I was given this 1962 camera by a reader who found it for £5. Apparently it was in a bit of a state with some potential light leaks so he filled the holes with light seal foam.
Actually, I really like the look of this camera, even with the foam around the viewfinder 🙂
As you can see there are choices of aperture at the bottom of the lens. When set to the flash mode the shutter speed is 1/30th and you change the aperture dependent on the distance of the subject. The bulb setting only allows the use of the f5.6 aperture. In auto mode speed is set at 1/70th and the camera chooses the aperture based on the available light. And talking of available light, there is an indicator in the viewfinder. It shows red until the shutter button is pressed and then changes to green if there is enough light. On this example the shutter will fire even if the indicator remains red, the website I referred to said it would not. Without another camera to compare I don’t know if mine is correct or broken. Amazingly I found a pdf manual here. That does not mention a transport lock though it does talk about a shutter indicator next to the rewind button. The camera will fire if the indicator shows red.
The camera feels sturdier than the modern fantastic plastics and even the older toy cameras such as the Fuji Pet. This does not look or act like a toy camera even with the plastic body.
Another difference is the size of the negative, though it takes 120 film the negative produced is 4×4. That means you get 16 shots per roll.
I loaded my example with Fomapan 100 and took it to Hebden Bridge and finished the roll while on a course at Doncaster Racecourse. I was there two days and didn’t see a single horse.
I set the camera to 200asa, but on some shots the red light stayed up so I decided to push develop it to 400asa.
For the most part I set the zone to mountain, except for the wall which I took to try a closer focusing choice. I love the look of these photos. There are only 14 instead of 16 as I didn’t realise it was a 4×4 camera so stopped at 15. I have never used a 4×4 before and thought the number 16 must be wrong. The other missed shot was a where I wound the film on without taking a shot. There is no film stop but neither is there the scope to take double exposures.
I do like the camera, but I decided to send it back to the previous owner. After researching I found it was quite rare and could fetch prices much higher than £5, plus it worked really well. The previous owner should get the chance to benefit from his efforts.
11 thoughts on “Agfa Isoly-Mat”
I have the basic version of this camera (without meter) and probably a simpler lens.Haven’t put a film through it yet, but after seeing your excellent results I must give it a go.
I do have another version to test but I have a feeling it won’t work quite so well.
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Oh btw my other Agfas of the same vintage and with the same indicator system will fire the shutter even tho red indicator showing
I thought so, good to know.
Gorgeous, atmospheric photographs. I remember visiting Hebden Bridge in 1986, or ’87, and buying a pair of clogs, I could not master the damned things!
Ahhh, unfortunately the clog factory burnt down a couple of days before my visit. I saw the remains being putted down.
Now that’s my kind of camera: simple and goofy looking, but stealthily capable of excellent images.
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Really please, the top part of the camera was in two pieces with a crack running right into the film compartment. Great photos and I like the square format.
Well done on the repairs, no leaks at all. I will return it on the next photo walk.
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