I’ve had this Ihagee Exa for around a year and to be honest a bad case of GAS has meant it’s not seen as much action as it deserves! It could be one of the most beautiful cameras ever made but as you will read later on, I don’t want it sitting on my shelve gathering dust and looking pretty.
The Ihagee Exa is the simpler little brother to the Exakta SLR and uses the same lens mount, mine is fitted with a Carl Zeiss Jena – Tessar 50mm F2.8, noted as one of the better lenses available for this camera; it’s certainly capable of taking very sharp images.
In use the Exa is fairly simple, loading film is easy as long as you have a take up spool to hand, the back slides off leaving plenty of access to load film. The frame count is then manually reset and the camera wound on with the knob on the top plate.
The shutter is cocked by winding on the next frame and due to the design of the shutter, the viewfinder is dark until the shutter is cocked. The mirror is actually on the shutter and it swings away with the shutter when it is released, due to this unusual shutter mechanism the shutter speed it limited: 1/25th to 1/150th and bulb.
The shutter is quite quiet and has a nice feel to the release, which is on the left hand side of the front of the camera and has a little swing over cover to prevent accidental triggering. It can also take a remote release cable into the shutter button.
Focusing is done on the waist level finder, which is quite bright and a good size. Focusing with the lens wide open and then stopping down to take the shot takes some getting used to but is the most accurate way to work, although zone focusing is always an option and the lens is marked appropriately. The Carl Zeiss Jena – Tessar 50mm F2.8 focuses down to 35cm, making it quite useful for detail shots.
It comes with a lovely leather ‘ never ready’ fitted case and is a very lovely thing to use, especially the waist level finder.
Win this Exa
So I’m looking at my rather forlorn Ihagee Exa the other day and thinking about listing it on eBay, when I had a thought; I’ve loved following Hamish’s ‘Win a Leica‘ photo contest so I though, I’ll run my own competition to win this Exa
The idea is to submit a photograph on the theme ‘Unity’. Camera, medium and editing are all free, the only thing that matters is the photograph and the story behind it.
If you would like to find out more or enter the competition, you can do so here