Ihagee | History
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Ihagee 1912

Founded in Dresden, Germany in 1912 by Johan Steenbergen, a young man from the Netherlands, the company developed and produced many famous and innovative cameras, especially between its founding and the early 1960s.

Originally, the company was named Industrie- und Handelsgesellschaft (Industry and Trade Society) but later, the abbreviation IHG was written as it is pronounced in German: eehahgay. This pronunciation was incorporated in the official name. Ihagee has produced many camera types, some rather common but also some interesting models. In 1936, the Kine-EXAkta was the world’s first single lens reflex that used the now standard cine film and the 24×36 mm picture size. From 1939, the company was practically only producing the EXActa.

In 1942, the Nazis took over the company. Steenbergen, who was married to a Jewish woman, had left the country in time. At that time, production concentrated on war-related goods.

After the war, production resumed quickly and most of the cameras found their way into other countries. In 1966 the Dresdner Ihagee (East Germany) presented the Exakta Varex II b. But in 1969 the West-German high court ruled that all name rights were to be returned to Johann Steenbergen’s heirs. As a consequence, no more cameras from Ihagee could be sold in West Germay.


As a consequence Ihagee Exakta cameras were now sold as ELBAFLEX. Since the name Exakta is still held by a German Company we decided to protect and use the name ELBAFLEX since it represents the camera closest to our current design.

Exakta/Elbaflex cameras were famous for their reliability but also for their innovations and for concentrating on the essentials.

This basic concept has been carried into this new model: simplicity, robustness and affordability are the key features of the ELBAFLEX.