Functionalist camera design, the Agfa 1035 and the Plaubel Makina 67

The Agfa xx35 series of cameras (in this case the 1035) and the Plaubel Makina 67 are both wonderful examples of what what appears to be German functionalist industrial design. As you might notice they are fairly similar in shape and design features, though obviously not size. For a while I assumed that this was just coincidence, or at least that there was no real connection between the designs beyond perhaps a slither of inspiration in one from the other. That was until I found a Makina 67 in my hands and realised just how similar they really are. I found this all quite intriguing, especially as the Makina 67 is of course a Japanese camera and not a German one. As such, I decided to do a bit of digging to see what, if anything, they had in common.

Having now been in direct correspondence with the son of the designer of the Agfa, and indirect correspondence with the designer of the Makina, I thought I’d write a little bit about what I know and what I’ve found out… but first a bit about this sort of industrial design, and indeed why I like it so much.