Agfa Silette Pronto: An Old Camera Captured My Heart

7

One month ago, I held the camera for the first time in my hands and now I don't want to give it back.

Camera Specifications:

Shutter speed: 200 ; 100 ; 50 ; 25 ; B

Focus (in meters): 1 ; 1.1 ; 1.3 ; 1.6 ; 2 ; 3 ; 5 ; 10 ; ∞

Aperture size: 2.8 ; 4 ; 5.6 ; 8 ; 11 ; 16

Tripod thread: available

Self-timer: available

35mm film

weight: ~ 470 g (fits comfortably in the hand)

One month ago I held the camera for the first time in my hands. Stephan aka. mephisto19 let me borrow the camera on a lomo-meeting in Steinhude/Hagenburg/Lindhorst. I shot a first test-film with it there. I have asked many questions about the shutter speed and other things. Hundreds of questions later, I began with the first film. I was unsure because before I just shot with my Diana Mini and Holga 135 BC, and on these cameras, you can’t set so many things like shutter speed or aperture size.

This are my first Agfa-photos:

I was surprised because the photos are well (in my opinion).

This is why I borrowed the camera for a longer time and I did a little European tour with it.

Paris

London

Antwerp

Amsterdam

And now, some basic rules:

Aperture size on 2.8 → large aperture ← much light ; shorten the shutter speed! The focus is on only one zone.

Aperture size on 16 → small aperture ← less light; extend the shutter speed! The focus in on the whole photo.

A wise man once told me:

when the sun is shining, take the 8

But rules need not be followed, but broken.

This rules are for Germany (and maybe also Northern Europe). Please adjust it to your country.

I was surprised that you can also do double-exposures with the Agfa Silette Pronto, though it should not be possible. The trigger is coupled with the wind forward of the film. I think it is a mistake due to age.

With the flash and PC Flash Adaptor and the right settings, you can also do nice portraits in low light conditions.

Maybe you find this camera on a flea market or you see it in the Internet. I can recommend it to you.

written by brommi on 2011-06-29 in #reviews

7 Comments

  1. mountain-doo
    mountain-doo ·

    A really under-rated camera, in my opinion. Nice to hold, nice to use, and produces some wonderful pics. Love the alleyway in Amsterdam - nice work!

  2. vnyand
    vnyand ·

    I need to "break" mine so I can do double exposures. I'm hoping the button on the bottom that releases the film for rewinding will also prevent it from advancing while still allowing me to release the trigger to take another shot.

  3. retinaddict
    retinaddict ·

    Agfa are the Ugly Duckling Cameras. I bought a super Silette Solinar today for £5.00. I now have 60 Agfas. Silettes, Karats, Optimas, Selectas, Solinettes, Parats, Ambi Silette, Even a horrible Selecta M that sounds like a mloped when it winds on.

  4. reminator
    reminator ·

    Nice article! I just started collecting nice camera's so I looked it up and whoppa 7,50! I can't wait to shoot a roll with it!

  5. msvikkipics
    msvikkipics ·

    I just purchased this one on eBay fro $13.00 +$7.50 shipping...totally excited about price and can't wait to receive it! I am encouraged, that it is what I and in mind, looking at your beautiful photo's. I recently purchased an old Polaroid and an Eastman Kodak Brownie. I came across the range finders and have been bidding away. They remind me of the equipment my Nana, Mom and Aunts used when I was growing up. I am so excited to see what I can do with them. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. brommi
    brommi ·

    @msvikkipics I'm looking forward to see your first photos with this nice camera :-) ...I have a similar camera at home ... the Agfa Silette-L in good conditions, but the light-meter is broken or I just don't understand how to use it ^^ so I think I'll shoot a second testroll soon with an exposure table!

  7. midusa
    midusa ·

    Hi! I've bought the same camera, but I'm having a problem with the winding lever for delayed action shutter release (red dot underneath the word 'Pronto'). I'm trying to pull it back from left to right, which isn't working. Since I'm quite new to all this, could anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Thanks in advance!

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