Exakta VX 500

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Buckster, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Saw a VX 500 posted on Craigslist this morning, so I contacted the guy and went to meet him. He said his father was a photo-hobbyist and had bought it when he was in the service in Germany around 1970, and that was really all he knew about it.

    I looked it over and put it through it's paces, and everything seems mechanically fit as a fiddle. It's a no-batteries-needed piece of gear, which I dig too. The finder is ground glass with a hood and a magnifying glass that pushes down for full composition or pops up from a spring loaded mechanism for fine focusing. The film winder is on the bottom, which is somewhat unusual, and the shutter button is on the front and positioned to be pushed with the left forefinger, behind a DOF lever. So you pull the DOF lever toward the shutter button, and you get a preview of the DOF, then push a little further to engage the actual shutter button. Very cool design, all around.

    Outside of camera and the case had plenty of pet hair and dust, but inside everything is clean as a whistle.

    The case itself is pretty incredible, as cases go. It's VERY thick leather in real good shape, with the clasp and snaps working just dandy, and with a beautiful red velvet interior.

    Also with it, a cool little light meter in it's own case, hanging off the camera case's strap. It too seems to work just fine, though I'll need to test if for accuracy.

    I'd never seen one of these cameras before, nor even heard of it, so for $50 bucks I had to have the kit for the collection. Here it is all cleaned up pretty:

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    I dig it! :thumbsup:
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Nice! The Exaktas were interesting cameras. The VX stands for Varex but since another firm (American, I believe it was Argus) was using that name they imported it here with the two letter, first and last.

    The winder does seem to be on the left side, not on the bottom though. ;)

    And does it have the film cutting device,like most Exaktas? It's a little screw you undo on the bottom and then pull out. That activates a sharp small knife inside the camera cutting the film. That was provided to have the ability to change films in mid-roll.

    Congrats on the find!!!
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    That looks quite clean. Exaktas were always interestingly machined and oddly-engineered beasts. There has never been a camera company that had the same unusual ethos in its design. Well worth the $50, just to have such a neat machine in your collection.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I like these later Exaktas and there are many fine lenses available for
    them.
     
  5. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cool info. I'd wondered about it.

    Aww shoot - I'm a dope sometimes! LOL! I meant the film rewind crank.

    Say WHAT?! You gotta be turning my crank! LOL! I don't see anything that could work that way on this thing.

    Thanks much! :D
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    varex

    Look at this page and see if there isn't a small "hook" type knife visible inside the camera, off to the sides of where the film is held when the exposure is made...
     
  7. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh cool! I see it in the photos on that page, but definitely nothing like that in this particular camera. What an odd/interesting thing to incorporate into a camera!
     
  8. IanG

    IanG TPF Noob!

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    Nice camera, this was a better option the the Exa's which tend to be less reliable.

    Much better to make a simplified Varex, I don't know why they didn't do this earlier.

    Ian
     

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