VP Exakta

Medium format 6.5x4 SLR system • Discontinued


The first single-lens reflex system that used 127 roll film (8 exposures in the 2 1/2 x 1 5/8" size) and was manufactured by Ihagee East. The technical solutions and camera design formed the basis of the Ihagee's Exakta, the world's first 35mm SLR system, which lasted almost 40 years.


  • Exakta A (1933) - comparatively small camera of trapezoid shape, all metal, leather-covered, with self-capping* focal plane** shutter with speeds ranging from 1/25 to 1/1000th of a second + B, Z, self-timer, connection socket for flash-bulbs synchronizer, interchangeable lenses, tripod bush, and hooks for neck-strap. Shutter winding was automatically coupled with film transport and the swing of the mirror into focusing position. Shutter release was coupled with the swing of the mirror out of the taking path. Focusing was effected by a rapid helical focusing screw, which was part of the camera body;
  • Exakta B (1933) - as the A, but with additional knob for slow shutter speeds from 12 seconds to 1/10th of a second, and a transport lever on later cameras;
  • Night-Exakta (1934) - as the A or B, with the only exception of the lens holding helical screw mount, which was slightly modified in shape so that fast lenses could be easily manipulated;
  • Exakta C (1936) - as the B, but with an interchangeable back permitting the use of glass plates or cut film as well as rollfilm;
  • Exakta-Junior (Volks-Exakta) (1934) - a low-priced model with a fixed Ihagee Anastigmat 7.5cm f/4.5 lens (focused by the front-cell), and a top shutter speed of 1/500th of a second.

* self-capping means that it remains closed while being wound up.

** focal plane means that it moves right in front of the negative material, thus ensuring full protection to it. With this type of shutter lenses can be changed while the camera is loaded.


The following lenses for the Exakta A, B and C were mentioned in the Ihagee's literature:

  • Weitwinkel-Tessar 1:8, 5.5cm
  • Weitwinkel-Doppel-Anastigmat 1:6.8, 5.6cm
  • Dallmeyer 1:11, 6cm
  • Ihagee-Exaktar 1:3.5, 7cm / 7.5cm
  • Cassar 1:3.5, 7cm
  • Cassar 1:2.9, 7.5cm
  • Xenar 1:3.5, 7cm / 7.5cm
  • Xenar 1:2.9 / 1:2.8, 7.5cm
  • Primotar 1:3.5, 7cm
  • Makro-Plasmat 1:2.7, 7.5cm
  • Tessar 1:3.5, 7cm / 7.5cm
  • Tessar 1:2.8, 7.5cm
  • Ihagee-Anastigmat 1:4.5, 10.5cm / 11cm
  • Tele-Tessar 1:6.3, 12cm
  • Dallon 1:5.6, 15cm
  • Tele-Xenar 1:5.5, 15cm
  • Tele-Megor 1:5.5, 15cm
  • Tele-Xenar 1:5.5, 18cm
  • Tele-Megor 1:5.5, 18cm
  • Tele-Tessar 1:6.3, 18cm
  • Tele-Xenar 1:4.5, 24cm
  • Tele-Megor 1:5.5, 25cm
  • Tele-Tessar 1:6.3, 25cm
  • Tele-Xenar 1:5.5, 30cm
  • Tele-Xenar 1:5.5, 36cm

All Exakta standard lenses mentioned above were unsymmetrical anastigmats of maximum correction. Exaktar 1:3.5, Xenar 1:3.5, Primotar 1:3.5, and Tessar 1:3.5 and 1:2.8 comprised four elements; Cassar 1:3.5 and 1:2.9, three; Xenar 1:2.8 had five elements; and Makro-Plasmat 1:2.7 was composed of six elements.

The following standard lenses for the Night-Exakta were mentioned in the Ihagee's literature:

  • Xenon 1:2, 8cm
  • Biotar 1:2, 8cm
  • Primoplan 1:1.9, 8cm
  • Dallmeyer Super Six 1:1.9, 8.3cm

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