Exa A1 Review - Camera That I’m Forced to Keep


I got this camera from my friend’s parents. They said that it has been in the family for many decades and I could have it in one condition; I’m not allowed to throw it away or sell it. I thank them and promised to keep in for myself and of course take it for a test drive!

When I got this, I was amazed by its beauty. The little round body with metal and black finish was a real eye candy for me. I heard that it has been serving as a toy for the last 15 years, so I didn’t think that it would work…and at first it didn’t. First, I tried the film winder, but it didn’t move. The shutter release didn’t work either. I went to the internet and managed to find the manual, but it wasn’t that useful. Winder was still stuck and I didn’t dare to put all of my strength to it, I didn’t want to break it more. Luckily my girlfriend was fearless and just forced the winder to move and the camera came alive!

I was excited and the first thing next morning, I went shopping for some film. I found two interesting new things for me; shutter button is attached to the lens and there was a top viewfinder, just like in TLR cameras. The shutter button is great, it’s easy to use and it’s right where your finger is when you hold the camera. Maybe that’s why they put a safety switch to this camera, so you won’t accidentally take a shot while handling the camera. I didn’t like top viewfinder that much, I’m just more used to the regular one.

Credits: jutei

The whole camera is full manual. You can set your ISO from 25 to 400 and shutter speeds go from 1/30s to 1/175s. I wouldn’t mind having faster shutter speeds, because on a clear sunny day, ISO400 loaded 1/175s will get you overexposed shots. There’s also bulb mode, a standard tripod socket, and a socket for a shutter release cable. The only thing missing is a flash hot shoe. You can use a PC-sync cord to fire your flash, but I didn’t have any PC-cords. The lens is 50mm f2.8-22 Meyer-Optik. The only special thing about it is the built-in shutter release button.

Credits: jutei

The photos came out okay, but I was hoping for little more sharper results. The camera feels really good in your hand and seems to be well made. Exa A1 is fun to use and the quite extreme weight (727g!) helps to keep the camera in place when taking pictures. The best thing is the good looks and the camera is now sitting on top of the bookshelf in my living room. It really looks that good!

written by jutei on 2013-07-05 in #reviews #ihagee-exa-1a-germany-german-old-50s-60s-70s-camera-film-35mm-trl-viewfinder-lens-50-f2-8-meyer-meyer-optik


  1. jaszee
    jaszee ·

    More handsome than the plastic Konstrucktor

  2. jutei
    jutei ·

    @jaszee Yeah, it's a beauty :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Fresh from the Lab: My First Roll of Film with the New Petzval Lens

    written by pearlgirl77 on 2014-11-14 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: My First Roll of Film with the New Petzval Lens

    Many of you may be aware that I was able to test the New Petzval Lens beforehand, but I finally got my own personal Petzval lens very recently. Of course I had to take it out for a spin immediately!

  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-11-04 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'Instant camera, it's hard to know where to start! We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience its full potential in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting very long exposures in dark places.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-20 in #gear #news #competitions
    Total Eclipse of the Sun Competition

    Did you catch the solar eclipse that happened recently? Word on the street is that it even resulted in a total eclipse in some areas of Europe, making it a pretty rare occasion for the folks that got to see it! We're guessing that some of you even had your cameras to catch the whole shebang on film — which is why we're throwing a competition for the best eclipse and sun inspired shots out there. Come on in and check out the details!

  • Lomo'Instant: How to Make Instant Connections

    written by mindofmyra on 2014-10-31 in #lifestyle

    Before moving to New York City, I was told that people keep to themselves. Thus, I set forth to put myself out there and create connections with the people in my community, using the Lomo'Instant as an icebreaker! I was proven wrong—if you show an ounce of kindness to anyone, they will overflow in return.

  • Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-11 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    My name is Amber Valentine and I have a confession to make: I’m not really a photographer. I have a website full of photographs, a bookshelf full of cameras, film waiting to be developed, and a wall full of framed pictures I’ve taken. Even so, I don’t really consider myself a photographer per se. I think that Lomography is more about the experimentation and the fun of film than it is about the photography, and that experimentation is part of the reason I have embraced Lomography so.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • New York - The Best City for Testing LomoChrome Turquoise

    written by zonderbar on 2014-11-11 in #reviews
    New York - The Best City for Testing LomoChrome Turquoise

    Two years ago I swore to myself, I'll be coming back soon!" This October my chance finally came and I flew for the second time to New York City to visit my dear colleagues in the Lomography Gallery Store New York. What I didn’t see coming, though, is the opportunity to test a new secret film during my trip.

  • Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    written by rancliffhasenza on 2015-09-27 in #gear #tipster
    Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    Browsing through the Lomography website, you can find a lot of redscale shots, which are all done on color negative films. I asked myself if it’s possible to redscale a slide or chrome film and then cross process it. (And yes, it is.) In this tipster I’m going to teach you how to create the bloodiest homemade redscale film I've ever come across.

  • Camera Collections: theonlydrp's Vintage and Handmade Gear

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-09-20 in #world #lifestyle
    Camera Collections: theonlydrp's Vintage and Handmade Gear

    Some lomographers prefer to hoard as many analog cameras their shelves and budgets can support. Some would rather keep a manageable number that they can regularly shoot with. Community member Joshua Kennedy belongs to the latter group. From 40 cameras, he downsized his collection to 13, as he puts it, "really good ones" that suit his shooting habits and style. In this interview, he breaks down his small yet dependable arsenal of vintage and handmade cameras and how an organized schedule allows him to shoot with each one on a regular basis.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • A Conversation with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović

    written by jacobs on 2015-01-19 in #lifestyle
    A Conversation with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović

    It was our great pleasure to chat with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović, about his interest in pinhole photography as well as the formation of his company that produces handcrafted pinhole cameras. We found his answers fascinating and we think you will too. Thanks Elvis for being so generous in sharing your story and cameras with us!

  • Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    written by Wessel de Haas on 2015-02-13 in #gear #reviews
    Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    Some time ago, my parents-in-law gave me an old Polaroid camera that they used during my wife's childhood. After some investigation, I found out that Polaroid had stopped making instant film. But the factory in Enschedé, the Netherlands had been taken over by The Impossible Project, so I bought a package of fresh film and gave it a try!

  • Bite-Size Fiction: Spectrophobia

    written by chooolss on 2015-01-10 in #lifestyle
    Bite-Size Fiction: Spectrophobia

    “Mommy, no!” Angela squealed as she tried to push the camera away from her face. Thankfully, Anita managed to take the shot and hold the gadget tightly, keeping it from harm’s way. It was already the third time her daughter reacted in such an averse manner at having her photograph taken, and by now she’s gotten really curious.