I have a reputation for collecting film cameras so when my sister-in-law’s friend said her husband wanted a good home for some gear I didn’t hesitate to pop over and look. Well 20+ cameras later and a load of darkroom equipment, including a copying stand that just fitted in the car my collection had swollen somewhat.
As well as a couple of Zorki 4’s ,Olympus XA2’s there are quite a few less common cameras in the collection, including an Iford Sportsmaster with four shutter release buttons plus an Agfa 335 Sensor electronic. The Agfa intrigued me as I hadn’t seen one before and the design is unusual.
I decided I would like to put a roll through the Agfa, so battery contacts, lens and viewfinder cleaned plus batteries sourced and I thought this would be an ideal camera to use on the recent Beer and Cameras walk that Hamish organised not so long ago in the centre of Birmingham.
I put an unbranded out of date 24 exposure colour film in although I normally shoot B&W so the risk factors were increasing.
The Optima 335 has a f3.5 40mm Agnatar lens and three zones for focusing and a stepless shutter speeds from 1/30th to 1/300th. It has a distance scale on the underside if you are not sure about which focus zone to select.
The camera is unusual in that the cassette goes in the right side and a small flap in the base drops to allow the cassette to be inserted and you turn a small knob on the top when finished to allow the film advance lever to wind the film back into the cassette which all adds up to a compact and neat design.
The day of the walk the lighting was quite flat, however overall I’m pleased with the results and focusing using the zone system. The shot of the graffiti artist (below) didn’t have quite as much of what I thought I had in the frame but that’s parallax for you!
I had the film processed at our good friends AG photographic/photo labs in Birmingham and when I received the negatives and 6×4 prints in the post it brought back memories of the Bonus and True Prints days of old and the anticipation of does the camera work, was the film loaded correctly and are any sharp!
I scanned the negs on my Epson V500 and have done some very basic adjustments and I’m quite pleased with the camera results.
Only 19 other cameras to go….