Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Exactly With An Exakta

What a camera!  I had a grand ol' time today shooting with my "new" Ihagee Dresden Exakta camera.  It's the VX IIa Model, and I tell you, what an over-engineered piece of mechanical beauty.  It's just fantastic!

From the simply elegant design, to the shape and big bold and beautiful viewfinder..

Oh, did I mention the chrome and black accented body?  Well, this camera is a beauty to look at.  And that's where it ends.  It is probably the most difficult camera I have ever tried to use. The shutter release is on the front LEFT of the camera, the film winds right to left, which is just weird for a 35mm.. the shutter release button is in an awkward place to press it, the lens mount is difficult to work with, and don't get me started on loading the film!
If it wasn't for the fact that I absolutely love this camera, I would have to say, I absolutely, and undeniably HATE it too!
It is just over-engineered!  Sure, it's got 3 PC Sync ports for X F and M sync.  It also has a great big viewfinder and an impressive look to it, plus the fact that you are pretty much stuck with Carl Zeiss lenses, not a bad thing in the slightest, makes it one expensive camera to own!

The big Biotar lens attached in the image above, sadly, is not my lens.  It's a fellow photographer's that I have cleaned up.  Found some damage, so I am testing it for him, and seeing how the lens performs under various conditions.

At the moment, it appears, the lens is perfect!  And I do mean perfect for some spectacular images!

Really enjoy using this camera, even though I have only had it for a couple of days. I think it's going to become my main go-to 35mm SLR.  Even over my Spotmatic and AE-1!  Go figure!

 Here I was wanting to test the overall sharpness of this lens, and figured, what better way than to use it by photographing a fence with strong vertical lines, and circles.
This also gave me a chance to see how it handles b/g separation, which the lens does incredibly well!

This gave me a great opportunity.  Not only did I get to help a fellow film-shooter out, but I got a chance to try my hands on a brilliant and highly sought after lens.  This is just phenomenal!  The build quality is really high.. 

Wish I had more time with this lens, but alas it is being returned to its rightful owner, who I'm sure will enjoy his time shooting with this lens.

The camera handles beautifully, for an old 35mm SLR.  It is well weighted so it is nicely balanced, and will probably be much nicer with a longer lens on.  
Exakta VX IIa - 35mm SLR - Carl Zeiss Biotar ƒ/2 - Polypan F 50

I had to try this lens out up close and personal, so I found this little garden accent light, snuck up to it, and snapped this shot.  The image took shape quite quickly, and sure enough, a razor thin depth of field, plus an idea subject for testing the sharpness of a lens.  Round sides, sharp edged corners, and a great b/g separation.  Nothing could be better.   Or could it?

Exakta VX IIa - 35mm SLR - Carl Zeiss Biotar ƒ/2 - Polypan F 50
That's where I was wrong.  This little purple plant was growing in, and made the perfect subject for testing the closer focusing of this lens.  I can get as close as I need to, it won't get cropped out of the frame, and it'll show some awesome sharpness.

Sure enough, it does more than that!  It proves that this camera and lens combo is one of the most idealistic choices that I can use.
Sadly, though, this lens is packaged off for return shipping to USA.
Exakta VX IIa - 35mm SLR - Carl Zeiss Biotar ƒ/2 - Polypan F 50

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