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Agfa Isolette II

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This camera is an Agfa Isolette II, originally introduced in about 1950. It was still actively being sold in the UK in 1958, but seems to have all but vanished by 1960.

The Isolette II evolved over its lifetime, the actual details of which I hope to document better in the future. However this particular one is a fairly late one dating to the second half of the decade. Before about the end of 1955 the knobs on the top plate were different. Previously there had been a screw through the wind on knob. Also where the film speed reminder dial is was originally a
Depth Of Field indicator.

An Isolette II with this lens and shutter combination would have cost in 1958 (pounds, shillings and pence), 14 18s 9d. Today its value is between 10 and 25 depending on condition and where you buy it from.

Photo of Agfa Isolette II

Specifications

Lens Type

3 element (coated) Apotar

Focal Length

85mm

Maximum Aperture

F4.5

Film Type

120 Roll Film

Picture Size

6x6cm

Shutter

 4 speed Pronto + B

Flash Sync

X

Rangefinder

None

Filter size

30mm push on


This picture was taken with a Epson PhotoPC650 camera.

Whilst all Isolette II cameras are basically the same - they were fitted with a variety of lenses and shutters. The Pronto listed above is fairly basic. The best shutters were Compur - and many Prontor shutters which are also quite good were used. A selection of shutters is shown below. In all cases an Apotar lens is fitted. This was Agfa's mid range 3 element design. Better than the Agnar - but not as good as the Solinar.

Photo of Apotar lens in Prontor-S shutter

Photo of Apotar lens in Compur-Rapid shutter

Apotar lens and Prontor-S shutter from another Isolette II.

Apotar lens and Compur-Rapid shutter from another Isolette II.


Both pictures were taken with an Epson PhotoPC 650 digital camera



The Lens/shutter shown on the left is from the rather tatty Isolette II that
Caroline and I took on our honeymoon to Egypt. For more info and some pictures of the trip - Click here

Depending where they were to be sold - the focus ring would be marked in either feet or metres. In the US the Isolette II was sold as the Ansco Speedex 4.5 Special. The camera is functionally the same but there are slight differences in the markings. Alan Dewey of NC in the US has one of these and to view some very nice pictures of it, click
HERE. Virtually every other Agfa camera from the 1950s was also sold in the US under the Ansco brand.


These brand variations show up best on the inscription embossed on the front of the folding door. Even with Agfa branded ones - there can be considerable difference. The one below is the most common found - whilst the bottom one is a very early Isolette II type. Other variations also exist.

Photo of Apotar lens in Prontor-S shutter

This is from the camera shown at the top of the page and is the most common form of Isolette II door inscription - at least in the UK. Whilst clearly an Agfa camera and an Isolette model, the number II can easily be mistaken for part of the design. It is below the S of Isolette though.

A very common variation of this has the Agfa brand diamond in the top left hand corner of the door in addition to the design shown here. Initial research suggest that it is only later Isolette IIs which lack this Agfa brand diamond.

Photo of Apotar lens in Prontor-S shutter

This is the door inscription from the Isolette II shown above with the Compur-Rapid shutter. This must date from the very earliest period of the Isolette II and cameras with it are much rarer than ones incorporating the first design.




Check out the Homepage of Richard Urmonas for a copy of the
Isolette II manual. Lots of other manuals there too.


Got a question or can't find the info you are looking for? Click HERE to contact us.

Click here for info on accessories for Isolette cameras

Click here for info on repairing this type of camera

Click here for Basic Guide to Rollfilm Cameras

Click here for the Agfa shelf

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

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