Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Kodak Ektra Cameras

A rare Ektra dealer display surrounded by Boxed Ektra accessories.

I've read that this camera was designed to replace the Leica and Contax which became unavailable due to the second World War. This doesn't make sense. The United States didn't enter the war until almost the end of 1941. This camera was introduced the same year. Reseach and development on a camera design would require years.

The Ektra is a piece of work. Contemporary with the Leica IIIc and the Contax II, it had many features that were way ahead of their time. It had a very long base rangefinder, a parallax adjustment for the viewfinder, which matched all six of the available lenses. We didn't see a comparable finder in the Leica for 15 years, and never in the Contax.

But that wasn't even it's biggest accomplishment. It featured removeable magazine backs, with lever film advance. Due to it's expense, it was not a heavy seller, with about 2000 built between 1941 and 1948.

There was work done on an Ektra II, and several examples are known to exist. It featured a spring wind motor back. It was never put into production.

The Ektra with the 50/1.9 Ektar

The Ektra with the less common 50/3.5 Ektar

Note the matching box

The Ektra body only, with matching box. Few were sold this way. Anybody have a body cap?

A box full of sales brochures

A dealer display poster for the Ektra, with a camera for scale. Note the contact print of the image in the lower left corner.