Agfa Iso Rapid I


As simple as it gets: The Agfa Iso Rapid I was a real beginner camera during its time with not a lot of controls to fiddle around and dirt cheap. For only 42 Marks, one got a modern 35mm Camera with Rapid Cartridges.

…well, Rapid Cartridges. Inserting the film should have been easy and fast these days in 1966 since loading film seamed an of the most difficult parts of photography. Well well, Rapid Cartridges. That´s where the trouble starts nowadays. As you may have guessed right, Rapid Cartridges are no longer manufactured. But since we lomographers tried everything from 35mm to 120, and 110 film formats, Rapid Cartridges bear no horror for us. Not if you, like I did, find a Agfa Iso Rapid at the flea market complete with both cartridges. There’s been a film in it too. After developing it looked like this:

Rapid Cartridges bear normal 35mm flim, in fact. You just need to of them and only have to feed them with film just like that:

Originally there have been 16 24×24mm exposures in one cartridge, if you load it by yourself you should get about 24 exposures. When you shot 16 photos you need to open ten back of the camera just a little, best done in the dark or under your coat, to reset the counter or you can´t take more photos.

After this free tipster I want to tell you some details about the camera.

The Agfa Iso Rapid I sports a 42.5mm lens with a fixed aperture of 8.5 and a shutter capable of two times: 1/40 second for clouded weather and flash an 1/80 second for sunny weather. Everything fixed-focus.
Nothing special here. Special is that the photos are square.

The Iso Rapid is handles like your average point-and-shoot camera: point, shoot, transport film and cock the shutter via a thumb-wheel. The photos come out really lo-hi: a bit blurred due to the long exposure times, soft focused due to the inferior lens.

My Iso Rapid 1 got its 15 minutes of fame at the wedding of a 50ties and rock´n´roll loving friend as a good looking and functional accessory to my girlfriend’s outfit:

It looked great with her dress and I wasn’t the only one taking photos.

So don’t be afraid of Rapid Cartridges, just have a look inside and if you see two: Buy it!

written by zark on 2011-08-19 #gear #people #review #lomography #zark #film-camera #user-review #1966 #agfa-iso-rapid #partone #fixfocus


  1. cloudishballon
    cloudishballon ·

    Nice to have such a rare camera, keep it up!

  2. kurisukurisu
    kurisukurisu ·

    It's very interesting. I have taken the Agfa Iso Rapid I from my mother and i would like to make her a surprise in taking photo with that, but i seems to me difficult to charge it in the cartridge. You put all the film or you cut it ? (i have read that some people cut it).

  3. zark
    zark ·

    @kurisukurisu You wont fit a full 36 exposure film into the cartridge, You need to cut it ore use a 24 exposure film.

  4. kurisukurisu
    kurisukurisu ·

    Thank you. I will try it with a 24 film.

  5. rugfoot
    rugfoot ·

    This may be a completely stupid question (i'm quite new to this), but by feeding the film into the carttridge doesn't the film get exposed to light and therefore ruined?

  6. zark
    zark ·

    @rugfoot There are no stupid questions. You need to feed it into the cartridge in complete darkness.

  7. pare-renes
    pare-renes ·

    I'm so happy I found this post.
    I have a couple of questions m hoping you can answer.
    I recently found one of these cameras however it only has the left side canister in it and I can't find a right side one, can I still use the camera with only the left?

    Last question which is silly but if I buy a 24exp film I can just use this without having to cut it?


  8. edis
    edis ·

    Lovely pictures! Film you used was matching mood of the camera nicely - was it something like Agfa Vista of nowadays?

  9. tomcoultas
    tomcoultas ·

    can you just load film into one cartridge?? I have this camera with only one cart, but it seems I could just close the camera and unload in the dark again. Not sure how this works.

  10. obesepie
    obesepie ·

    Your article helped me so much! How do you reset the counter after you shot 16 pictures?

  11. danielog
    danielog ·

    Where can I get this film cartridge?

  12. zark
    zark ·

    @danielog The best way is to find a used Rapid Camera with a cartridge inse.

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