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  1. #1
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Does anyone collect Exakta cameras?

    I wouldn't call what I have a collection as such but I bought them to use in high school and thereafter. Very reliable and well engineered cameras. I have 4 Exakta VX's with various lenses which still function beautifully. They are, according to the serial numbers, from the early 50's.
    Anyone else have any of these gems? Just wondering.

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I had a couple of Exacta's VX100's unfortunately I stored them in my cellar, and the damp got them during the summer, a few years ago. They are great camera's, some of the highest quality 35mm images I've printed were shot with a VX1000.

    I still have an EXA but the mirror is shot and needs replacing, other than that it's fine. I also have a very early convertible Tamron lens Exacta fit.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    My Father was an Exakta/Exa user in the 1950s/60's. I remember him saying that they were fine cameras, but spoiled by Quality Control issues on the later models....shutter faults, lens with poor definition, etc.
    Maybe like a lot of the Eastern bloc products from that time...good simple design, rock solid build, but perhaps made by a workforce and sold by a marketing dept that had little real interest in their products.
    But good examples seem to have lasted well are still very usable and collectable.

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The build quality of lenses definitely varied, the Pancolor I used on an Excata was superb, similar vintage Prakticamat Pancolor I owned much earlier was awful. It was sharp but the aperture diaphram never stopped down by the same amount each exposure.

    All the Zeiss Exacta lenses I used were excellent, and the Lydith 29mm is still an excellent performer.

    Ian

  5. #5
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by railwayman3 View Post
    My Father was an Exakta/Exa user in the 1950s/60's.
    So was mine. I think it was the first 35mm camera he bought for himself to do weddings before changing to Nikons.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  6. #6

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    Exakta cameras!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wade D View Post
    I wouldn't call what I have a collection as such but I bought them to use in high school and thereafter. Very reliable and well engineered cameras. I have 4 Exakta VX's with various lenses which still function beautifully. They are, according to the serial numbers, from the early 50's.
    Anyone else have any of these gems? Just wondering.
    You should post your question also (English is fine) in the German APHOG.de forum. I've noticed, that there are a couple of EXAKTA collectors are.

    Cheers
    Wolf

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    The build quality of lenses definitely varied, the Pancolor I used on an Excata was superb, similar vintage Prakticamat Pancolor I owned much earlier was awful. It was sharp but the aperture diaphram never stopped down by the same amount each exposure.

    All the Zeiss Exacta lenses I used were excellent, and the Lydith 29mm is still an excellent performer.

    Ian
    Yes, I remember my Father saying that the Pancolor was hopeless at larger apertures, and he used the 50mm 2.8 Zeiss Tessar as his standard...the Kodachromes from that still look great.
    He, too, had the Lydith and a Zeiss Flektagon wide angle (can't remember which, may have been 25mm as he did a lot of architectural shots) and, again, these seemed great lenses (I think the Flektagons still fetch top prices).
    When he passed away, I sold the kit to another enthusiast, as I already had a comprehensive Pentax outfit at that time. Sometimes wish I had kept the Exactas, but perhaps that's just nostalgia.

  8. #8
    Marc Akemann's Avatar
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    I was introduced to a nicely working Exakta Varex VX thanks to a garage sale last year. Everything was fine with the camera except for pinholes in the cloth shutter curtain which I discovered with the first roll of film shot with this camera.

    The VX also came with a waist-level finder and a prism finder. The included lenses are a 58mm f2 C. Zeiss Jena Biotar, a 28mm f3.5 Angenieux Retrofocus Type R 11 and a 135mm f3.5 Rodenstock-Yronar. The whole package was $10 or $20!

    I have a Minolta E-Adapter for my SRT-102 and will shoot with that set-up until I get the shutter curtain repaired or replaced.

    Marc

  9. #9
    Wishy's Avatar
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    I collect them. I've got a VX, Varex IIA, (Varex IIB got used as spare parts after I dropped the Varex IIA) and a VX1000. I've also got a RTL1000 (Really NOT an exakta), an Exa classic and a Exa 250.
    Lens wise, amoung others, I've got several tessars, a biotar (My favorite) and a pancolar f2 (Needs relubing) - The Pancolar F1.8 was useless - apperture blades didn't stop down correctly . My favorite is the Flektogon 20/4 though, cracking lens

    The quality was definately better in the earlier cameras, which were build with a more german ethic. The later ones (Such as the VX1000) had plastic where there was chrome before and generally felt cheaper.

    My VX and Varex IIA have both been overhauled, so I'm not sure how that bares on the reliability, as pretty much any cloth shuttered camera is going to want some work after 50 years.

    They're good to use, I love the waist level finders on them, theres a good selection of lenses, they look *REALLY* pretty and feel very nice to use.

  10. #10
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmSprocket View Post
    I was introduced to a nicely working Exakta Varex VX thanks to a garage sale last year. Everything was fine with the camera except for pinholes in the cloth shutter curtain which I discovered with the first roll of film shot with this camera.

    The VX also came with a waist-level finder and a prism finder. The included lenses are a 58mm f2 C. Zeiss Jena Biotar, a 28mm f3.5 Angenieux Retrofocus Type R 11 and a 135mm f3.5 Rodenstock-Yronar. The whole package was $10 or $20!
    Pinholes can be spotted with some fabric paint as a tempory measure. A full overhaul here with new shutter curtains undertaken by a specialist is £35+postage. Not bank breaking

    The Biotar is a good lens, the 28mm f3.5 Angenieux alone is probably worth 5 times what you paid. (The 135 is worthless though!)

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