Agfa Ansco Viking 7.7

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nathan Riehl, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Subscriber

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    A while back, I acquired this 6x9 folder and have yet to use it. I'm tempted to buy a roll of 120 on a 620 spool to shoot with and to reuse the spool since I already have plenty of 120 film and another 620 spool. I'd like to know what kind of photos this takes though before I go ahead and do that, but I haven't been able to find any photos taken with this model of camera. Can anyone help me out?

    Here it is in all it's glory. Or lack-there-of, depending on how the photos turn out.

    il_570xN.448477475_1z42.jpg
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I believe this takes 120 film - not 620.

    As I understand it, PB20 was Ansco's designation for 120.
     
  3. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Subscriber

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    I read the page on "Camera-Wiki" and it says the same thing, but when you look at PB20 on the same website or on any other page, it says it's 620 film. All evidence aside, I have tried putting some Kodak TMAX-100 120 film in there and it didn't fit. Too big.
     
  4. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Man, that thing looks like a real sweetie pie. Get out there and shoot that beauty.
     
  5. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Subscriber

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    It's in scary good condition too. The only blemish on the thing whatsoever is a barely noticeable rust mark under where the viewfinder sits. There was no dust outside or inside the camera, all the chrome is shiny, all the leather looks as new as the day as the camera was made, and the glass looks to be completely clear all the way though. No scratches, no nothing.

    Edit: Under closer inspection, it turns out the rust mark was just a spot of dirt which quickly came off. Looks like it came right out of production.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I have a similar camera - an Ansco Viking 6.3 - which does take 120 film.

    Mine too is in apparently beautiful condition, except it needs to be serviced, because the lubricant in it has dried up.

    So I cannot show you any photos.
     

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  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I miss those red boxes of film next to the yellow ones at the drug store, where the flashbulbs,pipes, tobacco, and candy were at the big front counter. All those neat cameras like that in the glass case register counter. Nowadays the drugstores don't have doodly squat.
     
  8. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Very nice! I recently acquired a nice working Universal Roamer 2 that shoots 120 or 620. In 6X9.
    The results are excellent photo's. I think you will have fun w/ it!
    july 010.jpg
    It is 100mm f4.5, top speed 200. I think they are a real sleeper. Bellows are very good and it's a lot of fun.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2013
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    you want to know what kind of photos it will take?

    If you are a lousy photographer it will take lousy pictures. If you are a good photographer it will take good photos. Other than that, there's no way to know until you go shoot. Any quirks due to its lens being old are minor to insignificant when compared to your ability (or lack thereof) to judge light, composition and exposure.

    So go take pictures and have fun. I bet you anything the camera will do a terrific job.
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    My Viking is also a 6.3 that takes 120. It's a decent basic folder with a triplet lens, and it seems to keep the dark in effectively (unlike many Agfa folders---I think the Vikings might have had more robust bellows material than some other models).

    The lens on the 6.3 models seems always to be labelled "Agnar Anastigmat", on the 7.7 models just "Anastigmat". I don't know if that's an actual difference in the lens design or just a change of labelling, but as far as I can tell, the 6.3 models are German-made (Agfa) and the 7.7 models US-made (Ansco).

    -NT
     
  11. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Subscriber

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    That's interesting, ntenny. Thanks for your input. As for shooting with it, I think I might postpone because I may come into a Bronica pretty soon that will take up a lot of my time.
     
  12. Pioneer

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    I have picked up two or three of the 6.3 as well as the 7.7 models. They seem to be pretty basic cameras, but it does appear that time has been kind to mine. They all work (one needed some shutter exercise to exorcise the sticky shutter syndrome) though all of them would certainly benefit from a good lens cleaning. The bellows, camera condition and chrome all see great.

    I have shot Arista EDU 400 film in the 120 versions and the results are relatively low contrast, but I don't think that is a surprise considering they are all pre-war cameras. I think they are probably pretty capable cameras if you learn and work within their limitations. At some point I want to take one out and really spend some time with it to learn the ins and outs of working with one of these old folders, but that will have to wait awhile

    .
     
  13. Pioneer

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    I know this thread is a bit old but sometimes it takes me awhile to get around to doing things. As a follow up to my previous post made here back in 2013, here is a recent photograph from my Agfa/Ansco Viking PB20 7.7 with the Anistigmat lens. I am not certain but I believe the lens is a triplet.
    [​IMG]

    I have been working with this camera a bit since the first of the year. It is very lightweight, even with a roll of 620 film on board, and this copy seems to be relatively light tight. I have been over exposing the film as the shutter seems about a stop off. Shooting ISO100 film at an EI of 50 seems to work pretty well so I doubt I'll try to tear the shutter apart.

    I did have to inject a very small amount of 3 in 1 oil into the wind on key as it was very, very tight. Worked great and the film winds on perfectly now.

    This is pretty much a full daylight camera with shutter speed of 1/25 and 1/100 and apertures from f7.7 through f32. I have had some luck using the Bulb mode for longer, indoor exposures but this obviously requires setting the camera on a steady support and carefully holding the shutter open on bulb. The images with Arista EDU Ultra 100 and box stock developing have been low contrast and they definitely benefit from the use of a lens hood. I built one using cardboard and some black gaffers tape that does quite nicely.

    Overall it is certainly not the world's most awesome camera, but it has been a pretty reliable performer. It is very light and, of course, the 6x9 negative can hold an awful lot of information. The simple triplet lens does a very good job if you use a lens hood. Since it takes a bit more effort to get the shot it certainly can't be accused of being a high speed sports camera, but for static subjects it is very capable. It is a little bit of an inconvenience respooling 120 onto the 620 spool but once you do it a few times it is pretty painless.

    I recently put a roll of Kodak Portra 400 through it. I'll have to post the results if they are worth looking at. I'll try to get around to it a little quicker this time around. :smile:
     
  14. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    Yes, fairly small, light-weight and folds flat enough for a large pocket. Did I say large pocket? More like a trench coat pocket, but still a pocket. I just acquired a very nice Agfa Record 6x9 with an Agnar triplet lens, which is very much like your Viking, but slightly newer. The maximum aperture is f6.3 on the Agnar, but even at f6.3 the darn thing is sharp. It gets very good at around f11 and the result really surprised me. I'm going to take some train photos next week and will take the Record along. I'll post a couple of shots after I process them. It's going to be a shoot-out between my Kodak Monitor 620, Kodak Medalist II and the old Agfa Record. I don't expect the Agfa to win, but it should give a good showing anyway.
     
  15. Pioneer

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    I have frequently wondered why the modest triplet has always been considered the red headed stepchild of lenses for so many years, particularly with folding cameras. There are some obvious exceptions such as the Cooke Triplet but, as a rule, nobody seems to want the triplet.

    In my experience they produce very good results, and images taken with a triplet are quite often very tough to separate from the lenses that seem more desirable on the market. They seem to be well-corrected for most lens aberrations.

    Admittedly they can be susceptible to flare, but a halfway decent hood easily takes care of that, and many lenses have this problem. They are also known to be a bit weak in the corners but if used at decent apertures this is not really that noticeable. Besides, in portraits that is a very nice tendency.
     
  16. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    I agree with pretty much every thing you say. They take great portraits wide-open, stopped down to at least f8 or f11 they are as good as most Tessars and if they are coated they are just as flare free as a Tessar. Less elements means less internal light bouncing around creating low contrast. Still, it's always wise to use a slightly longer triplet compared to a Tessar, Planar or other multi-element lens so as to keep your corners sharp as possible.