Yellow filter from Ihagee

I “found” this wonderful little filter the other day and as of yet haven’t figured out which lens it was designed to fit. I believe it is pre-war or maybe not but it’s diameter is only 33mm (give or take a millimeter). I was hoping it would fit my Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan f4.5 40mm lens but no such luck.

ATM my best guess is that it was made to fit the Ihagee Anastigmatic Exaktar f3.5 55mm lens but I don’t have that lens and I don’t know the filter size. If someone out there knows I would greatly appreciate knowing a bit more about my filter and the Exaktar lens.

The “push-on” side.
The “screw-on” side.
It’s very well made and it looks as though the filter glass is interchangeable. It looks like the case is made of Bakelite and the inner cork lining is clean and intact. I get the feeling this filter was hardly ever used.
The glass is optically perfect.

Ihagee is best known for making one of the first 35mm SLR cameras in the world back in the 1930s and post-war made a well respected line of 35mm cameras under the Exakta brand.

The Ihagee Exakta Varex (1950) pictured with its pop-up viewfinder in the open position. There was an eye-level pentaprism that was available too making this camera a true interchangeable lens SLR.

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Ihagee-Exakta Vacublitz (Flashgun) 1950

Rare set and camera. Exakta Varex early model mid-1950.

Made in Soviet occupied East Germany (Dresden) in early 1950. It’s pretty rare to find one of these in such a good condition. I have it in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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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 https://www.wrotniak.net/photo/exakta/lenses.html

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 http://www.ccstudio2380.com (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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Contax RTS – getting it right

My recently acquired RTS stripped of its faulty skins. It’s a blank canvas and I like the look for now. The mirror is locked in the up position (the little lever to the right of the lens mount).

This scan (below) is from a Yashica marketing brochure from early 1975. There’s been so much misinformation about the origins of the RTS that I thought it would be best to go to the source to get the facts straight.

Lots of flowing marketing speak in there but it delivers with no uncertainties who did what and why. The when isn’t mentioned but many of the pictures inside this brochure are from mid 1974 based on the cameras, lenses, and accessories pictured (not just the RTS stuff). It’s generally believed that the initial talks between Yashica and Zeiss started as early as 1971. I might mention that this was an extremely challenging time financially and structurally for Yashica with some accounting and management issues reported in the global press which led to a bit of a scandal of epic proportions for Yashica’s founder(s).

Some of these accessories weren’t fully developed at the time this brochure was published and I’m far from being an expert on which lens was or was not available. I’ve never looked closely at the Carl Zeiss lens line developed for and with Yashica.

Contax RTS Real Time System.

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Leica M4 – 1969

A beauty in black.

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa

Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens shown here with a Zeiss Ikon slip-on lens hood (shade).

This lovely camera is from 1951 and features a built-in exposure meter.

Shown with the meter flap open for business. This image was taken with my Nikon D800 in my studio as a test shot – no post processing.

I haven’t had a chance to run a roll of film through this beauty yet. All levers, knobs, buttons, and dials are working as is the meter. My list of film test cameras is quite extensive so the likelihood that this one will see film anytime soon is slim, very slim.

A quick search on eBay shows a nice selection of these available in all sorts of condition and states of operation. A recent set with body, lens, and box went for $450 (similar to mine) in working condition. I would think around $350 to $400 is reasonable for a clean example and having the box is always nice and in this case worth the $50. I’d give the Contax IIIa a chase factor of 6 – they’re out there so finding one isn’t a problem but finding a 70-year-old camera in full functioning condition is the hard part. Expect some issues that may need to be addressed and of course without service (CLA) little guarantee of continued function. It does make an awesome display camera amongst my other 35mm rangefinders so it’s got that going for it.

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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Saturday’s Camera – Leica IIIg

The Leica IIIg is the last Leica Screw Mount body – 1956.

Stripped of its skin.

I have the new leatherette for my IIIg but as of yet I haven’t found the quiet time needed to install it. The camera and the Leicavit received a complete CLA from Mr. Ye so it’s good to go. In this case I’m chasing time.

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

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Chasing Classic Cameras 2020

2020 was a pretty dynamic year as far as our camera collection was concerned. Lots of outgoing cameras and lenses and a few (well more than a few) additions. Here’s my top 6 new members of the hoard.

An eclectic mix of cameras presented in no particular order.

Canon EOS-1N RS. The Superman of Canon’s 35mm SLR film cameras. This one is from about 1998. The high-speed motor drive is built-in and at its fastest its capable of shooting 10 fps! Here it has a gorgeous Canon EF AF 50mm f1.4 USM lens mounted.
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa from 1951 is a 35mm interchangeable lens rangefinder film camera. A fully operational Contax IIIa from early 1951. Here it’s pictured with the exposure meter flap in the closed position. The Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 50mm lens is in excellent condition as is the camera. Even the exposure meter is working!
The last in the long line of Leica L39 (LSM) interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras. This is the famous Leica IIIg with the Leicavit winder attached. The lens is a wonderful and sharp Ernst Leitz Summaron f3.5 35mm wide-angle lens.
I didn’t need to add this full-frame monster to my collection but when the opportunity came along to own it I couldn’t pass. At 36 MP it will laser etch your eyes with it’s resolution. Here it’s got a sharp AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens. The only downside to this camera is no built-in image stabilization so you need a tripod (at least I do) for any shot with a lens over 135mm.
My favorite Yashica hands down. This classic 35mm SLR film camera is in mint condition and came with its original box. From May 1970.
Yashica-Nicca YF – August 1959. Mated with a sharp Yashinon f1.8 5cm lens. This Yashica is a 35mm interchangeable lens film camera that uses L39 (LSM) lenses.

Believe it or not but there’s a few more not listed here. I’ll blog about those soon. There were many more outgoing cameras in our collection in 2020 which is always a good thing. You can’t keep them all.

Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to all of my new followers that joined the blog in 2020. Also a very big thanks to all of my followers since day one back in 2015. I couldn’t have ever imagined over 700 followers in my wildest dreams. Thanks!!! – Chris

Be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
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Leica WINTU

OK, what’s a WINTU? A crazy little right angle viewfinder that Leica-Leitz made between 1933 to 1948. I imagine it could have assisted with close-up copy work but having used it on my Nicca 3-S I can say that it works but it seems to have been made as just another gadget to buy. It was advertised as being able to “look around corners” and to take pictures without being noticed (stealth street photography).

I would guess that mine is from just after the war.
A beautiful piece of gear.
The eyepiece swings down to be able to focus through the rangefinder.

It doesn’t fit completely onto the accessory shoe of my Nicca 3-S from around 1955 but the eyepiece does line up and I was able to use it. In reality the best way to take street pics without being detected is to place your camera on a table at a cafe along the street and prefocusing it and presetting the exposure. Then just press the shutter whenever something strikes your fancy.

Still, a nice bit of German engineering that’s stood the test of time.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
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Leica Reloadable Film Cassette – IXMOO

Many 35mm rangefinder camera makers offered a reloadable metal film cassette for use with their cameras. Maybe one of the first to do so was Leitz for their Leica cameras.

Pictured below is one of those cassettes with its original Bakelite canister (film can). I believe this set was released around 1953 and was originally intended to be used with the new Leica M3.

Here’s a comparison between a standard disposable film cartridge from 1959 next to the metal reloadable cassette from Leitz (Code IXMOO). Overall the cartridges are within 1 mm of each other but as can be seen, the top of the Leitz canister is slightly taller.

The reloadable film cartridge is shown being used with the Leica IIIg which was the last Leica screw mount lens body made by Leica. My instruction book is from 1957.
The cartridges are about 50 mm tall to the top of the film spool.

The idea was simple. Since buying 35mm film in bulk was popular at the time, reloadable cassettes were a necessity to keep the cost of taking pictures low. As the disposable film cartridges became standardized the use of bulk film decreased as it was much simpler to use the premade film canisters.

While I was in college back in the early 1970s and taking some photography classes, I bulk loaded my own B&W films (mostly Kodak Plus X). It was a pain but it was far less expensive.

The earliest metal film cassettes made by Leitz were coded FILCA and were slightly taller than the newer IXMOO. I don’t have a FILCA cassette for comparison but I’d like to find one (I’ll gladly accept a donation of one if you have a spare).

From a Leica illustrated price list from 1939, the FILCA was Cat. No. 66,800 and was listed as a “Spare Roll Film Magazine” and sold for $3.00 USD. The catalog covers are pictured below.

Thanks for stopping by and if you’ve made it this far, congratulations for sticking with it! – Chris

Be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.