sábado, 10 de noviembre de 2007

Ihagee Exakta VX, VX IIa an Butcher's watch pocket carbine

The Ihagee company was founded in Dresden, Germany in 1912 by Johan Steenbergen, a young man from Meppel, The Netherlands. Originally, the company was named Industrie- und Handelsgesellschaft; later, the abbreviation IHG was written as it is pronounced (in German): eehahgay and incorporated in the official name. Actually, the company has changed its name and structure several times; here with Ihagee I mean all these companies.
Ihagee has produced many camera types, some rather common but also some interesting models. In particular the Patent Klappreflex was unusual. It was a single lens bellows reflex that folded (the klapp) in a special way (the patent). It also produced bellows and macro extension rings, microscope adapters, flash equipment and enlargers. Lenses were always supplied by other companies.
World fame came with the Exakta. In 1933 it was a compact single lens reflex for roll film; this model is now called the Standard-Exakta (Vest Pocket Exakta in English speaking countries). In 1936 the Kine-Exakta was the world's first single lens reflex that used the now standard cine film and the 24x36 mm picture size.
Steenbergen had a Jewish wife and, although she was an American citizen, he considered it wise to leave Germany and go to the USA in 1942. He never saw Dresden and his company again.
In february 1945 Dresden, a very beautiful city, was heavily bombed because it was so beautiful. The allies hoped this would demoralise the Germans so much that they would end the war. That didn't happen but the Ihagee factory was destroyed. Only a few machines and some parts, stored elsewhere, were recovered a few months later.
After the war, Ihagee produced only Exakta and later Exa models. The 1950 Exakta was the world's first miniature camera with exchangeable viewfinders. The Exakta has been produced, in many upgraded models, from 1936 till 1969. The oldest lenses fit the newest model and vice versa.East Germany could not keep up with the technological development in the western world and Japan. Besides that, the East German gouvernment was unhappy with a company that had a foreign owner and could not be nationalised. So they let it decline; in the end it was just a sign on the wall of Pentacon, the Praktica factory.

Exakta VX II a with Carl Zeiss Biotar 1:2 f=58 mm lens

Exakta VX
Exakta VX II a

BUTCHER (W.Butcher & Sons, London, England)
William Butcher set up in business as a chemist in Blackheath, South London in 1860. However it was not until c1894 that the Butchers began manufacturing photographic goods under the "Primus trademark. The photographic business was run by Mr. WE Butcher and Mr FE. Butcher sons of founder William Butcher.

The business grew very rapidly. By February 1902 it moved to Camera House, Farringdon Avenue, London EC. Some cameras and accessories continued to be made at Blackheath and much was bought from other manufacturers, notably German firms. In fact, before WW1 the firm was primarily an importer Before 1909, most of its cameras were made by Huttig, thereafter by Ica.

Butcher's Watch Pocket square carbine, manufactured in 1912
Small folding camera with tapered bellows taking pictures 23 inches (57 mm) square, with a f7.7 aldis uno anastigmat lens of 76 mm focal length, this is an early model before the model who has the Lukos II rotary sector shutter model.

Ihagee Model Exakta VX with Meyer Primoplan Optik, Serie 2 before 1954 Nº 717754

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