Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Ihagee Kine Exakta

The Kine-Exakta is one of the landmarks in camera design. Although it was not the first 35mm SLR, the Russian Sport claimed that honor, the Sport made no mark on the market, and had little or no effect on the future of camera design becoming little more than a footnote to history. The Kine-Exakta, like most designs, is really just one step in an evolution. By taking the successful design of the Vest Pocket Exakta, and reducing the dimensions around the standard 24 x 36mm format, the camera becomes more portable and easier to handle. The shorter focal lengths eliminate the need for the retracting lens mount. The cassette loading is quicker, and is needed less often as the camera will accommodate loads of 36 exposures.

The Kine-Exakta is easy to spot. The finder is fixed to the camera as the pentaprism had not yet been invented. The top of the finder contains a magnifier which does not have a cover, making it visible through a cutout in the top of the finder when not in use. The front plate also has two indentations one on either side of the "Ihagee Dresden" engraving which no other model has.

Some models have Exakta spelled as "Exacta". The reason for this is not known. 

There are five versions of the Kine-Exakta.

Version 1

 The magnifier is round, allowing only the central part of the focusing screen to be viewed under magnification. Collectors have nicknamed this model the "Round Window" Exakta. It was only in production for a short time, and is fairly scarce and historically important, and commands a premium price from collectors. Serial numbers run from 455600 through about 486000, but the change in magnifiers was apparently not a clean break serial number wise, and some round windows may have been upgraded during servicing.

Version 2

This version is the same as the previous one, excepting that the magnifier is now rectangular. Serial numbers occur as low as 484000 and run through 530000.

Version 3

This version is the same as version 2, except the name is spelled "Exacta" instead of "Exakta". These seem to be more common in the US than elsewhere, but are less common  even over here than the "Exakta" versions. They are mixed amongst the serial numbers of the version 2 cameras.

Version 4

The camera was given a third hole in the flash synch on the front, threaded to enable the flash to be more securely fixed to the camera. Serial number run from 530000 to about 613000.

Version 5

This is the postwar version of the camera, brought back to market in 1948. The differences between it and the prewar models are fairly minor. The strap lugs are no longer of a hinged design, they are riveted into a fixed position. The slow speed dial no longer has a groove running around it, and the 1/10th speed has been replaced by 1/5. The back leather is not embossed with the Ihagee name, The tripod mount now protrudes from the bottom about .5mm instead of being flush with the leather. The mirror chamber is corrugated to minimize stray light reflections. Serial number run from 613000 to 650000.