Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence there remains, it seems, a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is what the manufacturer is calling a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex, which was the name for Exakta cameras sold in West Germany during the late sixties and early seventies. This remake, however, comes with a Nikon F mount.

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The new model will have a fully mechanical shutter with speeds of 1/2sec to 1/500sec + B, and a single stroke wind-on crank. It will be fitted with a PC socket for flash, a hotshoe, and a flash sync speed of 1/60sec. The use of the Nikon mount obviously allows it to use old and modern lenses, though there’s no mention of the extent of the aperture coupling.

The camera doesn’t need batteries to operate as it has no built-in meter (the company says users can use an app on their phone instead), but there is an ISO dial around the rewind crank just in case.

The new camera is said to be the result of a collaboration between German and Ukrainian engineers, and the camera will be built in the Arsenal factory that made the Kiev cameras. The use of the Nikon lens mount is perhaps an echo of the Kiev 17 35mm film camera that also used the Nikon mount.

It’s hard to be certain what the new camera is actually based on as it uses a wooden grip and modern looking buttons and dials. The new manufacturers suggest it is an Exakta Varex llb, but it has none of the distinctive body styling, antique knobs or interchangeable pentaprism/wasitlevel finder—and the Varex llb was out of production by before the name change occurred in 1969.

The Elbaflex name was introduced to get around lawsuits by the original Ihagee owner to force the East German Ihagee East (as the company became known after the war) to pay him royalties for use of his brand. The use of the name Elbaflex is once again being used to avoid conflict with the current owners of the Exakta brand name.

The manufacturer expects the body to retail for $1500 when it ships in August 2018, but early backers can get it for $530. You can get the camera in a choice of four colors, and there's also a special deal that includes the Meyer Optik Trioplan 50mm or the Lydith 30mm.

For more information, visit the Ihagee Kickstarter campaign page.

Press Release

Kickstarter Launches for the Rebirth of the Ihagee Elbaflex 35mm Analog Camera

New Analog Camera Has a Nikon F Mount

(Dresden, Germany) The famous Ihagee camera brand is making a comeback, launching a Kickstarter campaign today for its first offering, the Elbaflex, a 35mm analog camera with a Nikon F mount, stylish wooden grip and a full two-year guarantee.

The Elbaflex has a simple, yet beautiful design that is aimed at the photography purist. Its designers say the fully-manual camera is intended to make a statement that the art of photography is about taking your time and making each frame meaningful.

Early Kickstarter backers can get the Elbaflex for pledges that start at $529, as well as bundles that will include either the Trioplan 50mm or Lydith 30mm, both of which are fully-manually and made by German lens manufacturer Meyer Optik.

The camera is expected to be shipped to Kickstarter backers in August 2018, though the first 100 cameras are expected to ship to early Kickstarter backers by July 2018. The Elbaflex, which will be handmade, is expected to have a retail price of $1,500 and be on the market in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company takes its name from the German camera pioneer that in 1936 produced the famous Kine-Exakta, a camera which eventually became known as the Elbaflex in the 1970s.

The new Ihagee Elbaflex is a collaboration between a team of German and Ukrainian engineers. The German side includes former engineers and technicians who have many years of experience in the production of analog and digital cameras, as well as lenses, for Leica and Schneider Kreuznach. They will provide the engineering and design leadership, while the Ukrainian side, which includes former members of the famous Arsenal factory in Kiev, will oversee production.