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Ihagee Exakta 66

Ihagee Exakta 66

Style, film format 120 roll film interchangeable lens

Lens, shutter Coated 80mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar, cloth focal-plane shutter

Photo quality Very good

Ergonomics Very good for a heavy camera

This camera isn't mentioned much when discussing Exakta cameras, and for good reason. There were fewer than 2,500 of this model made in a two-year span.

The Exakta 66 is a single-lens reflex camera that shoots 6cm x 6cm photos on 120 film. The camera features a coated lens, a somewhat novel waist-level finder and a removable film back.

The camera has no meter, which wasn't uncommon.

This is a heavy camera -- three pounds, 10 ounces (1.6 kilos) heavy.

There are two strap lugs on the top of the Exakta, but they are a bit thin which always maes me wonder if they can support the weight of this camera day in and day out.

The controls on the camera are well placed, and the camera is easy to use. The film back has a large cutout, which makes the camera easier to hold.

The shutter release is on the face of the camera, lower left. You can see it to the left of and slightly below the center of the lens.

The viewfinder snaps into position easily, and there is a two-element magnifier that is available. It hooks to the sides of the viewfinder to block out stray light.

The Tessar lens focuses easily, and the scene in the all-ground glass viewfinder snaps in and out of focus.

There is no automatic aperture, so you focus wide open and then close down to your working aperture just before you take your photo. This usually means that you have to recompose your photo after stopping down the lens.

Advancing the film is a snap because of the oversized film advance. The shutter speed dial spins, so keep your fingers and clothing away from it when you take your photo.

Like the 35mm Exakta SLRs, there is a second dial for slow speeds and delayed release.

Everything about the camera is straightforward except for loading the film. Check out my extended review for instrucitons on loading film into the camera back.

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