What’s the best kind of camera? FREE! And you thought I’d say Leica… It’s always fun getting a new camera, but nothing beats it being a free one. I was visiting my Uncle over the weekend. He’s a photographer and camera collector (they often go hand in hand…), and I mentioned that I had often thought the Agfa Optima line were cool and that I’d almost bought one once. My Uncle then mentioned something about being able to help me out and came back with three Optima’s. Shortly after I was the proud owner of an Agfa Optima Sensor Flash.
So what’s so great about the camera? Well honestly I was first drawn to it for it’s design aesthetics. Frankly it looks “cool”. Apparently it was designed by the same person who designed the Plaubel Makina (and they do bear a striking resemblance). On the camera side of things, this model has scale focus, auto exposure, and a built in flash. The lens is 40mm f/2.8 which is nice in a point and shoot type camera, although I’m not clear on whether the camera adjusts the aperture and the shutter or just the shutter. An interesting design item on this camera is the film wind crank is also the rewind crank. It’s not overly fast but it does free up the camera from excess clutter. And finally, it’s the camera with the big red/orange shutter button (I believe this how it is mostly known.
They made many different models of this camera (335, 535, 1035, 1535, Sensor, Sensor Flash) with slight variations in lens aperture, the inclusion of flash, and the 1535 model had a rangefinder. I haven’t taken any pictures with mine yet as I’ve already got film loaded in three other cameras that I need to finish off.