Exakta VX1000 35mm single lens reflex camera, c 1967.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
After the end of World War II, much of the German camera industry, which was centred around Dresden and Jena was in the Soviet zone of occupation, which would later become East Germany. The cameras made by East German manufacturers revolutionised photography in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Single lens reflex (SLR) cameras such as Exakta and Contax models offered the posibility of through the lens (TTL) viewing, and the flexibility of being able to use lenses longer than 135mm and wider than 35mm. Modern SLRs are the direct descendants of these pioneering East German cameras. This Exakta VX1000 manufactured by Ihagee Kamera Werk of Dresden has a fastest shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second.