Ihagee Exakta Varex – rare European model, 1950

As the title states, this is a rather rare (very hard to find at least) European model of this popular camera. In the United States, this model was simply marked “V.” on the body and it was sometimes referred to as the Varex V.

35mm single-lens reflex film camera with interchangeable lenses.

The camera’s place in history is it was the first or at the very least, one of the first 35mm single-lens reflex cameras made beginning in the late 1930s in pre-war Germany and picking up again after the war in what would become East Germany (Dresden).

Here it is viewed from behind with the waist-level pop-up viewfinder opened. The small rectangular opening is an eye-level “sports finder”.
Pictured here with the prism removed. Ihagee also made an eye-level pentaprism that could be swapped out.
With the lens removed the Exakta bayonet mount is visible. The lever locked the lens flange securely to the body.
With the back film door removed. This particular camera uses yarn as a light seal. The serial is located inside just above the shutter curtain.

A few words about the serial number. As best as I’ve been able to tell, the serial numbers range from around 667000 to 692000 for this Varex. I’ve seen other estimates of somewhere between 670000 to 684000. If a reader has more definitive information I’d love to see it.

Heat stamped on the bottom plate is “Made in Germany”.
My nearly complete set with some hard-to-find accessories.

The lens. It’s a well-respected lens by Meyer Gorlitz – Primoplan Red V f/1.9 58mm. It has an impressive 14 aperture blades and is claimed to be constructed with 5 elements in 4 groups. Collectors today still chase after nice examples of the lens, especially in the M42 mount. As seen pictured above, I have an aluminum lens hood (shade) made by Cenei in its original leather case, an Ihagee Dresden 42mm slip-on blue filter in its original box, a Heliopan yellow slip-on filter in its original plastic case, and finally a 42mm push-on plastic lens cap (unmarked but made in Germany).

I’ve come to the decision that my collections of cameras have grown a bit beyond my original intent so this gorgeous set is available for purchase in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com where additional images can be found and a more complete description of its features. It can be purchased directly through Etsy and it ships nearly worldwide!

Thanks for sticking around to the end of this post and as always, have a fantastic day and evening! – Chris

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 http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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