An old test of an old camera

One of the batches of slides I came across is labeled “Exa I test”. The Exa I was an Exacta ‘cousin’; a much simpler SLR that used the same lens mount and finders but had only a four speed ‘guillotine’ shutter. It was quiet as a mouse, and thus that was the nickname it earned. The one I had came with a Meyer-Gorlitz Primotar 50mm f3.5 lens, which is most likely what the test roll was shot with. Primotar was Meyer’s version of the Zeiss Biotar lens, the name being a portmanteau of “Primoplan” (their best lens) and “Biotar”.

The film itself is Kodachrome 64, and it hasn’t held up well over the years. It’s gone dark and contrast-y with a decided colour shift towards blue (a trait usually seen in Ektachrome) and some significant ‘blowout’ in the highlights – despite genuine Kodak processing. With some careful post-scan reworking I managed to get some images, but they don’t really do the camera justice. No doubt I used a light meter for these, but I had so many of them there’s no way to tell which one.

EXA1
How now brown cow?
EXA2
Small fry
EXA3
Speckled cow
EXA4
Downed tree
EXA5
Primitive milk cooler
EXA6
Lichen to a rock
EXA7
Unprocessed: I like this one the way it is
EXA8
Desolate landscape
EXA9
Alternative power

I probably should have kept that camera just to have it, but as with so many others …

C’est la vie.