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Agfa Flexilette

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This is a pretty good example of an Agfa Flexilette. Pretty good as in it works and the finish is only slightly worn. Actually any example of the Flexilette must rate as its a relatively rare camera to find. Available in 1960 only - the Flexilette is an oddity as its a 35mm
TLR. Other than this feature it is much the same as other Agfa compact cameras from the period, but quite a bit bigger.

This Flexilette was bought from a very good classic camera shop,
Arundel Photographica and as well as the guarantee card came with the box and several matching filters. For a Flexilette like this, expect to pay between 80 and 150, depending on how quickly you want one for your collection!

Photo of Agfa Flexilette

Agfa Flexilette Guarantee card

This picture was taken with a Epson PhotoPC650 camera.

This is the original guarantee card for this camera

Collins Nutshell Books - Colour Photography

The Flexilette seems to have made very little impact on the market - and is now known largely for being one of very few 35mm TLR cameras made. However in his 1962 book "Colour Photography", part of the Collins Nutshell Books series - Christopher Trent says the following:

"An interesting addition to the range of 35 mm. cameras has been made by the Agfa Company with the Flexilette, which brings 35 mm. colour photography into the world of the twin-lens reflex at relatively small expense. Agfa have produced many fine cameras but few more versatile than this one. It is fitted with identical f/2.8 Agfacolor Apotar lenses for viewing and taking, especially designed for colour work but equally suitable for photography in black and white. It has a very competent range-finder, a Prontor shutter with speeds from one second to 1/500th, the usual interlocking mechanism to prevent double or blank exposure, and many other refinements, but its chief merit for the amateur is its reflex view finder, which gives a clear image of the subject to be taken in its natural colours."

Christopher Trent doesn't elaborate on the "relatively small expense" but it appears this was around (pounds, shillings and pence) 33 18s 0d.

Another interesting point is that it would appear Flexilette production had actually stopped before this book was published - however models were probably still available on dealers' shelves.

Here is
Caroline demonstrating the Flexilette on what has so far been its only trip out. As you might guess - using the tiny 35mm waist level finder to focus and compose the picture can be quite tricky. The split level coupled rangefinder however does help.

Photo of Caroline using the Agfa Flexilette 
This picture was taken with a Minolta Dynax 7000i camera.

There is one little knack with film loading on the Flexilette which is worth knowing. You obviously need to pull out the knob beneath the film chamber. Initially though only the central shaft moves which doesn't help getting the film in. However if you give the knob a sharp tug (you may have to rotate it slightly also) once its partially out - the whole shaft moves down allowing you to load the cassette.

Just to prove there are bargains to be found - this is a Flexilette we found in May 2001 at a car boot sale in Berkshire, UK. It is somewhat less than perfect with the trim missing in several places. Also the popup magnifier on the viewfinder is broken. However is it basically sound and at only 10 including ever ready case, a great buy!

Photo of Agfa Flexilette bought at car boot sale

This picture was taken with an Epson PhotoPC650 camera.

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All text and images Copyright © 2000-2011 Roland Givan, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved.

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