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Agfa Billy Clack

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This is a 1930's Agfa Billy Clack. Its a 120 rollfilm bellows camera which takes 16 pictures 6cm x 4.5cm in size. The Billy Clack is a simple camera - performing little better than a box camera from the same period. It is however quite stylish and easy to use. It is not a conventional folding camera. Instead it uses struts to extend the bellows for picture taking. The bellows can then be collapsed back into the camera body when not in use.

Also known as the Speedex Clack in the UK, the camera is sometimes embossed on the lower front 'Billy Clack' and sometimes just 'Made in Germany" as on this example. It was also available in a very similar model which took 8 pictures 6x9cm and has a longer body.

In addition to the specifications listed below - the camera also boasts a cable release socket and a built in yellow (cloud) filter.

This one cost about 20 from an Antique fair - however the condition is not perfect with some signs of rust. For this sort of money you should be able to get one in much better condition.

Photo of Agfa Billy Clack 6x4.5

Specifications

Lens Type

single element (?) Jgenar/Igenar

Focal Length

75mm

Maximum Aperture

F8.8

Film Type

120 Roll Film

Picture Size

6x4.5cm

Shutter

Instantaneous (1/30) + B

Flash Sync

NO

This picture was taken with an Epson PhotoPC 650 digital camera.

One thing thats not particularly obvious is how to change the shutter setting between the Instantaneous (1/30) and B. If you look just behind the lens panel - next to the top view finder window you should find an 'dot' and a 'dash' embossed into the surface. There should also be a little metal arrow which points to one of them. If you set the arrow to the 'dash'- you will get the B setting. If you move it over to point at the 'dot' the shutter should now work in instantaneous mode - which is approximately 1/30 of a second.


Cloisters at Lacock Abbey

Illustration from manual



The first photo is of special significance to me because it was taken at Lacock Abbey. This was home to Henry Fox Talbot who pioneered the negative/positive photographic process in the 1840s. Appropriately enough - this was also the first roll of film I processed myself. Coincidentally the cloisters photographed here have also recently appeared in the Harry Potter movies.

The second photo is from the camera manual showing fashions of the 1930s when this camera was made.


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