Back to the Past with Exakta

Last week a friend found an old film camera case in her basement when they were moving. Knowing how much I love cameras she called and asked if I wanted it. When I opened the case I saw a beautiful 1950’s Exakta 35mm film camera with two lenses—50mm and 135mm. The camera was made in East Germany and is built like a tank. I think it weighs more than all of my Micro Four-thirds bodies and lenses together.

Lumix G5 with Exakta lens

I immediately went to Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, Oregon and bought a roll of Kodak Tri-X film. Blue Moon only sells film cameras and is a great place to visit when you’re in Portland. It’s also a great place to buy old lenses that you can use on your mirrorless camera with an adapter.

Exakta 50mm lensWhen I got home I realized that it would probably be a while before I loaded and shoot the roll of film, much less took it in for processing, so I went to Google and typed in “Exakta to Micro Four-thirds adapter” so I could use the lenses on my Lumix G5. Up popped several choices so I hit the buy button and it was on its way.

Remember when you put an older lens on your Micro Four-thirds camera you have to go into the menu and change the setting that allows you to shoot without a lens. If you don’t the camera will tell you that there is no lens attached. You can leave the camera set this way when you switch back to regular lenses.

On my G5 the 50mm f/1.9 becomes a 100mm f/1.9, the 135mm f/3.5 becomes a 270mm F/3.5! I had Jasmine pose out on our deck and voila instant 1950’s portraits! I set the camera to shoot in Monochrome mode so I could get an old fashioned look and added a little sepia in Photoshop to complete the effect.