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Agfa Jsolar

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This is an Agfa Jsolar folding plate camera. Also known as the Isolar (though not to be confused with the much later Isola), the Jsolar dates from around 1930 and is a plate back folding camera which takes pictures 9cm x 12cm in size. There were several different models of the Jsolar depending on the lens/shutter and also the size of the plate. As well as the 9x12cm size the Jsolar was also available in the smaller 6.5x9cm size.

Photo of Agfa Jsolar

Specifications

Lens Type

4 element (uncoated) Solinar

Focal Length

13.5cm (135mm)

Maximum Aperture

F4.5

Film Type

Plate

Picture Size

9x12cm

Shutter

8 speed Compur + B + T

Flash Sync

No

Rangefinder

No

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

This Agfa Jsolar is quite a late one as it has a rimset Compur shutter. Many of the earlier ones had the dial set version. It would have been a reasonably expensive camera when new, partly because of its lens/shutter but also because it is the larger plate version. Strangely enough - big folding cameras like this have a low market value - mainly because they are considered obsolete even by most classic camera users, and also the market is flooded by similar Kodak cameras which were made in vast numbers. Current camera fair value would be no more than 50 - but might well be priced higher in an antiques shop. This one came with just a single metal plate holder. Multiple plate holders and the ground glass focusing screen add to the usefulness and value.

As well as plates - this sort of camera can be adapted for rollfilm with a rollfilm back. A similar camera we bought, the
Agfa Standard came with one of these fitted.

Close up of lens and shutter

Test picture taken with Polaroid 600 film

Close up of Solinar lens and Compur shutter.

Test picture taken with Polaroid 600 film.



I have done some tests with this camera as part of the
i-zone fun project. This works okay except that the Jsolar's 135mm lens is a little long for the i-zone film's 35mm size frame. I have also done some similar experiments with Polaroid 600 film in a Polaroid closeup 636 camera which is how the picture above on the right was produced. I hope to document this procedure more fully in the near future.

This next picture is just a little bit of fun! I thought it would be nice to pose the Jsolar which is the largest Agfa folding camera we have, with the Agfa Speedex 0 which is the smallest:

Agfa Jsolar and Speedex 0

Agfa Jsolar and Speedex 0. Curiously they both have Solinar lenses and Compur shutters



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