Any Agfa Silette and Agfa Optima information?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by nuno_campos|1, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. Hi, Just recently bought in the auction site two Agfa cameras for 2.99 pounds: a Silette (type 1), with a Apotar 45mm f/3.5 lens and a Prontor SVS shutter (1-300, B); and a Optima Electronic Sensor Electronic (not the 335, 535, 1035, 1535 or Flash) with a Paratronic Solitar 40mm f/2.8 lens. They seem to work well and have clean lenses. After some research, I did not find much information about these cameras in the internet, so: does anyone has any information about any of them? Thanks in advance, Best regards, Nuno Campos.
  2. I don't but that Optima looks very cool.
  3. have you run a google search?
  4. Yes, I have, but I have not been able to open the Butkus page.
  5. Here are three sources of information on the Optima:

    I read somewhere else that the person who designed the Optima Sensor is the same person who designed the Plaubel Makina 6X7 from the mid-1970's. It does have a certain family resemblance.

    -Paul Shinkawa
  6. I did find information on the Optima. But on the Optima 335, 535, 1035, 1535 or Flash. Not the "Optima Sensor Electronic", without any other name or number model.
  7. Your research efforts leave a lot to be desired. There is lots of information on these cameras on the internet.
  8. The Silettes are fine little photo makers. The Apotar is a surprisingly good triplet. You've got a plus in the full speed Prontor, as a good part of these cameras came with the more commonly mounted four speed Pronto. They're easy enough to work on, if you need to, but there's little to go wrong, outside of dried out helical grease, and dirty shutters. Clean it up and use it!

    This is the first I've ever seen an Optima. Neat looking little thing.
  9. Here is the big brother of your Silette called a Super Silette with same lens and shutter but with a rangefinder. Mine cost $5 and had a lazy shutter, but by excercising it for quite a while the speeds sound and look right. I sec is close enough for government work. There is a slight misalignment in rangefinder,as the double image never coincides, but can be used effectively by me, because I have an eye problem that mimics that offset doubling of an image and I've learned how to null it out, or rather make it blend into one image. Lens looks pretty durn sharp, to me. It's a very well made camera My s/n is AK 2822. Looking for its year of production.
  10. Sorry, David, but there is not a lot of information. There is a lot os information on the Optima series and the Silette models.
    But on the Silette (type 1)? I did find the pages that Pablo indicates. One is in japanese and I am not been able to open the other.
    And yes, you have many information on the Optima series. I could give you a large number of links referring to the electronic sensor serie. they hava information on the 335, the 535, the 1035, the 1535 and the flash model. And what about the ?Optima electronic sensor?, with no other designation? You have the 2nd link provided by Paul Shinkawa. Is in japanese.
    The 2 links give me the main features, but that I already now. I would like to read some subjective opinions about that specific models.
  11. Nuno:

    Agfa labeled many of their their cameras differently depending on which part of the world they were marketing in. I suspect your Optima Electronic is really one of the numbered series with a different label. Most likely the Sensor 535, which was almost the top of the series.

    The Silette was also sold in the US as an Ansco Memar/Super Memar. The Super model had a rangefinder. If you research this as an Ansco Memar you may have better luck. It was an early 1960's camera with the 3 element Apotar as the standard lens. The Super model had the 4 element Solinar (a Tessar type lens). I think the Agfa model sells for a little more than the Ansco version, but they were identical.

    I have an Ansco sales brochure at home with some pictures of the Memar. My Sensor 535 looks identical to your Optima Electronic.

  12. Just another information: the Silette was made in Germany and the Optima in Portugal. That is right, in Portugal. I am portuguese and I did not knew, until now, any Agfa camera made in Portugal. Agfa or any other camera.
    And it really seems like the 535, although the absence of model number.
  13. Nuno:

    I think the country of origin explains a lot. I did not know that Agfa had a factory in Portugal. My 535 is marked "Made in Germany" as are my other Agfa cameras.

    It most likely is a Sensor 535 under a different name.

  14. My experience with Agfa Optima Sensor Electronic:
    It's basicly a simplified version of Sensor 1035--similar specs but lacking a selftimer and pictograms in viewfinder. The lens is single coated, while on 1035 & 1535 multi-coated. Anyway they're all nice & special cameras. Enjoy.
  15. Sorry, for some moments I forgot the Leica. Leica has a factory in Portugal since 1973. The M3 and the R3 were mostly made in Portugal.
  16. Nuno:

    Here is a downloadable instruction manual for the Super Silette. I think the Silette is the same except for the lens and rangefinder.


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