The Agilux Autoflash and Fex Elite – Stylish Plastic Fantastics from England and France

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by John Seaman, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Here are two viewfinder cameras from the high plastic age, one from England, one from France.

    The Agilux Autoflash Super 44 takes 4x4cm images on 127 film. It was made in England by Agilux, from c.1959 to 1964. It's surprisingly stylish design seems somewhat at odds with the often rather prosaic if worthy offerings of Aeronautical and General Industries. A selenium meter controls the exposure automatically, with manual apertures available for flash. Film speed is set by a dial on top, marked in ASA and B.S. There is a flashbulb socket under a hinged cover on the top plate, with a detachable reflector behind. My example came in the original box, and has a smart clip on front cover.

    Agi.jpg


    The Fex Elite (Fex = France Export) is a 6×9cm camera with a rectangular metal pull-out lens barrel. It was designed for 620 film and has a strongly curved film plane. Shutter speeds of 1/25, 1/100 sec. and P, and apertures labelled normal to intense, are selected by levers on the front. Earlier versions called Fex Ultra were all black with the shutter button above the lens – Rick Drawbridge has one of these:

    LINK --- Meet the Ultra-Fex
    Fexf.jpg


    This third version from around 1960 acquired a silver effect top plate, and a shutter button moved to the main body. It's also dual format, but the 6x6 mask inevitably is missing. It came in a very nice leather case. I thought at first this was one of those cameras which has a faux beaded exposure meter window for effect, but I was puzzled by a slot on the back behind this window. Peering into this revealed the answer – it's actually an extinction meter.
    Fexop.jpg




    That's it, and thanks as always for looking.
     
    LMar, stuart_pratt, allancobb and 2 others like this.
  2. Can't see your attachments for some reason.
     
  3. Niels, you should see them now I've finished editing the post.
     
  4. OOOH! AAAH!

    Talk about your "national style" in cameras!
     
  5. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    I have taken a felt pen to my Industar 50: f/16 is now 'Intense'.
     
  6. Marvelous! What an extraordinary departure for AGI, as you've pointed out, John. I have a couple of Agifolds and an Agimatic, and they are definitely very plain-looking cameras, if not downright dowdy. The sexiest Bakelite camera ever made, in my humble opinion, is the Miom Photax. Who else but the French!

    Photax main Pnet.jpg
     
    stuart_pratt and James Bryant like this.
  7. My first enlarger was an AGILux. Made mainly in black Bakelite with a big red helical for focussing - very 1950s styling with a curved lamphouse and negative-stage that looked very streamlined.

    All totally let down by the non-interchangeable plastic lens!

    I wish I'd kept it though. If only as an objet d'art and a talking point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  8. Thanks to all for the responses.
    I had a Photax a while back, also a Wembley Sports, which is remarkably similar in concept, an all black Bakelite body with a screw out lens barrel which also allows for focusing. I don't think the Wembley Sports could be described as sexy, though. The very accurately moulded screw threads are a feature of both cameras

    I was surprised to learn the other day that AGI still exists, providing military and civil instrumentation and systems, having moved from Croydon to Poole, Dorset
     

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