I’ve been meaning to do this one for a long time. I’ve had this Agfa Isolette for ages and ages: so long in fact I can’t even remember whether I’ve ever shot film through it before. I bought it in younger days because it was cool looking.
I have come to understand over the years that these are fairly well regarded cameras and can fetch reasonable prices (depending on condition,lens etc). This is in fair condition, some signs of age like the DoF wheel worn back to brass.
So finally, it is time to try it out. Ultimately this camera is destined for sale as I haven’t really used it and it doesn’t fit in with my collection; I can’t keep hanging on to everything.
This is a medium format folding camera; and is an example of the Isolette II. It has the slightly rarer 85 mm f/4.5 Agnar lens and it has the Vario shutter. It’s just a viewfinder camera with zone focus.
|Agfa||Isolette II||120 folding||c1950||85mm 1:4.5||T, B, 1/25, 1/50 and 1/200||F4.5-32|
It has a case but a piece has gone missing (was gone when I got the camera) and so it is not complete. If I were keeping this camera and intending to use it, I would probably remove the remains of the front/top cover leaving a more useful half-case.
Overall it’s quite a nice camera to use, but nothing very special or remarkable about it; it just works. I have other folders and they are better (IMO) but if I didn’t, I would see no reason not to keep and use it; it does have double exposure prevention which my others do not. It was probably my lack of experience with this camera but for some reason I have to roll just past the markings on a couple of frames to get the double-exposure to release so some frames are just off as a result. It’s a solid little camera and a convenient package I just wasn’t inspired using it.
The focus ring is a little tight to turn (I guess lubrication is in order) but apart from that all functions as you would expect it.
I put a roll of Ilford Delta 100 through it. The results are a little disappointing mostly due (it seems) to my failure to focus accurately rather than the cameras functionality. Also, that film may have been expired and so it’s performance would have been affected. There are a couple in there I like but overall not a great set of exposures. Oh well maybe the next owner can make better efforts with it.
I think some of the images would have been salvageable if I were to put a little effort in to post production. For example, a slight adjustment to blacks and a little cropping to the first images does this;