Wirgin Edixa-Mat Reflex B – A Brief Look at a Camera I’d Never Heard of

For a long time at least, I hadn’t known or paid attention to the names ‘Wirgin’ or ‘Edixa’. And that’s despite the fact that I’ve been involved with analogue photography for decades now. I could most often be found with my favourite Pentax, the MX or LX. Then about a year and a half ago I came across the Edixa-Mat Reflex on YouTube. In the video, the beauty and the interchangeable viewfinders were given special mention. This was my first brief contact.

Less than two weeks later I spotted such a camera at a flea market and could hardly believe my luck. The state… well, there was a lot of work to do. After a few hours of cleaning, lubricating and adjusting, the Edixa-Mat Reflex B finally ran again; at the end she received a new, self-cut leather dress.

In the picture you can see her with the Revuenon 50mm f/1.8; a very nice, no-frills lens that’s cheap to get and with good imaging performance. Despite the age, the adjustments are absolutely smooth and the optics are absolutely clear.

The Pentagon 50mm f/1.8 is even sharper, and also quite cheap to find, just I don’t find it to be quite as stylish. The original lenses for the Edixa models look much more stylish, of course, but when used on the street, the practicality prevails – in this case bright and smooth-running, clear lenses make for a more pleasant shooting experience.

The waist level finder reduces the overall height considerably. When open, an additional magnifying glass can also be folded out for focusing. If you press the two buttons on the side, you can change the finder.

Edixa-Mat Reflex

The bright viewfinder image is simply amazing. The focusing screen is a really big chunk, mostly made of glass – there were also models with a focus screen made of plastic

The Edixa Reflex – made by WIRGIN in Wiesbaden, Germany –  first appeared on the market in 1954, with various models being released over the following years. Depending on the model, the shutter speeds usually vary between 1/500 and a maximum of 1/1000, and not all of them have the very slow times. Of course, the interchangeable viewfinder is ingenious. The waist level viewfinder is fun to use, also it is very bright – although portrait orientated photos are hard to take.
The lens selection is huge with the M42 mount.

Since my first purchase at the flea market, I can’t keep my hands off these models and have bought one or two more, refurbished them nicely and sold them again to other enthusiasts. I use Pentax, Pentacon and Revue lenses.

I’d like to show you some pictures below that I have taken with the Edixa in 2022.

Edixa-Mat Reflex
Warteck brewery, Basel, Switzerland
Edixa-Mat Reflex
Dreispitz area, near Basel, Switzerland
Edixa-Mat Reflex
Old town Lucerne, Switzerland
Edixa-Mat Reflex
Lion Monument, Lucerne, Switzerland

Since I am enthusiastic about these cameras (like many others), I will certainly write more detailed posts about them in the future. Until the next post there will always be new pictures on my f16.ch Instagram account. I look forward to your opinion on this camera

Andy Hertig

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10 thoughts on “Wirgin Edixa-Mat Reflex B – A Brief Look at a Camera I’d Never Heard of”

  1. What an intriguing camera, Andy… and gorgeous images too. Love the custom leather… very classy indeed!

    I also love the whole interchangeable-finders idea, and the Edixa-Mat Reflex seems to have implemented it in a smaller, lighter body than the Topcon Super-D (which is also no slouch in the style and glass departments). And the barn doors over the viewfinder are a lovely touch.

    With a bright viewfinder and those smaller barn doors, the camera might also work for digital TtV photography… which is usually done through TLRs’ larger “bubble” finders. (If you ever need another project, that is.)

    Inspiring work!

    1. Hello Dave, thank you very much for your feedback.
      Yes, I also really like the leather covering, I have a second camera, I used a little darker leather on it; but I like the light better.
      I have also found that leather – from my point of view – is easier to work with than imitation leather; you can push/adjust it a bit in the corners when gluing it.
      The waist-level finders are also nice, even if the portrait format usually doesn’t work properly with them.
      Kind regards, Andy

  2. Stuart Jenkins

    Nice article Andy, and an intriguing camera. I’ve got one that I bought for the lens that was on it, so it’s on my ‘To sell’ list.

    Trouble is, there’s M42 lenses, and there’s Edixa M42 lenses. Note how your Pentacon lens looks like it has screwed down a little too far. If you put an Edixa-marked lens on a screw-mount Pentax, it would appear to stop short. The Edixa version of the M42 mount is indexed about five degrees differently to the standard one.

    I’ve no idea why. In a lot of cases, it can stop the auto-aperture mechanism working, because the ‘pusher’ bar on the body misses the stop-down pin.

    Now I’ve just got to restore this nice Isco-Gottingen Auto-Westagon 50mm f1.9 with its Edixa-M42 mount. When I work out how to accurately shave 0.014mm off the mount, then it should stop in the right place on my Pentacon FM!

    1. Hello Stuart
      yes, the thing with the lens annoyed me too; but fortunately the lenses that I have work.
      I had used the following:
      Pentax 50mm 1.8; Pentacon 50mm 1.8 and the Revueon 50mm pictured; my 28mm Pentacon also works.
      Thanks for the feedback.
      Kind regards, Andy

  3. Hey Andy, nice choice of Leather. Your camera looks neat!
    I bought a Revue Singlex TLS with Revuenon 50mm f/2 for an unbelievable 25 € in the bay. Those are some nice lenses for the price.

    1. Hello Robert, let’s hope for a bit warmer weather and get started…
      Greetings and have fun with the camera.

  4. Michael Avison

    Beautiful restoration! I wish I had your skills! We are lucky there are people like you bringing these important examples from the history of photography back to life and saving them from the scrap pile. Well done.

    1. Hi Michael

      Thank you for the compliment.
      For me it is a very welcome change from the hectic everyday life in the office and customer service.
      Cheers, Andy

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