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Exakta Angenieux Lenses

French Made Luxury

   Among the best and most sought after Exakta lenses are the French made Angenieux.  They are not only well made, but also fine optical performers.    In a nutshell, there are two types of Angenieux lenses, the earlier manual diaphragm lenses, and the later auto diaphragm lenses with a unique aperture control.   The manual lenses of the early 1950's generally have black barrels with three chrome rings.   They were later improved to pre-set diaphragms.  My favorites are the beautifully finished satin chrome auto lenses introduced in 1959, like the 28/3.5 shown mounted here on an Exakta VXIIa.   In 1961 the chrome finish changed to black yet again.  

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Close-ups of the pre-set  35/2.5 and the auto 28/3.5.

The 35/2.5 manual Angenieux is quite noteworthy, as it was the first production "retrofocus" wide angle for 35 SLRs.   This means the distance behind the lens to the film plane is greater than its focal length -- thereby allowing thru-the-lens viewing with the SLR's mirror system.

The Auto Angenieux lenses have a unique aperture control, a rotating wheel which selects the f/stop.    Besides being distinctly mechanical in classic Exakta tradition, it's also a very easy and effective way to change f/stops. 

In my experience at least, Angenieux lenses have more than their share of scratched glass, so be sure to check them  carefully.   Soft coating??


Early Black Manual Lenses (introduced 1950-1957)   The 50/1.5 and 90/1.8 are very hard to find.  Later, similar styled lenses, are pre-set

        28/3.5, 35/2.5, 50/1.8, 50/1.5, 90/1.8, 90/2.5, 135/3.5, 135/2.5, 180/4.5

Satin Chrome Auto Lenses (introduced 1959)

24/3.5, 28/3.5, 35/2.5, 90/2.5, 180/4.5

Black Auto Lenses (introduced 1961)

24/3.5, 28/3.5, 35/2.5, 90/2.5, 180/4.5


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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.