Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Ihagee Exakta Varex VXIIa (VXIIa)

While the Exakta VX was a considerable improvement over the previous model, the VX IIa was very similar to it's predecessor. The only changes were the addition of a third PC connection on the front of the camera, and an improvement in the slow speeds, which were made quieter. Ihagee was used to having the market pretty much to themselves and did not continue to improve their product. The VX looked pretty good when compared to the Asahiflex  and Praktiflex cameras of the period, but 1957 saw the introduction of the Pentax. Next to a Pentax, the Exakta certainly looks dated. In 1958 Minolta brings out their SR-2, and in 1959 Nikon introduced the revolutionary Nikon F. In response to this new challenge, Ihagee restyles the front plate of the Exakta in 1961!

The Varex IIa was not sold in the US due to a trade name restriction  They were marked VX IIa.

Version 1

This is the only version of the XV IIa with a 1/150th shutter speed. Serial numbers range from 818000-850000.

Version 2

The 1/150th shutter speed was removed. Serial numbers run  from 850000- 860000. 

Version 3

This version is the same as version 2, except the name on the front plate is raised lettering, rather than the standard engraving. While making one of the more beautiful models in an Exakta collection, it did little to keep the camera competitive in the market. Serial numbers run from about 860000- 935000

Version 4

Mixed in the serial number range of version 3 are some cameras marked "Exakta" in raised lettering, with "IIa" engraved underneath. They are not marked "Varex" or "VX" on the outside of the camera, only on the inside.

Version 5

In an effort to make their camera look more presentable to the buying public, Ihagee gives the Exakta a facelift. The front plate is made wider, with a bit more curve to it. The script name is replaced with uppercase block letters, silver on a black background. The pentaprism no longer comes to a point, but is leveled off on the top. The waist level finders are now leather covered. Although the change makes the camera look more modern, and even more elegant, it is still the same camera. Serial numbers run from 935000-1005000, but also include versions 6 through 8 .

Version 6

Some of the cameras in the serial number range of version 6 are marked "Mod.IIa" on the rear of the top plate between the slow speed dial and the finder. 

Version 7

This version is marked "VX" and "IIa" on the front plate, split by the lock for the finder.

Version 8

The same as the previous version, except marked "Varex" instead on "VX".