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The Exa 500 shared an unusual "bulgy" shape with other Exa SLRs. The shutter-release was a separate button, on the body to the photographer's left side of the the lens - underneath the lens-mounted stop-down lever (or button, depending on lens). Pressing the lever stopped-down the lens, and further pressure also pressed the shutter-release. This arrangement meant that there was no coupling necessary from camera to lens to stop down the diaphragm. The lens mount was the Exakta bayonet fitting.
The vertical cloth focal-plane shutter was faster than the earlier Exas, running from 1/2 - 1/500s. The speed dial is mounted around the rewind crank.
The eye-level pentaprism viewfinder was fixed, and featured an instant-return mirror and a bright ground-glass focusing screen with central microprism - all unlike many other Exas. There was a red pointer in the viewfinder to indicate when winding was required.
The advance lever has a travel of only ~120° - shorter than previous Exas. Around the top of the advance lever, the frame counter counts down; on the edge of the counter is a film speed reminder. The back of the camera features a shutter lock lever.
The back and the base of the camera was completely removable for loading film; this being released by rotating the surround of the tripod bush.
|Ihagee Exa series cameras|
|Exa (original) | Exa I | Exa Ia | Exakta 100 | VX 100 | Exa 1b | Exa 1c | Exa II | Exa IIa | Exa IIb | Exa 500 | Exakta 500 | VX 200|