Ihagee Exakta Exa IIa 35mm slr camera

The Ihagee Exakta Exa IIa was a development of the Exa II camera and produced by Ihagee in the early 1960s. Most of the changes between the models were cosmetic, style changes although there were also upgrades to the viewfinder and film advance that made the camera a bit nicer to use.

Ihagee Exakta Exa IIa Images

My Exakta Exa IIa Camera

I bought this camera from eBay at the same time as I bought my Exa 500. The same seller had both cameras listed and I got them both for £8.50.

As with the Exa 500, the camera was listed as ‘Spares or Repair’, but when this camera arrived, there initially didn’t seem to be anything mechanically wrong with it. I checked all the speeds and everything seems to be in order, but after a bit of use I discovered that the film advance / shutter interlock is not working allowing the camera to advance the film without firing the shutter. I will need to get the camera apart to see what is causing that problem.

Cosmetically there is a little bit of damage to the shutter speed dial. It looks as if at some point the camera has been dropped and there are a couple of big dents in the top cover and the dial. Fortunately it hasn’t stopped the dial from turning, but it’s a bit of a shame.

There is a bit of paint loss and rubbing on the camera body, but it’s not excessive considering the age of the camera.

Exa IIa Description

This is a short description of the Exa IIa because, as you would expect, it is very similar to the Exa II. The internal shutter arrangement is the same; a cloth, vertical travel arrangement with shutter speeds of 1/250 to 1/2 second and bulb and a shutter lock which can be used to lock the shutter open. The basic layout of controls is also very similar, although the film advance control has been improved because it is a much shorter throw than the Exa II. On the Exa II the advance control moved about 180 degrees to advance the film, on the IIa it is only about 90 degrees.

The other big improvement over the Exa II is the change from a ground glass focusing screen in the II to one which includes a split image rangefinder in the centre of the viewfinder. I remember thinking that focusing would be difficult on the Exa II as I was looking at it and saw in the handbook that a version was made with a split image focusing aid, so I think this version was the one referred to.

As I said above the other changes are more style than substance; the model II has a hinged back door, the IIa has a removable back, the II has a square plate around the lens mount, the IIa is a more rounded design. Once I get the camera apart I will find out if the internal mechanism is different from the Exa II, and see if there are any more extensive changes.

By the way, my article on the Exa II is here.

Ihagee Exakta Exa IIa specifications

  • Exa IIa 35mm slr camera
  • Focal plane shutter with speeds 1/2 sec to 1/250sec + bulb
  • Film Type reminder and frame counter on film advance
  • Front mounted shutter release
  • Front mounted flash sync socket
  • Exakta bayonet mount
  • Non return mirror
  • Top plate mounted film rewind button
  • Shutter release lock which doubles as the shutter T release
  • Removable take up spool
  • Tripod bush
  • Ser No: 179068
  • Manual available on-line here.

2 Replies to “Ihagee Exakta Exa IIa 35mm slr camera”

  1. Hello Again Simon, My Exa 500 was “defekt” but not listed as so on the bay. The rewind mechanism was not original and that is why the film cassette would not fit. Followed your shutter repair post but could not remove the rewinder.. The film advance also needs work. Am waiting for inspiration.

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