Between all my vintage cameras, my favorite is the Agfa CLACK!
This CLACK was one of the first cameras I added to my personal collection. I fell in love with it even if I didn’t know so much about its features. It was something about its shape, a chubby camera that caught my attention.
Well, I had to stop a bit my OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE-LOMO disorder before I could buy one, because every one I’d found were too expensive. Finally, I found this one that had a reasonable price on eBay France and it was going to expire without a proper offer.
I didn’t know anything about this camera and its specifications.
Now that I can see it properly, I’ve found out that this cameras wasn’t the toy-camera I was expecting… There are two types of Agfa Clack,: the first model released was metal made and a second one was made only in plastic. And without knowing, I’ve bought this first model metal made!
This Clack was perfect and shots amazingly well… but first of all let’s have some information about it…
First of all, it’s a medium format camera but even if you can load it with a 120mm roll, you don’t get squared pictures but 6×9 frames, big rectangles, if you take a look of your negatives, they’re stunning and look already as a little photograph… and of course, as your frame is bigger than usual, you can take only eight pictures with a 120mm roll, instead of 12 or 16.
It’s a simple camera, easy to use, as regards the settings, diaphragms and focus coincide… In fact, by pulling a lever on the side of the lens both can be set at the same time :
- focus to 1-3m – f/8 – useful if you shoot too close from subject
- focus to 3m -infinty – f/11 – cloudy
- focus to 3m – infinity – f/12.5 – sunny
My CLACK being one of the first models, has an integrated yellow filter, that you can set if it’s sunny. Back in time, while color negative film wasn’t produced in a massif way, black and white film was used the most; this yellow filter allowed to get more contrast in b&w pictures.
The only thing I can regret about this camera is this very slow shot speed, 1/30. That’s why you must search some low ISO film. I personally prefer to take pictures with 100 ISO film, with some years expired in order to get even lower sensibility. If you use higher ISO film, to avoid blurry pictures you must use your camera in a solid floor or tripod, something you usually do with B mode.
My first test roll was a total disaster, but I realized it was my fault, I was demanding too much from my CLACK.
I tried to adapt a 135mm film, an Earl Grey, but its 100 ISO wasn’t enough for a 1/30 speed of shooting… here you have my results. . . blurry pictures and some others out of focus, because I didn’t notice my focus distance setting, I had set it into 1-3m (:
Eventually, I had the chance of testing my CLACK with a 120mm film, Fuji NPS 160, expired 10 years ago. Its light susceptibility lower than 100 ISO allowed me to take less blurred pictures.
my lovely CLACK it’s just too beautiful !
Oh… I was about to forget… Do you know why it’s named like this?
It’s because of the sound it makes when you actually shot it, it makes “CLACK” out loud, as you can see and hear in this video Pretty In Mad