Agfa B2 Speedex Camera

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Dorothy Blum Cooper, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    I recently obtained an Agfa B2 Speedex. While nothing spectacular by way of camera's, this particular one belonged to my Grandfather, who passed away in 1971. The sentimental value far exceeds a dollar amount. My Uncle has graciously allowed me to take the camera and use it (more or less experiment).

    Upon examining the camera, it's overall condition is good. The bellows appear light tight and very minimal rusting throughout. Just spots. The shutter is a bit 'sticky' at the extremes. The biggest issue for me is the fungus or mold spot that appears within the glass/lens. I've 'googled' for information on taking this portion of the camera apart, but fail to really find out what equipment is best used on this type of camera.

    Can anyone recommend a supplier or types of tools that I should obtain to remove the lens from this particular camera?

    Any input/help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Dorothy,

    I recently bought a B2 Speedex, and its a wonderfull camera. The front lens element should be easy to screw off: just take those 2 tiny screws in the focus scale out, take out the focus scale, and screw out the lenses (might come out in a pair, might come out one at a time). This is how I "opened up" my Agfa Jsolette V, which looks very similar to my B2 Speedex.

    The rear lens (and the shutter, I think), should come out by unscrewing the jam nut (or retainer ring, whatever its called) from inside the bellows. Very much like a large format lens.

    I think I bought my jam nut tools (I can't remember what they are called) from microtools.com or something like that.

    BTW, it's worth checking the focus of the camera with a ground glass on the film plane, and either re-adjusting the focus scale (which you will have to do if you take it out, its just a matter of putting it back in the right position), or taking notes on which marked distance is which distance in reality. I did the later, and my camera can focus from 0.8 m (marked 1 meter) to 3.22 m (marked infinity).

    Here's a couple of examples of what the lens in that camera is capable of (these are quick scans of RC prints, so both shadows and highlights may be blocked up). The garage shot was after I checked the focus, the portrait is from before (the focus ended up being on or before her shoulder).

    Good luck, and take care.

    André
     

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  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Is your camera a 6x6? I have a perfect lens that may fit it. Does it focus at the front? My lens is off an Ansco 6x6 folder and is a 90mm Speedex, F4.5.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi, I've taken a few of these apart - nice cameras, in general.

    To remove the lens/shutter assembly use a spanner wrench. IMO SK Grimes (APUG Sponsor) makes one of the best (much better IMO than the Microtools Spanner).

    Most of the Speedex lenses are three elements in three groups. The front two elements are often stuck together (dried out, polymerized green agfa grease is the cause). Sometimes it is necessary to soak this element group in acetone or benzene (cigarette lighter fluid) in order to unscrew one element from another.

    You willl need to remove all the green gunk and re-lube the screw threads before reassembling.

    Clean the lens elements and all screw threads (I use a tooth brush and toothpicks for the threads). To clean the glass I use Isopropyl Alcohol. If the fungus is stubborn do an Apug search on fungus. If the fungus has etched the glass, cleaning is pretty much a lost cause. However, the lens can look pretty bad and still take good pictures.

    When all the elements have been removed from the shutter body, I personally send the shutter body off to Carol Flutot (APUG Member, PM her) for a CLA. Carol's prices are very reasonable and her work is excellent.

    When you reassemble the lens to the shutter and camera, be sure to check and set the infinity focus - search APUG for focus and infinity focus.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Can't offer anything about the camera, but your "Calm before the Storm" essay is wonderful, and perfectly tuned to the music that sets a poignant and wistful counterpoint to the images. I assume you and your family are okay. Many here wondered about you after the disaster. (Perhaps there was some mention made about your experience, but I missed it.) In any case...terrific work!
     
  6. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Enjoyed "Calm before the Storm".
     
  7. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    André, Tom...thank you both for taking time to answer. I appreciate the detailed information as well as the referrals on tools and the contact names. This gives me alot to work with.

    Wayne...the lens sounds about right. If the one on my camera looks to be a problem (difficult to clean or etched glass) I'd be interested. PM or email and let me know what you're looking for.

    Jovo & Wayne...thanks for the comments on the slideshow. Made in haste to the media's coverage of post Hurricane Katrina. We are okay here (we live about 40 miles north of the CBD) but it's definitely changed everyones lives down here. I can honestly say that the Gulf South that was so heavily damaged by this storm, will take years to rebuild and come to grips with it all. But no doubt...these Southern folks are strong, determined people. They will be back!

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  8. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    You're welcome.
     
  9. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    Tom,
    Regarding your recommendation on the spanner wrench...which of the two (if not both) would you suggest I purchase for the camera I have?

    Here's the link showing both wrenches .

    Besides the Agfa B2 Speedex, I have a Crown Graphic, thus my wondering if I should purchase both or if one will suffice.

    Appreciate your insight.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi Dorothy - and you are welcome!

    I would buy only one spanner.
    I would choose the spanner model with the flat tips for both the Speedex and the Crown Graphic.