Exakta Real

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The Exakta Real is a 35 mm SLR camera made by Ihagee Kamerawerk AG ('Ihagee West') in the western sector of Berlin[1] in 1966.[2] It is superficially similar to the Exaktas made in Dresden of the same time, and shares some features, but has several very significant differences:

  • The lens mount is a similar bayonet to that of the Dresden Exaktas, but is larger, to accommodate an aperture linkage, so that lenses can have automatic stop-down (the cameras made in Dresden at around the same time achieved this, if at all, by an external linkage). Lenses were made in the new mount by Schneider and Schacht. McKeown states that an adapter was produced, allowing lenses for the smaller mount to be fitted on the Real.
  • The Real has two shutter releases: one in the normal position for an Exakta, on the front of the body, to the left of the lens, and another in the same position on the right (addressing one of the main criticisms of Exakta cameras that they are 'left-handed'). There is a shutter lock lever by the right-hand button.
  • It has an instant-return mirror.
  • It has lever film advance, and a folding crank in the top of the rewind knob. The rewind release is a button in the bottom of the camera.
  • It has a self-timer lever on the body, to the left of the lens, and a separate release button next to it.

The camera has a cloth focal-plane shutter, with speeds 2 - 1/1000 second, plus 'B' and 'T' (the speeds appear in a small window on the top plate, and are adjusted with a small knob by the window). The shutter is synchronised for flash and, as with the East German Exaktas, there are separate PC sockets on the front of the camera (to the right of the lens) for bulb (the upper contact) and electronic flash.

There is a film speed reminder dial under the film rewind knob. This dial also accommodates the latch for the film door.

The camera still has interchangeable prism and waist-level viewfinders. It was available with chrome-plated or (more rarely) black-painted metalwork.


Notes

  1. At least, the user's manual, linked below, gives a West-Berlin address. The West-German Ihagee Kamerawerk AG was founded in Frankfurt, and it is possible that the cameras were made there, and a presence in Berlin was at least partly symbolic.
  2. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p439.


Links

  • User's manual in German (very brief text, but with several pages of diagrams) at Hugo Ruys' Ihagee.org.
  • Examples sold at Westlicht Photographica auctions:
    • Serial no. 1043 in chrome finish and with waist-level finder and Schneider 35 mm f/2.8 Curtagon and 135 mm f/3.5 Tele-Xenar lenses, sold at the sixth auction, in November 2004.
    • The same camera sold again with no lens, at the thirteenth auction, in November 2008.
    • Serial no. 1289, black finish, with waist-level and prism finders, Schneider 50 mm f/2.8 Xenar and 28 mm f/4 Curtagon and Schacht 135 mm f/3.5 Travenar, sold in the seventeenth auction, in May 2010.
    • Real (no serial no. given), black finish, with Schacht 50 mm f/1.8 S-Travelon and Schneider 135 mm f/3.5 Tele-Xenar, sold at the nineteenth auction, in May 2011.
    • Real (un-numbered camera body) in black finish, with 50 mm f/1.9 Xenon, 35 mm f/2.8 Curtagon and 135 mm f/3.5 Tele-Xenar, sold at the 24th auction, on 23 November 2013.