Agfa Silette type 2

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by paul_clayton, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. Hi, I've jus bought an Agfa Silette type 2 rangefinder.

    I am used to AF SLRs, how do u operate a rangfinder? How do you focus
    if you cant see through the lens?

    Should i use a light meter, as this camera has no light meter built
    into it.

    thanks, Paul
  2. Not familar with your camera but a rangefinder is used by looking
    thru the rangefinder device and focusing the two images into one.
    Then transfer the distance info to the lens focusing mechanism...
    Way tougher than an AF SLR. Of course you will need a lightmeter
    since none is built in or you could use another camera with a light
    meter in it to point at your subject and take that reading and
    transfer the settings to your Agfa.
  3. hmmm, the thing is, I dont see two images. Does anyone have experience of using this camera?
  4. Point the camera at a distant (over 100 feet) object. While viewing the object, rotate the focusing ring so that the pointer or indicator is at the infinity marking (like an "8" on its side). If the two images in the rangefinder window do not become fully aligned to form a single image, then the rangefinder is out of alignment and needs servicing.
  5. Actually, in looking at pictures of your camera on line, I'm not sure this is actually a rangefinder model. The second, cloudy window is probably just for the purpose of displaying a bright frame line around the image in the viewfinder. If that is the case, and you see two images which do not move, then there may be a misalignment in a partially silvered mirror which is used to superimpose the bright line frame on the image in the viewfinder. I guess we need to wait for someone to show up who is actually familiar with this model.
  6. One more time. I guess what threw us off was your use of the word "rangefinder" in the original post. On re-reading what you have written, it looks to me like you have a non-rangefinder camera which requires you to estimate or measure the distance to the subject and then set that distance with the camera's focus ring manually. So, that part of the camera may be working just fine. Guessing distance is not all that hard, particularly if you use small f-stop settings which maximize the in-focus depth of the image. Your best bet at this point is probably to just try the thing out and let us know how it goes.
  7. yeah, I did have a suspision that it would come to guessing the distance and setting it accordingly. Agreed, it looks like a standard setting of f22 or f16 will have to be used to ensure maximum focus. I also do now thunk that this is not a rangefinder. The second clouded window IS just to superimpose a light frame.

    I guess I'll just have to stick a roll of film throught it. I'll post my results in a week or two.

  8. Paul, you'll get the sharpest images if you shoot between f/8 and f/16. I think f/22 might introduce some diffraction. Regardless, like Mike said, estimating distances is only tough the first 50 times you do it. I still make mistakes now and then, but in general, you get used to it.

    Then the next thing you have to try (if you grew up in the U.S.) is to get a camera marked in meters!

    Best of luck to you.
  9. Is your camera like this one:

    If so, it does require you to guess the distance and to set the aperture/shutter speed manually.

    Exposure can be set with either a handheld meter or by using the sunny 16 rule. While scale focusing is a bit slower than with a true rangefinder, it can be done.

    I've used an Agfa Solinette II with scale focusing in meters and no meter with excellent if slow results.
  10. I have an Agfa Silette Model F, and you have to guess on the footage. There is a ring around the lens with an indicator arrow on top.

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