheap EOS e-bay adapters and see how it goes on my 3, and then perch and wait for an FD adapter to come up. FD cameras are great for macro pix. Mirror lockup is simple and there are never any problems with anything in use. (Servicing issues are another story.) Also, one less old camera to lie around and need service.