Exa 1b* an M42 mount Exa Hummel Nr-10 7/1983-8/1984 Standard lens: (Meyer) Domiplan 50mm f/2.8 (M42 mount, fully automatic diaphragm) As I had indicated in my earlier discussion of a "System Exa" (LINK), Exas were a more affordable (preiswerte) version of the Exakta, able to use many of the standard Exakta lenses and accessories. That rationale was completely negated, however, by releasing a version of the camera with an M42x1 auto mount, instead of the traditional Exakta bayonet mount. Thus it is NOT part of the Exakta "system," in a technical sense. The first of these was introduced in 1977 and production of some version of M42 mount Exa continued until 1987 (then called an Exa 1c). The later the version of the M42 Exa 1, the more chrome parts are replaced by plastic. There is some indication that some models and versions may have been made by Certo Camera Werk, Dresden-Großzsachwitz, but certainly a part of VEB Pentacon, as it became. Models made by Certo are supposed to have a "C" prefix to the serial number. Contrary to some statements, not all black-fronted models were built by Certo; at least the one discussed here lacks the C prefix. I suspect that most of the Exa Ib and c models were sold in the Warsaw Pact. Certainly by 1983 (contemporary with the Canon T70, for example), it is rare to find ads in the American photomagazines for Exaktas that are not the various Western made ones. Earlier versions of the Exa 1s with Exakta mounts had some of the "export" labels like "Elbaflex", but not, I think, any of the 1b models. By the standards of 1983, this is a very primitive camera--without an instant-return mirror, for one major shortcoming. One of the distinctive features of all Exas, including this one, is that the mirror is actually part of the shutter mechanism. When the exposure is made, the mirror goes up as in a conventional SLR, but when the exposure is over, a second cover rotates upward to block the light. There is no shutter curtain. When the film is wound on, the mirror lowers and the bottom cover drops down under the mirror cavity. The presence of a rapid wind lever also makes the camera easier to use than the older Exas, although it retains the same left-side shutter release of all Exas and Exaktas. It uses most standard Exakta viewfinders, waist-level and prism. With the fully automatic diaphragm on the Domiplan, there is a standard M42 type arc/lever that depresses the pin on the lens that closes the diaphragm blades. When the pressure is let up, the lens opens fully again. A half-depression of the shutter release allows a depth of field preview. Of all the Meyer Domiplans I have purchased with cameras or on their own, a very high percentage have failed diaphragms (LINK) , a weakness of some Meyer lenses, particularly affecting this particular one, but extending into some of the post-Meyer descendants on occasion. I have identified where the problem occurs, but so far, I haven't figured out how to reanimate the mechanism. Regardless, this particular example worked exactly as it was supposed to do. I have had much better luck with Domiplans in an Exakta mount, apparently some difference in the way the mechanism worked, but of course this one is a standard M42 mount, even though it is on an Exa. The film I used was more of my find of Ilford XP2 super 400, a B&W C-41 film. While it has some nice features, I think I honestly prefer regular B&W films. Then on the other hand, the film I have did expire in 2006, so this may not be a fair test of it. The pictures below show the camera from the front and top. Note that the speeds on the dial selector are 175, 125, 60, (50 flash), 30, and B. At least the speeds are a little more standard than those on earlier Exa models. _________ *Note that the correct label is an arabic numeral "1", not a roman numeral.