Isco Exakta Lenses  

Isco, a long time producer of lenses, has often been linked to Schneider. The appearance of their lenses in many cases has quite a few similarities.

Most of the notable Isco lenses were manufactured in automatic Exakta (and Praktica/Edixa) mounts. Their range of automatic lenses ran from 24mm to 135mm. They also produced a fine 180mm lens, the Tele-Iscaron f2.8 in preset mount. 

The Early Automatic Isco Lenses (chrome)

Isco produced several chrome lenses in automatic mount for the Exakta. Pictured on the left, The first version 50mm f2.8 Auto Westanar is quite common while the 2nd version is quite rare.

50mm f2.8 Auto Westanar - Version 1

50mm f2.8 Auto Westanar - Version 2

The earlier version has f/stops down to f/16 and focuses as close as 1 meter, while the larger second version has f/stops down to f/22 and focuses as close as .65 meters.


50mm f2.0 Auto Iscoliton (RARE)

The 50mm Iscoliton is quite uncommon. It features f/stops from f2.0 down to f16 and focuses from infinity down to 2 feet (0.6m).



The Automatic Isco Lenses (black)

The black finish automatic Isco lenses in my collection include:

24mm f4.0 Auto Westrogon

35mm f2.8 Auto Westron

50mm f1.9 Auto Westrocolor

The 24mm Auto Westrogon (center) is an impressive optic both in appearance and performance. It has 8 elements and focuses as close as 1.7 feet. It is my favorite ultra-wide Exakta lens.

Several different versions of the 50 Auto Westrocolor exist with the later versions not as desirable as the original since cheaper materials were used in their manufacture. The one displayed on the left in the photo has 6 elements with f/stops from f/1.9 to f/22 and focuses as close as 1.7 feet.

The 35mm f/2.8 Auto Westron is shown on the right in the photo.

Each are relatively easy to find on the used equipment market.


135mm f2.8 Auto Tele-Iscaron

135mm f3.5 Auto Tele-Westanar (compact lens)

The 135mm f2.8 Auto Tele-Iscaron consists of 4 elements with f/stops from f/2.8 down to f/22. It focuses as close as 4.75 feet. It is substantial in weight at 23 oz. It can also be found in a preset mount.

The lighter 135/3.5 Auto Tele-Westenar, like the lens above can also be found in preset mount.



The Isco-Mat LM Lenses

Isco also produced a set of three light meter lenses known as the Isco-Mat LM's. These lenses have detachable selenium cell exposure meters that couple with the lens diaphragms on each lens. Schneider also manufactured a set of these lenses using a similar (and interchangeable) meter. (See my Schneider lens page.)

The models included:

35mm f2.8 Auto Isco-Mat LM

50mm f1.9 Auto Isco-Mat LM

135mm f3.5 Auto Isco Mat LM


The 50mm f2.8 Auto Iscorama

One of the most unusual (and rare) lenses ever produced for the Exakta was the Isco Göttingen 50mm f2.8 Iscorama. During photo taking, the lens permits vertical or horizontal picture shrinkage. It's a two part lens, a modified automatic 50mm f2.8 and a special anamorphoser.

This is a very interesting lens and fun to play with. You can make short objects tall, fat objects thin, etc., just by depressing the two buttons and rotating the front elements.


The lens is pictured mounted on an Exakta VXIIa with its original blue Isco box and proper Isco lens cap.  

The 180mm Isco Lenses

180 mm f2.8 Isco Tele-Iscaron

The 180mm f2.8 Tele-Iscaron is one of 2 Isco lenses produced in the 180mm focal length and it's on of Isco's legendary optics. Displayed here with its proper caps and fitted case, it has a preset diaphragm, 5 elements, and a built in rotating tripod mounting collar. The 180 Isco is fitted with a special Exakta external bayonet lens mount for greater rigidity. It focuses as close as 5.9 feet.

It's a weighty lens, not quite as heavy as the 180 Carl Zeiss Jena Olympia Sonnar and substantially less than the 200mm f2.8 Taika Super Coligon.


180 mm f4.0 Tele-Westenar

Manufactured as a less expensive alternative to the 180 Tele-Iscaron, the 180 Tele-Westenar is seldom encountered. It has a manual diaphragm, 4 elements, f/stops down to f22 and focuses as close as 7.8 feet.

Both 180mm Iscos are getting more difficult to find everyday.



Later Isco Lenses

The early 60's Isco lenses are the nicest ones. Later lenses were manufactured in some cases with plastic parts and are much lest robust in their construction. Three such lenses in my collection are:

28mm f4.0 Westron (preset)

35mm f3.5 Westron (preset) (not shown)

135mm f3.5 Auto-Westromat



Most commonly supplied with the late model Exa II series cameras, the 50mm f2.8 Auto Iscotar lens is most uncommon in the USA. The lens is displayed with its' proper front cap and original packaging. It has f/stops down to f/16 and focuses as close as 0.8m.

50mm f2.8 Auto Iscotar


Isco Berolina-Westromat Lenses

I recently acquired a pair of Isco automatic lenses designated "Berolina-Westromat". They are of the later style and have f-stops down to f/22 with click stops at all half stops. The 35 f2.8 focuses almost as close as 10 inches and the 135 as close as 6.5 feet.

35mm f2.8 Auto Berolina-Westromat

135mm f3.5 Auto Berolina-Westromat



 Isco Brochure

The brochure shown on the right was published by the Exakta Camera Company covering the Isco lens lineup. Lens details and and pricing information is provided for each of the Isco lenses available at the time.

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