The East German Queen: Exakta Varex VX

Exakta Varex VX

She is graceful, but also bombastic, but that is part of the real lady. The Exakta Varex VX is glitter, the former East German bling bling camera from 1956. At the same time ingeniously built and with a real optical viewfinder. Jimmy Stewart used it in the classic “Rear Window” movie by Alfred Hitchcock and also the Invasion ’68 in Prague was legendary captured by it.

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Leica Summitar 2/50

They were considered the best lenses from the first half of the last century. The summarit, summarex, summar, summitar, elmarit, elmar …. unforgettable names for lenses that each guaranteed the impeccable quality of its makers Ernst Leitz and Max Berek. Today we review a summitar F2 / 50 mm that will look out of place on a modern digital camera, but with an adapter surpasses many modern lens in terms of sharpness and color rendering.

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Leica III is a feeling

There is no other camera that is as fascinating and inspiring as the vintage Leica from the forties and fifties of the past century. Without this camera, photography would not have become what it is today. No wonder that this masterpiece by Ernst Leitz and Oscar Barnack is still the most beloved old-timer from the analogue era.

The Leica III, mod f, originally from 1934, modified and upgraded in 1954 to the ‘f’ (flash syn). Photo: Albert Kampermann
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Pentacon Carl Zeiss Jena lenses: the Sonnar 2.8/180

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180/2.8
Carl Zeiss Sonnar: a class apart

Using lenses on a big Pentacon SIX medium format means the lenses come huge as well. The most legendary lens is the Sonnar 2.8/180mm, based upon it’s original design for the 1936 Olympics. Over the years, the lens got updated many times and finally got scaled up to the 6×6 medium format coverage. The lens is crisp sharp from wide open and easily covers up to 6×9 and that is noticeable as you hold a lot of glass in your hands. 1350 grams is the total weight. A body builder.

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PentaconSIX: the East-German legend

Pentacon SIX

The Pentacon SIX is one of the most legendary medium format classics. There are numerous websites dedicated to this East German cult camera. And with reason: even in 2020, the results are comparable with those of a 48 MP digital reflex camera. For less than Euro 200 you can be in possession of one the remaining ones with some search on ebay. Built as a solid tank, the camera has no charm with its no-nonsense look, but I fell in love instantly with this chubby lady that performs as one of the best and constitutes the ideal entrance in the 6×6 medium format range.

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