another German multi-lens rangefinder camera

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by compur, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One of my favorite recent finds was this Agfa Ambi-Silette, purchased
    for a fraction of its value at a swap meet. Agfa made these from 1956-61.
    This one is the later variation (1960-61) with 3 viewfinder windows and
    strap eyelets. The earlier version one had 2 windows and no eyelets. There
    was also a rare Deluxe version with snake skin covering.

    This one had a roll of Kodachrome-X (~1965-75) still in it. The camera is fully
    working and included the original case. It has the 50mm f/2.8 Color-Solinar
    lens (tessar type). Agfa made 3 other lenses for it: 35/4, 90/4 and 130/4.
    There were also 2 close-up Proximeter attachments. The lenses share the
    same filter size except for the 130mm.

    [​IMG]

    The rangefinder/viewfinder is quite good on the Ambi-Silette. It is large and
    bright with parallax correction. It has selectable bright-line frame lines
    for the 35/50/90 lenses. A sliding switch on top of the camera picks the
    desired frame lines. The 130mm lens had its own finder. There is a flip-up
    cover for the viewfinder windows (not really needed in my opinion).

    The quiet leaf shutter is in the camera rather than in each lens. Servicing
    it, if needed, is not a major ordeal as it is with some other German 35mm
    leaf shutters of this vintage (it can be removed relatively easily by a
    camera tech). Speeds are 1 second to 1/500 plus B with sync at all speeds
    via terminal on the front of the camera.



    [​IMG]

    I think this one is a keeper. :heart:

    Now to find the other lenses!
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty!!!!! Congrats on the find.
     
  3. Chris Sandström

    Chris Sandström TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    Thanks for posting this. I've tried to figure out what happened to Agfa and compiled what I found in the following presentation:

    Disruptive Innovation and AgfaPhoto

    Best,

    Chris
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Sweet!

    In my quarter century or so behind the counter in camera specialty stores I saw a few of these. I don't ever remember seeing any of the accessory lenses though. I'll suspect you'll find them rare scare.
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks. Since I posted that I've found some other other lenses for it -- the 35mm, 90mm and close up attachments.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really nice set!!


    Congrats. :)
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Now that is really a nice set, cases and all.
     
  8. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks. The Ambi lens I don't have is the 130mm. It comes up on eBay
    occasionally but it's been too pricey for me to bite (I'm a cheapskate).

    Anyway, I also have an Agfaflex with 50 & 135mm lens. I believe its
    135mm lens is virtually the same optically as the 130mm Ambi lens.

    [​IMG]

    BTW, the Agfaflex is a beautifully made camera. Every bit as sumptuous
    as any Leica, Contaflex, Bessamatic, etc.
     

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