As written in my Konica C35 EF post earlier, I “needed” another cheap, easy to use and hard to break camera for our second kid. Fifteen minutes after I bought the Konica, I found an AgfaPhoto Compact FF. As I used my spare film already in the other camera, I could only test on this one if the flash and the winder (!) worked. For 2 €, it came with a battery, so after a brief test I bought it.
A short description of the AgfaPhoto Compact FF
To call available information on this camera “scarce” would be an understatement, but I’ll try to make some sense of my discoveries anyhow. If you know more about this piece, please do not hesitate to add it in the comments.
- Agfa-Geveart decided in 2004 to close their production of consumer products, and sold the brand “Agfaphoto” later to “Lupus Imaging & Media”. Until today, Lupus Imaging & Media resells AgfaPhoto Single Use cameras and films (produced by Fuji). As I learned from Wikipedia, Agfa-Gaevert still produces aerial film, and those are sold after converted to “normal” formats by Lomography and Rollei.
- The last Agfa Compact actually produced by Agfa was the Agfa Compact Electronic introduced in 1980
- As this blog post suggests, there were two film/camera sets from AgfaPhoto presented at the 2008 Photokina.
- At least until 2013, you could still buy this camera in a set with a 24 photo ISO 400 film
The last link above contains literally all technical information I found on this camera:
- The shutter speed is 1/100s
- The camera has a built-in winder which also rewinds the film
- It is equipped with a flash
- Needs one AA battery to operate
- Minimum focus is 1,5 m
Maybe it was designed as a more sustainable/cheaper alternative to single use cameras. Maybe a quote from the resellers page sums it up best:
The Agfaphoto Compact Set FF come in a small, compact body which makes it easy to always have it with you. You can use it in situations when you don’t want to risk your digital camera or single lens reflex camera.
Taking photos with the AgfaPhoto Compact FF
Maybe the only camera easy to operate than this one is a single use camera. Insert a battery, then open the back. Insert the film, close it. The camera loads the film itself on the take up spool. As there are additional electric contacts in the film holder, I assume the camera can read the DX encoding of the film.
Under the lens is a little slider with three settings: off, on, and flash. In normal light, set it to the middle and shoot. Attention: this is no candid shooter, the winder is quite loud. For flash photography put the slider in the flash setting, obviously. As this is a fix focus camera, focusing is neither needed nor possible. The film counter on the top counts the already shot photos. When your film is full, activate the rewind with the rewind button under the camera.
I bought this camera as what it is: a simple toy. With some luck, it creates some nice shots, and I believe it could serve well as a party camera.
|Year built||2008 till 2013 ?|
|Lens||simple one element plastic lens|
|Film format||35 mm|
|Special features||Built in flash|
|Date of purchase||July 2019|
|Place of purchase||Flea market Pankeufer|
Tips & Tricks using the AgfaPhoto Compact FF
In case you want to open the case of this camera, take care not to touch the capacitor as you might get a strong electrical shock.
Film purchase & processing:
The camera can use any 35 mm film, shots above were done with Kodak 200 color.
http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007/11/important-warning-camera-flash.html (How to discharge a flash capacitor)