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Agfa Synchro Box

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This is an Agfa Synchro Box, one of Agfa's first new products onto the UK market when production restarted after WWII. Introduced in 1949 it was produced until 1958 by which time it would have appeared rather old fashioned. In about 1953 it would have cost - (pounds, shillings and pence), 2 9s 0d. Its matching dedicated flash gun was 1 6s 9d extra including four PF14 flash bulbs.

Today the Agfa Synchro Box is not uncommon though there is no doubt that there are far more Kodak box cameras than any other make. Current value is generally in the under 10 range.

Photo of Agfa Synchro Box


Lens Type

Single element meniscus
with built in yellow (cloud) filter

Focal Length


Maximum Aperture


Film Type

120 Roll Film

Picture Size



Instantaneous + B

Flash Sync

with dedicated Bulb Flash Gun



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

Another couple of features non usually found on box cameras are the twin tripod sockets and the remote cable release. These proved very useful for the next experiment:

Whilst the Synchro Box is designed for 120 rollfilm I found out by accident that half a sheet of 3.5"x5.5" enlarging paper (some old Ilford Multigrade II in this case) fits very nicely. No need to stick it down - the door and film rollers keep it in place just fine. This allowed me to try the camera out without having to shoot a whole film.

I prepared 4 half sheets of the Ilford paper and shot each one in turn in the Synchro Box with exposures of 1,2,4 and 8 seconds respectively. The remote release and tripod socket were really useful as I couldn't have held this camera still for those periods of time. On development only the 1 second picture was any good.

Agfa Synchro Box ready for action

Whole (6x9cm) paper negative from 1 second test

Agfa Synchro Box ready for action.

Whole (6x9cm) paper negative from 1 second test

Picture from the window

This is the final print - done electronically of course. The composition has been much improved by cropping and the tonal range has been extended. The main problem was the amount of dust the negative had picked up whilst drying. Some of this has been retouched out - but the only real solution is to stop the dust settling in the first place. However I think it shows that even a simple box camera is quite capable of taking reasonably sharp photos.

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All text and images Copyright © 2000-2011 Roland Givan, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved.

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