New to me Ihagee Exakta Varex – 1950

I’ve had the good fortune to acquire this lovely camera and lens from a neighbor who gifted it to me. The camera was purchased new in West Germany in the early 1950s (the exact date is unknown) by her father, US Army Colonel Marshal C. Winton (Ret.).

The Varex was the model sold outside the United States between 1950 and 1951. In the US the model is known as the Exakta V. The Varex and for that matter the V are not common cameras today and are quite difficult to find on the many online auction and selling sites. The follow on models made by Exakta are quite common and are easy to find online and I’m sure locally in thrift shops and at swap meets.

If you’re interested in exploring the Exakta line of cameras you’ll find an array of uniquely styled cameras. Exakta did not manufacture their own lenses so you’ll find a variety of German made lenses available in the Exakta bayonet mount (early Topcon cameras were made with this mount). Zeiss, Schacht, Schneider, and Kilfit to name just a few. If you’re interested to dive deeper may I suggest you pop on over to

The lens on my Varex is the rather rare Meyer Gorlitz (sometimes Goerlitz) Primoplan f/1.9 58mm. This lens was first released in 1952. Shown here with the waist level finder in the open position ready for picture taking. The finder is removable and can be replaced with an eye-level pentaprism finder.

If I may ask for help, I’m having a great deal of difficulty finding an owner’s manual or instruction book for the Varex model either in German or English. Even the Exakta V instructions will do in a pinch. Consistent with the short production run of this model almost anything associated with it is hard to chase down. Please contact me if you have or know of someone who has the instruction book. Thank you!

To the left is the high-speed dial with shutter speeds up to 1/1000th second and on the right is the slow-speed dial with timed exposures up to 12 seconds.
Pictured here with its waist level finder closed.

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

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