Ihagee Ultrix folding camera

This post describes a medium format, folding camera made by Ihagee (later Exakta) in the mid 1930s. The Ihagee Ultrix takes 8 pictures of 6cm x 9cm on 120 format film, has adjustable focus and is fitted with an 8 speed Compur shutter.

Ihagee Ultrix Images

My Ultrix Camera

My camera, along with so many in my vintage camera collection, was an ebay purchase. In this case I paid £15 and bought it because it is a camera which produces large, and therefore more detailed, negatives.

When I received it I had to do a little cleaning up of the camera covering and chrome work, but the bellows and shutter seem to be in good working order and for a camera of probably 80 years or more age it is in good condition.

Ihagee Ultrix Description

As I said above the Ultrix is a medium format camera which takes 8 pictures of 6cm x 9cm.

At the time it was made in the mid 1930s it was common for users of the camera to rely on contact prints, i.e. a picture the same size as the negative, rather than enlargements, so the negative size directly related to the size of the pictures the camera produced. Therefore, although the number of pictures is reduced, having larger pictures would have been one of the selling points of this camera. Also, being a folding camera makes the unit quite small to carry around which would have been another selling point.

Folding Camera : Compur 8 speed shutter

Compur 8 speed shutter

On the photographic side, the camera has a Compur shutter with speeds of 1/250 sec up to 1sec along with bulb and time settings.

The aperture can be adjusted from f/4.5 to f/22 and the lens is a 105mm Ihagee Sol Anastigmat.

On the top of the shutter is a hole which the eBay seller said should have a lever to set a self timer, but that is only partially correct. Reading through the manual (linked below) suggests that the time delay was an option and not all cameras were fitted with it.

Something which sets this camera aside from most folders I’ve seen is the focusing arrangements. Normally the front element of the lens is rotated against a scale to set the focus, but this camera has a focus helicoid which moves the whole shutter assembly back and forth. There is a lever at the top of the shutter with a scale marked in feet meaning the photographer can see the focus scale from the top of the unit when looking down on it. To my mind this is a better arrangement than the front lens option, but I notice the threads of the helicoid are exposed as the focus is adjusted so I wonder how many Ultrix ended up with dirt in the focus?

To frame pictures there is both a collapsible frame on the top of the camera and a rotatable viewer mounted on the front of the unit. In common with every other front mounted viewer I’ve ever seen I find it impossible to see anything in the rotatable viewer. Perhaps there is a knack to using them but more probably my eyesight is just not good enough anymore.

I have loaded my copy of the camera with a roll of HP5+ film and when I have taken all the pictures I’ll add them to this site to provide some samples of what sort of pictures the Ultrix is capable of.

Ihagee Ultrix Specifications

  • Ihagee Ultrix medium format camera
  • 8 exposures of 6cm x 9cm on 120 format film
  • Manually cocked Compur shutter with speeds 1 sec to 1/250sec + B & T
  • Cable release socket
  • Helicoid focusing
  • f/4.5 to f/22 aperture
  • 105mm Ihagee Sol Anastigmat lens
  • Table stand and tripod bush
  • Optional time delay – not fitted on my camera
  • Collapsible viewing frame and rotatable viewfinder
  • Quick release button for bellows
  • Frames counted with film backing paper
  • Shutter Serial No: 3577911
  • Manual available on-line here.

2 Comments

  • Hello Simon Hawkett,

    There is a dot too much in the subject link beside your image in the mail notification, here is the link:

    https://simonhawketts.co..uk/2019/09/15/ihagee-ultrix-folding-camera/

    -thanks for sharing your thorough and informative work!

    jens erik

    Reply
    • simon

      Hi Jens – thanks for letting me know. I’m a bit lost to know why that is happening because that is taken care of in a plugin which I don’t control. Do you know if this is a recent problem or has this been happening for a while?

      Reply

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