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Ihagee Exakta Varex VX - 1951
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• Early Exakta with removable pentaprism finder

• $343 with f2 lens in 1951 ($2877 in 2010 dollars)

Ihagee introduced the Exakta Varex in 1950. It was the first Exakta with interchangeable viewfinders, which was important because that meant a pentaprism was one of the choices. "Varex" was already trademarked in the US, so the camera was called the Exakta V here.

My VX is Version 2 of the next model, with only a few minor improvements over the V, such as a thumbwheel for setting the film counter. Mine is marked Varex and the film speeds are in DIN, so it was a version for the European market.

My VX has serial number is 741350, which means it was made in 1953-1955.

Jimmy Stewart used an Exakta VX in the Hitchcock movie Rear Window, as noted in the ad below. If you enlarge a still from the movie, you'll see that the trademark was blacked out.

The brochure that follows is undated, but it doesn't show or mention the auto-diaphragm that was added around 1954, so figure it came out close to 1951. Further evidence of this is that it lists the 1951 price, $343 with f2 lens.

Exakta Varex VXAd from Popular Photography, September 1954Ad from Popular Photography, December 1951Ad from Popular Photography, April 1952
From the 1956 Sears Camera CatalogExakta VX brochureExakta VX brochureExakta VX brochure
Exakta VX brochureExakta VX brochureExakta VX brochure

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