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Rarest Military Exakta?? 

Any pre-war Exakta 66  camera is rare.  Any military marked Exakta is rare.  But a military marked Exakta 66 is virtually unheard of,  especially with the Kriegsmarine engraving for the German Navy.   Luftwaffe engraved Leicas for the Wartime German Air Force are among the sought after of all collectible cameras.    Kriegsmarine engraved Leicas for the Wartime German Navy are even rarer.   This camera is rarer still!!

  

Introduced in 1938, the Exakta 66 was a quality built 6x6 120 format SLR. It has a rather strange bottom mounted lever advance -- unique so far as I know for 6x6 SLRs.    Shutter speeds ranged from 12 seconds to 1/1000th plus B.  As to be expected at this point in time, it had no instant return mirror nor automatic lens diaphragm.   Very few survived the wartime bombings of Germany.  This camera is serial #554638  with 80/2.8 Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar # 2429403. 

 

   

 

  

Note the Eagle atop the Swastika, the Reichsadler.  The "M" is believed to mean "Marine" for the German Navy.  The numbers after the M probably indicate a ship or unit, but the exact meaning has evaded camera historians so far as I have been able to determine.

  

 

 

Note the matching number is riveted to the back of the leather case.

The exact history of the camera is unknown, however it came to collector's attention after being sold from a German Doctor's estate in an American retirement community.  Photos courtesy and copyright of Imre de Pozsgay.

The story gets stranger still.  This camera was disassembled for cleaning.  Inside, it has the engraving SS.   hmmm.   I wonder how many other wartime Exaktas have secret engravings.


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Revised: November 25, 2003 Copyright  1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.