Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee: The Journey Continues

We are constantly after more megapixels, more dynamic range, and cameras that can see in the dark. But those things aren’t what photography is about. Photography is about vision, story, and emotion. 
                                                                           Bryan Minear                                   
Minear's words provided additional motivation to incorporate
analog black and white photography along with digital color photography. 

This decision prompted a rich memory.  In the 60's two of my peers were using strange primitive SLR Exatka and Exa lenses and film cameras.  They were heavy, bulky and when an exposure was made very loud sounding instruments. 

In addition to film materials. why not use an Exatka or Exa? Indeed why not? 

With a bit of searching, found an acceptable recent Exa copy located in Germany.  With little to no hesitation, placed an order.  It arrived five days later.    

Now the Exa 1c is a 35mm film SLR camera, manufactured by VEB Pentacon, former East Germany, and produced between 1985-87 with quantity 103.900 units.  

With the Exa/Exakta cameras you get the feeling that they were designed in a ivory tower somewhere out of contact with the rest of the world, and built up from first principles the way the designer thought a camera ought to be. 

The Exa shutter, with a maximum exposure speed of 1/175 sec is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.  It involves cylindrical blades that go up and down forward of the mirror, unlike any other SLR shutter.

The body shell is finished in attractive matte black and made of very thin material. The shutter, the advance lever and the rewind make a lot of noise. It can take all the M42 lenses. 

If you are right-handed, it can be awkward to use.  Everything about it seems left-handed which is not a problem, as I am left-handed.

After a short internet search, found an English language Exa 1c manual containing detailed instructions for its use.    

The journey continues.