Agfa Selecta Prontor-Matic-P mechanical problems

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by bryaneberly, Dec 7, 2017 at 10:10 AM.

  1. I have my dad's old 1962 Agfa Selecta Prontor-Matic-P here and there seems to be a problem with it. The exposures sound slow and after running a roll of film through it, many exposures are blurry. I ran it by a local camera shop and the owner was telling me that the camera has an inaccessible battery located somewhere in the interior, and it appears to be dying. After that, I visited a camera shop/camera museum in Virginia. The owner there told me there is no battery in the camera. He told me it runs off rechargeable graphite and just needs a new dose of it. I have been searching the internet for answers but mention of the camera is almost impossible to find, let alone anything about its mechanical insides. I checked the owner's manual but it did not mention anything about batteries or graphite. Is there anyone here with the wisdom to inform me of the problem? It would be great to use my dad's first camera, even if it's infrequent. Thank you for any help!

  2. Blurry exposures can be caused by incorrect focusing, or shutter speeds that are too slow. If the selenium meter cell is failing, exposures on automatic will be incorrect. The camera has no battery, but there is a later model, the Selecta M, which had motorised wind and rewind.
  3. Graphite??? I think they mean selenium. I found this description


    The Selecta is a heavy 35mm viewfinder camera made by German manufacturer Agfa, introduced in 1962. It has shutter priorityautomatic exposure, using a selenium light meter, with manual override.

    It appears you can probably either fake the ASA/DIN till you find something that works or use it in manual mode where you set the F-stop/aperture yourself

  4. If exposures are blurry. as said above, it is one of two issues: either badly focused, or camera movement was too fast for shutter speed. If bad focus, at least something in the picture should not be blurry (look for things at different distance from the lens). If movement, everything is blurry but the lines that happen to coincide with the movement may be less blurry.

    In automatic mode, with DIN set at (say) 21 and exposure set at 100 (1/100). you should see a red disk coming in in the viewfinder when you attempt to press the release in very low light (and shutter release is blocked). With lots of light you should see a green disk in the viewfinder and shutter should fire. If this happens, most likely the selenium cell is working.

    If the cell does not work, you still can use the camera very well in manual mode. Try the shutter with the camera in manual mode (i.e. set aperture to, for instance, 4). With exposure set to 1/100, you should see a quick action of the shutter blades when looking through the lens. At 1/500 you should barely see the movement. At 1/30 there is a quick but well visible opening.

    It might well be that the shutter is sluggish because of dirt and lack of action. This affects especially 1/60 and 1/30 speeds, and almost not at all 1/500. Sometimes the sluggishness disappears after hundreds of shutter cycles.

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