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Just back from Chris Sherlock - Agfa Super Silette

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by John Farrell, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member


    I had this serviced, because the shutter was sticky, and the focusing very stiff. It's not the usual Super Silette, but the top of the line model with the f2 Solagon lens, in a focusing mount.
    swanseadave, Fen, Zou and 3 others like this.
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The first non-box camera I ever used was a Silette with a 45mm f3.5 Apotar and a Prontor SVS shutter. My dad had taken it as security against a business debt that was never paid, and quite a lot of years later, in the mid 70s, when it was clear that it was never going to be paid, we started to use it as the family camera. And I caught the bug.... well, two bugs really, photography and old cameras.
    Being a standard Silette, it didn't have the luxury of a rangefinder, so I got used to estimating distance, a skill I still find useful. Shutter was a bit sticky on the slow speeds, but that cleared up with use. It didn't like the Fuji films of the time - they had a tendency to tear in camera. Aside from that, it was a pleasant little camera which produced pretty reasonable results. Died eventually after much use and abuse - my mother used it regularly for 20 years.
    I'm always rather surprised I've never bought any other Agfa cameras - particularly one like yours with a rangefinder and a decent lens. Have fun!
  3. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Very nice, John. Agfa must have sold a fair few of the common or garden Silette as I used to see a lot at car boot sales and the like, but have never seen a super Silette (tbh, haven't seen an ordinary one for yonks). I'd be very interested to see how the Solagon performs - I had a Silette for a while with the bottom of the range Agnar - gave a nice nostalgic rendition (ie muted colours and not very sharp!), but no prizewinner.

    ETA you are very lucky to have Chris on your doorstep, relatively speaking. From here in the UK you need to really love a camera to pay shipping to and from NZ.
    John Farrell likes this.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I have a Super Solinette with the solinar lens. not many of these were sold in the UK and they were never fitted with the Solagon lens.
    I also have four variations of the Solinette II with a variety of lenses and shutters. but not any with an Agnar lens.

    I liked my Solinettes as without the case the were pocketable and the lens and shutter still protected.
    I bought my first one in Hong Kong in 1953 when in the Army. It fitted a battledress pocket just fine.

    This one is in excellent+ condition and fully working. even the focus grease is good.

    zx9r, Zou, John Farrell and 2 others like this.
  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Wow! That is *gorgeous*! And no dread green grease either.
    John Farrell likes this.
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    lottgirls.JPG This is the sort of quality you should expect from an Apotar lens. Taken in Germany in about 1953/4
    Images from F5.6 with Solinars and Solagons are little different.

    However Solagon Enlarger lenses are fantastic quality and make equally fantastic macro or close up lenses.... but I doubt you will ever find one in the wild.
    Agfa made some of the finest reprographic lenses, with perfect corner to corner coverage and flat fields.
    Thousands were thrown away when people stopped using Repromaster cameras and similar. equipment

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    zx9r and steveandthedogs like this.
  7. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Very nice indeed, Terry.
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  8. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I've owned the camera for 5 years - back then I put a short film through it, but the stiff focus made it irritating to use. Online recommendations were to always have a lens hood fitted, and I have one the right size. The main annoyance with the camera now is the lack of strap lugs.

    Here is a shot from the film.

  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    It is good practice to use lens hoods on all older lenses as the coatings are nothing like as effective as modern ones. However the general distribution of stray light, did counter and soften extreme tonal ranges to a useful extent. I found the correct push fit Agfa lens hood on eBay it is smaller and lighter than modern ones, and cuts closer to the lens field. In those days you were expected to use an ever ready case. There are nice moulded leather ones for the super Silette, some with bright metal edging. So no strap lugs were needed.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    zx9r likes this.
  10. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Love how you illustrated that with a pic of a flat field. :)
    Terrywoodenpic likes this.
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Corner coverage on the Apotar was not bad either.

    Our guns were dug in the other side of the fence, and I had been watching them for an hour or two as they forked up the straw. I had taken a few other shots of them and when they got near , chatted them up to pose for me. They seemed to have no machinery and everything was done by hand.

    I could have done what took them all day all, in half an hour, with a tractor and binder on our farm back home. But they were happy souls.
    zx9r and Zou like this.

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