Agfa Optima 335 Sensor

Recently I have been buying the odd camera on Facebook Marketplace. Only if it is close to me, only if it is cheap. That is where this one came from. There was something about it that caught my eye. Maybe, how clean it looked.

Plus, it just looks so classically suave to me. It reminded me of the Agfa 110 camera I have previously tried. That one worked really well, to be fair all the Agfa cameras I have tried have worked well.

This camera from around 1978, was really clean inside and out. You can find lots of technical details here. The main issue for me with using the camera today is that it required three PX625 batteries. I didn’t have any of those handy. Luckily, I had three adapters that I had found inside a various cameras. Those, along with common LR44 batteries powered up the camera perfectly. The adaptors made the LR44s the perfect shape. Thanks to Rod in the comment section for the information on the PX625U. Next time I will source some of those.

The batteries power the camera fully, as in, it is totally automatic. There is a low light warning in the viewfinder if you press the shutter part way. It is in the form of a red light. What is confusing is that the red light also displays when the shutter is fully activated. On a half press it means not enough light, on a full press it means shutter fired. So, to be clear, the camera still fires when there isn’t enough light. Other than that, there is no information in the viewfinder to let you know the choices made by the sensor.

Here is another quirk, the film advance lever is also the film rewind lever. There is a button next to the lever that changes the direction of the gears. On my example its movements were as smooth as butter in both directions.

Focusing the camera is zoned. You can either use the regular symbols on the top of the lens or switch it over to see the distance measurements underneath.

I love this camera. I love how it looks, how the plastic feels, and the size of the set up. I wish I had the 535 version with the slightly larger lower aperture. Or the 1535 with the rangefinder, but they are both out of my price range.

So how did my cheap example work? I loaded it with Agfa APX 400 which seemed appropriate. For a few shots I put on a polarising filter for fun. The camera has a filter thread of 49mm and the light meter is on the lens barrel, so perfect for filters. Then I took it to St. Aidans of course and then to Horbury, which I was really surprised by. I cycled to Horbury as it was only 6km away. Close, yet, I don’t remember ever going there before. I have been to the bridge area many times, but not the village center. It was lovely, lots of unique shops and quaint streets. Lots, as in, lots for this area, but not like York or Strafford or anything. Still, one of my new favourite places. For the last few shots I tried to use a flash on the hotshoe. It finally fired on the third attempt, much to my fathers surprise ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a funny photo, but I will be kind and not post it.

I absolutely love the old photography shop. Of course it was not open, shame.

I was so pleased with the results that I immediately loaded the camera again with a colour film which used up the last of my chemicals. After this they were totally exhausted, yet again not lasting very long. If I do buy more chemicals, I will have to look at where I store them to see if that is where the issue lies. The scans came out quite well though.

Just look at that wheat field shot, how sharp is that. I love this camera. Why spend hundreds on a Yashica T or Olympus mju, this camera can be found at a fraction of their prices, has a massive viewfinder and is super sharp. The 40mm focal length is a great size for most situations.

I think I might keep this one.

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  1. The color shots are wonderful; painterly, exhausted chems notwithstanding. Those speckly, mottled skies contrasting the sharpish wheat (?) heads – quite beautiful.
    Still, sorry not to see flash-startled Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome. I’ve wanted one of these orange-button Sensors for a long time. This is the first good review I’ve read of one. You made lovely images with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All these photos are gorgeous, but those color ones – they just pop! What a great camera find!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really fabulous photos, those colour ones really pop. I can vouch for the image quality of the 1535 which I regret selling, might get one again if I ever see one cheap enough Their is another version which tends to be cheaper with a built in pop up flash.
    I found the camera was very tactile, felt nice in the hand and I rather like the almost Bauhaus looks

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Optima flash, I have seen it on the bay, not too expensive and it has the 2.8 lens I think. If I see one cheap I might be tempted.


      • I have two Optima Flash cameras, both fully working. They can give good results but avoid low contrast situations (eg overcast skies). When buying ensure the flash unit is fully functional because more often than not they are broken these days.

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      • I am happy with this one, unless I am gifted one I doubt I will try another. This way I can attach my own flash…that will definitely work.


  5. I have an Optima Sensor 500. Very glad to see you had the same experience with the light in the viewfinder as I did. I too just get a red flash when I shoot. The camera seems to work fine though and I love the design and quakity of the pictures.


  6. The Agfa Optima Sensor Electronic series all use modern alkaline batteries (I have 4 models from this range) they use the V625U as stated in the manuals. You donโ€™t need to use those adaptors.


  7. Did you develop those colorfilms in your home??
    They are gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, but I wasn’t happy with them so thank you. I tend to send C41 to photohippo as it is tricky for me to keep the temp steady. Once it warms up, I will try again. Winter is too cold for me to try.


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