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Exakta 66 (post-war)

Exakta 66 post-war model  2 1/4 reflex camera;  c1953. It used 120 rollfilm for 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ negatives.  The body measured 5 ½” high, 4 ½” wide, and 4 ½” deep with the lens removed.  It was made in USSR occupied German, by Ihagee Kamerawerk.   Not too many of these were ever sold.  Although impressive looking and finely finished the list price of $300 might have put people off a little.  Because so few were sold they are not very common cameras.  They still command a fairly good price on the used market.  These often have shutter problems and are hard to get fixed.  The camera had a removable slide off film magazine.  There was a large 1 inch deep hole in the back of the film magazine. This was meant to be used as a fingerhold  for steadying and grasping the camera. Extra film backs were supposed to have been available but might never have been produced.  So although the film back comes off the camera getting extra ones might not have been possible.   A metal foot below the taking lens was meant to steady the camera when it was set down.  The lens was an 80mm Carl Zeiss Jena red “T” Tessar with a built in preset diaphragm.   It was interchangeable with a bayonet mount; and had a distance scale in feet and meters. The glass on these lenses was very nice and the coatings were really done well.  The hood was removable.  There was a nice critical magnifier built into the hood. There also was supposed to be an eyelevel prism for these but these appear never to have been brought into the United States.  The shutter was a cloth curtain with speed settings ranging from 1/1000th of a second to 12 seconds including T and B.  A total of 29 speed setting were possible.  The two speed setting knobs were similar to those found on Exakta 35mm cameras.  The knobs revolve when the shutter is fired.  Because the camera often had shutter problems and cost so much few were sold with only a total of about 2500 being made.   The flash delay mechanism dial may be set from 0-20 milli-seconds.  A PC fitting, on the upper left side of the camera, will accept modern strobe units.  The camera was designed for use with both flashbulbs and electronic flash.  The shutter is cocked and the film is advanced by using an automatic quick advance double lever.  This lever is spring loaded and snaps quickly back after cocking the camera.  The film counter advances when the camera is advanced. The shutter button is in the lower front of the camera.  A small safety locking lever will prevent the camera from firing when in storage.  The focusing glass is thick and curved and provides edge to edge sharpness with bright viewing.  There was a small triangular note pad on the left side of the film back which could be erased by turning a round dial below the writing surface.   There are tripod sockets on the bottom of the camera and on the left side of the camera.  Additional lenses ranged in focal length from 56mm to 400mm. These included wide angle lenses.  Primotar f3.5 lenses in 85mm 165mm and 180mm. Meyer Tele Megor  f5.5 lenses in 150mm 180mm 250mm and 400mm.  I am not sure which of these were actually produced but this is what was supposed to be manufactured. 

©  James Vilett