Erecting the Reflex Hood
By lifting the small button at the rear of the flap (15) the side wings and back will spring into position revealing the top focussing screen. To reclose, fold in the side wings, press down the folded unit and secure by closing over the front portion which will click into position.
The hinged magnifier
On erecting the reflex hood, a magnifier (2) will be found hinged to the back flap. In this position it is utilised as the negative component of the direct vision finder (4). The camera being used at eye level. When the magnifier is brought up into a horizontal position it is used for critical focussing on the top reflex screen (3). The finely-ground glass screen gives a brilliant image which is equally useful for composing the picture and checking the focus.
The helical focussing mount is operated by turning a knurled ring on the lens mount (5). The focussing scale is calibrated from three feet to infinity and a depth of focus scale is provided on the fixed portion of the lens mount which is described later. The focus can be set by scale, or by visual means watching the image on the top focussing screen through the magnifier whilst turning the focussing ring.
Setting the Lens Stop
The diameter of the lens opening (or aperture) is controlled by the iris diaphragm and is adjusted by turning the front knurled ring on the lens mount (6) until the selected figure is seen against the arrowhead engraved on the focussing ring. The largest aperture is f3.5, and a sequence of progressively smaller stops each requiring twice the exposure of the preceding number have been calibrated. The smallest stop is f32.
Setting the shutter
The electronically tested focal-plane shutter of the AGIFLEX can be set to five instantaneous speeds and B (Bulb) apart from longer exposures controlled from a separate knob. For hand-camera work, speeds of from 1/25th of a second to 1/500th are set by lifting the speed setting knob (13) and turning it until the selected speed coincides with the small arrowhead engraved on the centre spindle. Make sure that it returns firmly on to its seating.
Adjusting the shutter speed can be done either before or after the shutter has been loaded or set. The shutter is coupled to the film transport and is automatically set when the film is wound on for taking the next picture by the movement of the film transport lever (16). When the shutter is set ready for taking a picture, the small arrowhead will be facing the word SET. If it is desired to set the shutter independently of the film transport mechanism, the shutter speed setting knob (13) is rotated in a clockwise direction until it clicks into the set position.
Slow Shutter Speeds
Slow shutter speeds of from 1/10th to two seconds are calibrated on the slow speed knob (11). The shutter set at B must be loaded before the slow speed knob comes into operation. It is then rotated in the direction of the arrow until the selected exposure is seen against the index-line. The shutter can then be fired in the usual manner. If a change to a faster speed is required before making the exposure, the re-set button (12) is pushed towards the knob (11) which will automatically travel back to zero. When using slow speeds it is important fully to depress the shutter release for the whole duration of the exposure, and the camera should be used on a tripod, or some rigid support.
Loading the Agiflex camera. The layout of the two pages did not lend itself to having the pictures scanned separately from the text, so I have scanned the two pages in their entirity (and yes, when I have more time I will try to get the thing straight). The text can be found below the pictures as I recognise that the text in the scanned pages is almost illegible.
To open the camera back, the spring clip (19) is released and the back will swing open. The back then lifts out from the hinge-clip and is completely removed for loading operations.
Two spool-pegs (20) are withdrawn and held in an inoperative position by rotating in a clockwise direction. An empty spool must be inserted in the take-up side. The slot found in one end of the spool engages with the key of the winding mechanism, and the empty spool is inserted. It is fixed by releasing the spool-peg. The film to be loaded is now placed in position, and is fixed by releasing the spool-peg. Do not break the label holding the new film until it is in position in the camera, and be careful to remove and torn pieces of paper when the label is broken.
The paper trailer is fed across to the take-up spool, the tongue being inserted in the slot provided in the spool. Sufficient movement is given to the film transport lever (16) to ensure that the paper trailer will wind squarely and evenly onto the spool.
The camera back is now replaced and the cover over the red window (14) slides back. Operating the film transport lever, the index-marks printed on the back of the trailer can be observed through the red window. When No. 1 is seen, the window cover is replaced and the film is in position for making the first exposure. The automatic counter re-set trip (18) is depressed so that No. 1 appears in the window (17). Each exposure will be numbered in this window until the film has been finished and is wound off and the camera is ready for reloading. It takes two full strokes of the film transport lever to move the film to the correct position for each exposure.
Using the Agiflex at eye level
When using any precision camera it is essential that the instrument should be held firmly and all operations, or setting-adjustments, done smoothly. Jerky movements, jabs, or sudden poking-action on the shutter release, will lead to unsteady pictures, or damage to the instrument. Certain settings can be done in advance, other adjustments made quickly immediately before taking a photograph.
If the camera is used at eye level, the settings can be done by scale. The lens stop and shutter speed are set, and the focusing left until the last moment.
Depth of Focus Scale
To focus an object, the distance from the camera is set against the arrowhead engraved on the lens mount, and from the lines engraved on either side, it is seen at a glance how far forward, or back, from the actual focus other objects will also be sharp. For instance, setting the lens at 20 feet, it will seen that at full aperture (f3.5) objects from about 15 feet to 25 feet will be sharp. If at the same focus, the lens is stopped down to f16, it will be seen that objects from 10 feet to infinity will be sharp. This automatic slide rule can be used in another way. Supposing the selected lens stop is brought opposite to the infinity mark, it will then indicate the shortest distance where objects will still be sharp. As an example, if infinity is brought opposite a stop of f8, the engraved line on the opposite side will show that the nearest forward focus is 15 feet. That is, every object beyond 15 feet will be sharp.
Relation between lens stop and shutter speed
The smaller the lens aperture (the higher the f-number) the greater the depth of field, but at the same time, the less the light that can reach the film. This means that each time a smaller lens-stop is selected a relatively longer shutter speed must be used to compensate for the loss of light. Where rapidly moving objects necessitate a very rapid shutter speed, the degree of stopping-down will depend upon the brightness of the available light. Each smaller stop engraved on the lens-mount will need twice the exposure required for the previous f-number. After a photograph has been taken the film transport lever (16) is brought firmly round as far as it will go, and is then permitted to return to the starting point. A second movement is then given to the lever which will stop automatically at the correct position. Two full strokes of the lever are required to bring the film into the correct position for the next exposure. The number will change in the window (17). This operation will wind the shutter and move on the film at the same time ready for the next exposure.
Using the Agiflex at waist level
When using the AGIFLEX as a reflex camera at waist level, the camera should be firmly pressed against the chest in a position where the image on the top focussing screen can be comfortably examined. A neck-strap is provided which can be adjusted so that a downward pressure of the camera against the strap will help to keep the instrument steady. The image seen on the top screen (3) is the actual image that will be transferred to the film when the photograph is taken. Due to reflection, the image will appear to on the focussing screen the correct way up, but reversed left to right. It follows that this picture-image can be used for focussing. The picture can be composed on the screen and the degree of sharpness carefully examined by means of the hinged magnifier. Every detail can be checked in the knowledge that this actual image will expose the film when the picture is taken. Naturally, the lens should be used at full aperture for preliminary focussing so as to give the maximum brightness to the image.
Apart from the many obvious advantages of a single-lens reflex, the AGIFLEX offers unique opportunities for the use of interchangeable lenses. Designed with a focal-plane shutter which can be used with any lens, and a simple but accurate bayonet fitting for quickly changing a lens, the AGIFLEX can be adapted for special work not possible with any other type of camera. A firm movement to the left (anti-clockwise direction) will free the lens as seen in this illustration.
A Choice of Four Lenses
The normal lens which is standard to the AGIFLEX has a focal length of 8 cm. with a full aperture of f3.5. This lens is easily interchangeable with the 16 cm. telephoto lens f5.5 seen in this illustration. When this lens is used the photographic image is twice the size of that produced with the normal lens. It is ideal for portraiture and any picture where a narrower angle of view is required.
Also working at f5.5, two longer focus telephoto lenses are available – 24 cm. and 30 cm. bringing a complete range of objectives into use that will make the camera ideal for NATURE studies, and long distance photography.
The Adapter Ring
Where very long focus telephoto lenses working at a large aperture are used it is necessary to have the largest possible opening to the front of the camera so as not to shade off the corners of the picture. or this reason the AGIFLEX is provided with an adaptor-ring which can be removed by releasing the button (21). It is usual to press this button and release the ring on the shorter focus lens, rather than remove the lens and then press the button and attempt to remove the ring as a separate component. Like the ring, each of the lenses is held by a bayonet fitting, the button is only used to release the ring.
Four colour filters spun in light screw-in holders are available together with a lens-hood. These accessories are interchangeable being designed with the same screw fitting, which fits the recess in the lens mount.
YELLOW (x2) a contrast filter cutting down as excess of blue
GREEN (x3) for general colour correction on panchromatic film
ORANGE (x5) contrast filter
RED (x7) extreme contrast filter
The figures in brackets indicate the approximate extra exposure required on panchromatic film.
The next page in the instruction book contains two tabulations. I have therefore scanned the whole page. This both reduces my work, as I do not have to try to produce tables, and also increases accuracy as I am not retyping material. I hope the end result is acceptable.
Synchronised Flash Contacts
Two flash contacts (10) are provided on the AGIFLEX. When used with the AGILUX flashgun, it is only necessary to fix the gun by means of the tripod-socket, and plug in the contact-socket as seen in this picture, and the camera is ready for use with a shutter speed of 1/25th of a second, or slower.
General Notes on the Use of the Camera
It is essential that the camera should be held firmly and care should be taken to avoid shake when making an exposure. A tripod must be used for any of the longer exposures. Particularly when holding the camera at eye-level, care should be taken not to let a finger rub against the shutter setting knob (13) as this will revolve during the period of exposure. If in doubt whether the shutter has been set, this fact may be ascertained by looking at the arrowhead in the centre of knob (13) which will face the word SET if the camera is ready for the next exposure.
Care of the Camera
A leather ever-ready case is available for the AGIFLEX, it protects the camera from ordinary wear and tear or accidental damage. Keep the lens free from fingermarks and dirt. If it becomes dusty, brush it lightly with a camel hair brush. Other marks may be wiped VERY LIGHTLY with a piece of chamois leather, or lens cleaning tissue. Never use cleaning compounds or fluids. NEVER attempt to force the transport lever beyond its natural point – the second stroke becomes shorter with each exposure. Never lubricate any part of the camera, and if any part becomes out of adjustment, return it to the dealer where it was purchased. AGILUX LTD. will be pleased to give any further advice or assistance if required. Please quote the SERIAL NUMBER OF THE CAMERA (engraved inside the camera body) in all communications.