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Agfa Isoly Junior - 50 Years On and Still Fabulous!

So there it was. A vintage German camera sitting at a flea market stall. It had a brown cover and not much else. It reminded me of my Diana in an eerie metallic kind of way. The seller could not guarantee it still worked. For $8, I thought I'd find out.

The camera was a 1961 Agfa Isoly Junior and I did not expect the quality of my first film to be so fantastic! No light leaks, great contrast and framing, and the whole roll worked!

I managed to locate some instruction for the Agfa Isoly (base model) on the Internet by translating German to English. As far as I can tell, the Agfa Isoly and Agfa Isoly Junior are structured much the same (maybe they ARE the same yet named differently in different parts of the world?). I know that the Junior is also sometimes referred to as Isoly “0”. Either way these are the most accurate specifications I can find here.

Shutter speed: single speed 1/30 sec
Focus (in meters): 5 to infinity – sun, 5 to infinity – overcast, 2.5 to 5m – close up, sun.
Aperture size: 11; 16
Tripod thread: available
Self-timer: available
Flash shoe.
120 film
Single Lens.

The Isoly instructions recommend ASA/ISO 40 film for sunlight and ASA/ISO 100 film for dull days. I have used ISO 100 B&W. I feel that even on a bright day, the ISO 40 recommendation would be too slow. Overall the camera is very forgiving of the available light given such few settings.

I have yet to find a Agfa flash that will fit this camera so that I can try it out in low light/night.

One of my favorite things about this camera is its curved framing which gives the shots a very vintage feel, as if they were taken decades ago. They remind me of several of my mum’s high school photo albums which I trawled with pleasure as a kid.

I adore this camera for its simplicity, size and light forgiving accuracy. Given its age (50 years!) and simple construction – I am pleasantly surprised with this great little flea market find :D

Best recommendation I can give is to trawl your local markets – the treasures are hiding so go find them!

written by jojo8785

7 comments

  1. wuxiong

    wuxiong

    Love the amera...<:) However, anything German is expensive here...<:)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. jschussler

    jschussler

    love the round corners! does it not take a normal hot shoe flash? I usually can use my Diana flash with the hot shoe attachment on older cameras like this just fine

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Is there a PC socket for flash on lens barrel or camera body. If so, any flash or flash with socket adapter will work. Enjoy.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Looked at specs at your link... Noted that camera has hot shoe!! You are all set for any hot shoe flash... Colorflash!!!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. bulletofmine

    bulletofmine

    its worth ! I love all vintage camera.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. _wasabi_

    _wasabi_

    Wow, these shots have an amazing vintage feel :)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. amybreaksloose

    amybreaksloose

    Thanks for the information! My boyfriend's grandma gave me the isoly junior as a gift because i love collecting old/still working camera's and i didn't know how to use it properly, so i opened that site you recommended with the instruction manual on it and now everything is clear, haha. I hope my results will be as good as yours, so fingers crossed and we'll see what comes out of it :D

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Français.