Ihagee EXA and E Ludwig Meritar 50mm f2.9 Test

Ihagee EXA (Black Flange) – SLR

  • Made in Germany
  • Shutter: B / 25 / 50 / 100 / 150
  • Frame Counter: Yes
  • Removable Waist Level Finder
  • Cable release
  • Sync Sockets
  • No Meter, but perfect for Sunny 16


E. Ludwig Meritar 50mm f2.9 (Earliest Version)

  • 3 elements
  • Focus 0.75m to infinity
  • f2.9 to f16
  • Lens color, Blue / Cyan
  • Nov 2012 Edit: I revisited this lens on a different body and found out the lens is very tricky and picky about focusing.


I’ve acquired an EXA Black Flange with an E. Ludwig Meritar 1:2.9 50mm couple weeks ago. Ran a test roll through it, it was a disaster. So i went back to my work station and worked on it. First I spiffed up the pressure plate, cleaned the lens, re did the gears under the crank knob, lubed everything out. Now this test roll #2 just came out, much better. Metering was eyeballed. If you see the glow, its from the film because of the combination of over exposure and lack of antihalation layer.

Test roll #2. Lucky SHD 100 Reload, D76 Straight Rotary 6 1/4 min 20C. Epson 4490.

Once again, you are looking at the sharpness of the lens via Lucky SHD.

November 2012 Edit:
Kodak Gold 800 C41 via Frankenmiya. @ f2.9 Developed at Walgreens.Shooting the Ludwig you really need to pin point the focus precisely.

Here’s a link to EXA II by fellow wordpress blogger.

11 thoughts on “Ihagee EXA and E Ludwig Meritar 50mm f2.9 Test

  1. Awesome work..yeah its a bit shallow…but considering the age, etc…its as good or better than some of the more modern film cameras i use…and they arent even Dehkified.

    • After all, this camera is approved for street use, thats my intention for it to begin with. Will give better images yet with something more expensive.

  2. yeah…same with the OM1 its alll mechanical, baby! kinda want to shoot a roll this next week. been slacking. What is your next option for cheap street cameras? the petri? or the Epic?

  3. Optically speaking the 50mm Meritar was the bottom of the range of 50mm standard lenses for the Praktica & Exa.
    I bought one, simply because it was regarded as a stinker of a lens & I was curious. Towards the edges of the frame things get very ugly indeed at f2.9, but are fine at f8. It was the bottom of the range of 50mm optics offered for Praktica & was still listed as an option with the MTL5 in 1986. I have not seen one of that vintage to see if it ever got an auto diaphragm.

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