Exakta Circle

Promoting the collection, use and historical study of Ihagee cameras and associated accessories

A History of the Exakta Circle

Exakta B
In the December 1995 edition of Exakta Times (No.21), Jim Anderson wrote:

From about April 1965 to October 1967 advertisements appeared in photographic magazines inviting membership of the Exakta/Exa Owners Club. Following this up it became clear that it was a commercial venture on the part of Westminster Photographic Ltd., a large London retailer. They also advertised up to June 1975 a Single Lens Reflex Club which had an Exakta division based on one of their branches, a Pentax Division based on another, a Leica Division based on a third branch, a Nikon Division on another and a Praktica Division based on a fifth. Whilst these were not social clubs in the usual sense, they no doubt served a useful purpose in disseminating technical information and informing members of the equipment available on the market. Another so-called club of commercial base was called the SLR Camera Owners' Club run by Mallinsons School of Photography and Journalism, Cambridge. This ran from late 1969 to the end of 1972. They issued a monthly newsletter and also provided a free copy of the SLR Camera magazine.

Then from about September 1973 our colleague Dr Dick Armstrong, a man of science, started the Exakta Owners' Club and published a newsletter. He served us well for a number of years and at its peak he is understood to have had up to 300 members. Unfortunately a major change in his circumstances caused him to discontinue the work early in 1978. There was then a gap of about five years to January 1983 when John W. Bruce started the Exakta Club. He was a Scientific Civil Servant working on computers in the National Engineering Laboratory at East Kilbride, Glasgow (and incidentally an ex-member of the 6th Airborne Division). He produced a monthly Newsletter and Information Sheets on Stereo Work, Macro work, and Camera Repairs. He also started a Print Folio, and a Collectors' Circle, and made a start on an Exakta Bibliography. The Club reached 90 members, but following a change in his employment, the Club came to an end around July 1984.

Our present Club arose directly out of the demise of the Exakta Club. Members who had been in touch with one another through the Collectors' Circle of that Club kept in contact throughout 1985 and in due course formed the Exakta Club Collectors' Circle. The original members were Marc Bramson, Terry Calvert, Tim Sharples, Frank Morrell and Geoff Coley. The name, seen in isolation, was unusual, but a natural sequence to the previous organizations. We decided to change it to Exakta Circle in October 1991. The first newsletter was issued in May 1986 and No. 18 in October 1990. Exakta Times No. 1 came in December 1990.

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