Agfa Optima 200 camera questions

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by EXElent, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. EXElent

    EXElent Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I'm new here and have made an interesting discovery today when I boroughed a friend's camera: it doesn't have a mirror! Could it be... a.... rangefinder?! Apparently, yes it is even though it's a fully automatic camera it's still very intriguing and I want to find out more about how to photograph with it before I try to put the first roll in (yes, I don't even have a clue on how to put the film in). Until now I've used a Zenit 130 but if this rangefinder will surprise me maybe I'll try and buy it from him. So here are my questions to you guys:

    - do you have a manual for the Agfa Optima 200 camera that you could send me by pm or here?

    - if there aren't any manuals available can someone guide me step by step on how not to mess the first film this camera will see?

    - what would be the fair price to offer my friend for this camera in case the photographs are as great as the feel this camera has in my hands?

    Thank you all so much, and please hurry because the light is fading!:smile:)
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    There are various Optima manuals here http://www.butkus.org/chinon/ (scroll down the page a bit)

    Not one specifically for the 200 but may be similar.

    steve.
     
  3. EXElent

    EXElent Member

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    I knew about that link but didn't think of checking the other manuals. But as you suggested I did and found some good tips on how to change the film sensitivity and such. The only problem now remains just this little tiny detail: how the hell do people make amazing compositions with rangefinders?! Anyway, I finished a roll of film today and I'll see the results tomorow.
    Thank you.
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    You'll learn with experience to see the photo in your head, and then capture it on film, regardless of the style of camera you use. You don't need to walk around (for instance) with a camera glued to your eye. A rangefinder/viewfinder style camera is just as easy to use as a SLR, it is all a matter of learning to see, and learning how to translate that to the camera you have. The rangefinder/viewfinder window defines the image edges. Why would it be any more difficult to arrange your composition within the frame?
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    That really is a fascinating question, which greatly puzzles me, too. And yet, they do. I've even had the occasional success myself -- and more successes than I've had with anything else, even proportionately. I think it's the fluidity that RFs encourage.

    At school, we had an eccentric maths master called George Bonser. One of his famous remarks (famous in the school, that is), was "You don't work it out. You simply write down the answer, and notice that it is correct," RF cameras are a bit like this: you don't compose the picture, you just take it and notice that it is correct.

    Cheers,

    R,