Ihagee was a German manufacturer of cameras. Founded Ihagee 1912 in Dresden.


Ihagee stands for the camera work, which was founded in 1912 as an industry - und Handelsgesellschaft mbH by the Dutchman Johan Steenbergen in Dresden. Groundbreaking was the performance of Ihagee in developing the world's first single lens reflex camera for 35 - mm camera format, the Kine Exakta. It is thus the founder of a model that forms the basis of today's small format SLR cameras. The Exakta series was so popular that an exacta even James Stewart served Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock for observing his neighbors in the classic film.

In 1951 there were in Germany two companies that bore the name " Ihagee ": in the GDR since 1951 Ihagee AG iV and since 1960 in West Berlin, the camera work Ihagee AG.

The Ihagee AG I.V. in the GDR was continued and gradually transferred to the VEB Pentacon in Dresden since 1968 as VEB Ihagee camera work. First, the development department Pentacon in 1964 assumed in 1968 the legal integration. From 1971, there was no independent Ihagee premises more. VEB Pentacon Dresden 1985, was incorporated into the VEB Carl Zeiss Jena.


Ihagee manufactured mainly the three model series Exakta and Exa Exa I and II. A special feature of all Ihagee cameras was that the trigger was left on the lens. There were continued both before and after the Second World War Exakta 6x6 medium format cameras in the program.


The exacta was developed under the leadership of Karl Nüchterlein. 1933 Exakta 4x6, 5 ​​was presented for roll film at the Leipzig Spring Fair. She was already extremely compact. The Exakta B was 1935, the first camera with built-in flash synchronization ( for Osram Vacublitz flash bulbs ). The world famous " Kine Exakta " for perforated 35mm film ( normal small format ) came in March 1936 on the market and was the world's first mass produced one-eyed miniature reflex. It has a built- waist-level viewfinder, a Interchangeable lens via a bayonet connection ( " Exakta bayonet " ) and a horizontally extending cloth focal plane shutter. This camera enabled shutter of 12 up to 1/ 1000 s and provided access to a range of lenses is in the range of 38-500 mm.

From the Ihagee also extensive accessories for the Exakta was offered. The Ihagee presented itself but not manufacture lenses for Exakta. These were based, among others, Carl Zeiss Jena, Meyer -Optik Goerlitz, Schneider Kreuznach and Schacht Ulm. Also the lenses as " Ihagee Anast. Exaktar " sold under the name Ihagee came from Meyer -Optik. The range of lenses for the Exakta bayonet has been increasingly expanded. From Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, there were between 20 mm and 400 mm, and two mirror lens lenses with 500 mm and 1000 mm. Besides the many primes there were, in time, Vario lenses for Exakta as the Variogon 4/80-240 Schneider.

The later " Exakta " models differ only in details from the " Kine Exakta ." So was the model " Exakta Varex « 1950 interchangeable viewfinder system. 1951 enabled the Ihagee with the " Exakta VX Varex " (or " Exakta VX " ) to connect lenses with an automatic diaphragm to the camera. It was followed by the Exakta IIA and IIB 1963 Exakta. The conclusion of the series were introduced in 1966 Exakta VX 1000 and a little later the somewhat simpler VX 500

After inclusion of Ihagee in the VEB Pentacon some models were equipped with the Praktica Exakta bayonet and as example 1000 brought as Exakta RL 500 or Exakta RTL on the market.


The Ihagee drove alongside the top models of the Exakta - Exa series model series I and II Exa Exa Both model series are presented in detail in a separate article.

The Exa Ia and Ib also had an interchangeable viewfinder system, but only coped with shutter speeds from 1 /30 to 1/175 s The Exa Ib it had an M -42 lens mount and pressure visor lever instead of the Exakta bayonet. It was delivered with a waist-level viewfinder, a prism finder was available as an accessory, as well as various viewfinder discs (magnifying glass, Fresnel lens ). The Exa IIb, however, had a built- prism viewfinder and could exposure times from 1 /2 to 1/250 s control.

Exakta 6x6 and Exakta 66

1939 offered Ihagee with the Exakta 6x6 for the first time on a medium format camera. The housing form was derived from the small-format Exakta. After only 1,500 produced cameras, the production was discontinued due to technical problems with the film transport in the same year. 1951 a smaller pilot production was also discontinued.

In the following year a completely newly designed and superbly equipped Exakta was presented 6x6. Here the housing oriented perpendicular as in the case of Rolleiflex. However, it was still a single lens reflex camera. After 2200, production was produced cameras now set permanently because of problems during film transport.

No Ihagee camera, however, was the Exakta 66, a medium-format SLR Exakta GmbH in Nuremberg.

Production in the GDR

Due to the high demand on the internal market of the GDR was trying to make the Exa produced even in artähnlichen company of the GDR precision engineering industry. Under that operation " VEB Rheinmetall Sömmerda " about 8000 pieces of Exa version 4 were built under license Ihagee, due to serious deviations from the quality of the ideas Ihagee Dresden production in Sömmerda but was set back in 1956.

The Ihagee failed, as the entire East German camera industry to develop their models consistently. Due to the pressure of public authorities ( planned economy ), the production of the Exakta in Dresden finally set with the Exakta RTL 1000 in 1972/73 in favor of the Praktica series of Pentacon Dresden and only continued to build the much simpler " EXA " model whose production ended only in 1987.

Ihagee West and Exakta GmbH

After years of litigation the Ihagee lost in Dresden rights to the name " Exakta " for all countries outside of the socialist system in the Ihagee West. Therefore cameras wore example, the name " Elbaflex " for export from the GDR.

In the West, in 1963 the " Ihagee Camera Werk AG " ( Frankfurt ) for " Ihagee Exakta Photo Ltd" ( Munich). From the West Berlin sales office the Ihagee AG ( West) had emerged. 1967 both merged to form " Ihagee Ltd" based in Berlin (West).

After the built in West Germany in 1966 Exakta Real ( Real - bayonet ) had only had a small success, Ihagee West moved to the distribution of manufactured in Japan camera models. The Exakta Twin TL was built from 1970-1974 (Real - bayonet, manufactured by Cosina ). From 1976 Petri cameras were produced under the brand name Exakta for Ihagee West. It was the Exakta TL 500 and TL 1000 (M42 connector) and two years later to the Exakta FE 2000, also with M42 connector.

The Ihagee AG had to file for bankruptcy on September 29, 1976.

The Exakta brand name was used after the bankruptcy of Ihagee West by Japanese manufacturers continue. It therefore appeared after 1976 Japanese " Exakta " SLRs. Thus produced Topcon 1977-1979 Exakta Exakta EDX EDX 2 and 3 ( Exakta bayonet with Topcon RE- aperture coupling). However, in 1979, following Exakta KE 4 Topcon had a Pentax K bayonet. More Film Cameras with Exakta print then brought Cosina in the years 1983-1988 as Exakta HS-1, HS, HS-2, HS-3, HS-4, HS -10 and HS-40 out. Again, however, the Pentax K was used and not the Exakta bayonet.

1982 bought the Nuremberg Miranda Photo -Video GmbH, which belonged to the sphere of influence of the photo entrepreneur Heinrich Manderman, the name Exakta. Then an Exakta GmbH was founded in Nuremberg by Mandermann, 1984 the first of three versions of the Exakta 66 brought out. Structurally, however, is not based on an Exakta 66 Ihagee camera, but on the Pentacon Six.