Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Ihagee Exakta VX1000 (Elbaflex VX1000)

The Exakta VX1000 with 35/2.5 Angenieux and version 6 prism finder

Ihagee introduced the Exakta VX1000 at Photokina in October 1966. Although the camera appears substantially changed, it was too little, too late. The single biggest improvement was the instant return mirror. Unfortunately Asahi had offered it first in their Asahiflex IIB in 1954, 12 years earlier. It was a feature at that point that most manufacturers didn't even bother to mention in their advertising.

Cosmetically, the body retained the distinctive Exakta shape, but was a bit less rounded, the ends squared off.  Both the slow and fast speed dials were finished in black, as was the exposure counter. The cluttered look of the counter reset knob was cleaned up. The top plate was no longer set inside the body, but was raised up, showing a band of chrome around the top. The name on the front is in raised lettering over a ribbed black background.

Functionally (in addition to the marvel of the instant return mirror), the wind stroke was shortened to 235 degrees instead of the previous 300. A red indicator appeared in the viewfinder when the camera was not wound.

Harwix, a manufacturer of photographic supplies, marketed a TTL meter finder for the Exakta during the time the VX1000 was on the market. Some were engraved by the importer "TL" on the front.

Serial numbers ran from about 1125000 to 1185000.

In Europe the Exakta VX1000 was also sold under the name Elbaflex. It is in all respects the same as the Exakta. Serial numbers overlap the tail end of the Exakta production, running 1150000 to 1230000. My guess is that Ihagee did not want to damage relations with retailers and wholesalers who had purchased Exaktas and still had them in inventory by dropping the price of the Exakta, and in turn lowering the value of unsold stock. Yet they desperately needed to sell unsold stock, and the only way would be by reducing the price.