Germany 1933 – Compact – 127 film – Rare.
Ihagee, a German camera manufacturer located in Dresden, achieved prominence through its notable range of single-lens reflex cameras marketed under the Exakta brand.
The Exakta camera is instantly recognizable for its distinctive trapezoidal shape, setting it apart as more compact, smaller, and ergonomically designed compared to many contemporaneous cameras. Despite this ergonomic focus, the Exakta still held a substantial weight and a build quality akin to that of a robust German tank.
However, it’s the Exakta’s remarkable history of innovation that truly sets it apart. It proudly claims the title of the first single-lens reflex (SLR) camera designed for 127 roll film in 1933, with a close competition from the Soviet Gomz “Sport” for the first SLR on 35 mm film in 1936. Another noteworthy feat is the Exakta’s introduction of the lever film winder, replacing the traditional knob. Furthermore, it was the first camera to feature a built-in flash socket, linked to the shutter’s activation. The very name “Exakta” was touted as a testament to the camera’s absence of design flaws.
A famous appearance of the Exakta is in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rear Window, where James Stewart’s character, a professional photographer, utilizes the camera to surreptitiously observe his potentially murderous neighbor.