Agfa Rapid Cassettes-an Answer for a question not asked

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. The genius at my local camera store figured out that it is relatively easy to load 12 exposure film
    into the discarded plastic cassettes from disposable cameras. This, then, can be used as the feeder
    roll into an actual Rapid cassette on the right side of the camera (such as the golden Penti half-
    frame camera). The disposable cassette is a little smaller than the Rapid, so I would think that if
    you don't have an original empty Rapid cassette for takeup, it would be well to experiment with a
    little padding to hold the take up cassette firmly in place. The maximum load is only 12 full frames
    of film, since otherwise the takeup cassette may jam up. It's probably wise to load and unload the
    film in the darkroom or in a changing bag. So I have half frame pics from what otherwise would
    have been a dead camera.
     
  2. Glad to know this, because I always wanted a Penti. I'm betting the lens is above average for the era and style of camera.

    Thanks for the contribution.
     
  3. This is text I formerly had posted as a Guide on eBay, but no one read it there so here it is. Rapid cassettes were part of a 'Rapid'-loading system for film originally developed by Agfa in the 1930s for the Karat camera and later updated to compete with Kodak?s Instamatic cartridges (search for "Smena SL", for example, for more about the system). In the East, the cassettes were also known as SL cassettes. The cameras using this system either gave 12 exposures 24x36mm, or 24 half-frame exposures. The film was wound from one cassette to another, so no rewinding was necessary. Rapid cameras include such world classics as the Penti, the Smena-Rapid, and of course various Agfa cameras. Although I have been unable to find a firm termination date, no film has been widely available in the format since the 1990s. Thus, there are a lot of older cameras of considerable collector interest that are unusable because of the lack of film, and many sold on eBay may, or may not, contain one empty Rapid cassette. A few speciality stores do sell vintage cassettes for reloading. However, a genius at my local camera store figured out that it is relatively easy to load 12-exposure lengths of film into discarded plastic cassettes from disposable cameras (Figure 1). This, then, can be used as the feeder roll into, ideally, an actual Rapid cassette on the right side of the camera (Fig. 2). The disposable cassette is a smaller than the Rapid, so I would think that if you don't have an original empty Rapid cassette for takeup, it would be necessary to make padding to hold the take-up cassette firmly in place. The maximum load is only 12 full frames of film, since otherwise the takeup cassette may jam. Old, reused cassettes may not be completely light tight (and the Rapid or disposable cassettes were not intended for reuse), so it's probably wise to unload the camera, etc. in the darkroom or in a changing bag until you've checked it out.
    00JtRr-34904884.jpg
     
  4. Being a collector of older cameras (1950's-1970's) I also like to use them. Or better said, if it is not practicable to use them I don't buy them. So no 126 or 110. I do however have a few rapid cassette cameras ( Fujica Rapid S2, Mamyia Myrapid, Minolta Rapid 24, Yashica Rapid Half 17 & EE etc.) I have found out that it is possible to push the whole length of a 24 shot 35mm film into a rapid cassette. This means that you take a normal 24 film and pull it out (in the darkroom of course) and cut the film off leaving just enough of a stub to tape it back together again. Then using the cut end first, push it all into the rapid cassette. You can now put this into the rapid camera and shoot the first half of the film. The camera's advance mechanism is made to stop after 12 (full frame) or 24 (half frame) shots, otherwise you wouldn't know when you reached the end of the film since there is no spool. To carry on with the rest of the film you just open the back (to zero the counter) and shoot the rest of the film. When finished, take out the cassette and tape the film which is sticking out back onto the original film stub. You can then wind the whole film back into the original can (in the darkroom of course). Now you can give the film can to your local foto lab, and no hassle with explaining what you are doing. It is also a little bit cheaper than only having 12 (24) shots since the developement costs of the film are the same regardless of length (here at least). I hope this information does not lead to a run on rapid cameras which then drives up the prices on ebay.(only a joke!!)
     
  5. Goerz Minicord 16mm camera uses the same idea as Agfa Rapid cassette,

    The Goerz Minicord cassette has no center take up spool, film being propelled the sprocket drive from
    supply side into Take up side.

    This "Rapid" style cassette system is no reliable, not a match for Kodak Instanmaic cartridge..

    Film my not pushed smoothly into take up casette, instead may jam up and fold like accordian.
     
  6. It's not clear to me why this is resurrected here at this time, but as for
    The Rapid system worked just fine. The trick is not trying to stuff a 36-exposure film into a 24-exposure cassette.
     
  7. My first camera was an Agfa Isomat Rapid - back in 1969. I used to reload cassettes, and never had a problem with the film jamming.
     

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