Since starting my collection, I have always liked the look of Ihagee cameras. In fact, I have nine of them, eight working. Oddly I have never shot with one until now. Which one did I pick? The Varex IIa.
Despite some quirks, this camera is a joy to use and is perhaps the prettiest in the entire Exakta line. The waist level viewfinder is bright and clear, and the controls laid out logically, once you get past the less-than-traditional location of the shutter release.
One other design quirk that caught me out in August of 2021 is the rewind knob. It had be so long since I had used this camera that I forgot the center of the knob has to be pushed in to engaged the cartridge and actually rewind the film. This resulted in me opening the back and ruining an entire roll.
This particular camera is paired with the excellent Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar f2 50mm lens.
|Model||Exakta Varex IIa|
|Year||1956 – 1958|
|Speed||B, T, 1/25 to 1/1000|
|Lens||Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar|
|Focus||0.5m – ∞|
|Aperture||f2 to 22|
Example shots – Fuji 100 (pardon the horrible focus and composition)