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  1. #1

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    Got an Agfa PD16 Clipper today!

    Talk about old school! I had to take it apart to clean the lenses, and the shutter is an ingeniously simple but elegant system. Nice and consistent. I will likely be adapting it to 120 film, because of the vastly easier availability. It'll be nice to have a camera that you cannot futz with too much. It's either it's regular shutter, or it's bulb mode. That's it. No aperture, no meter, no ratcheting advance lever. It's raw. Very very raw. I like it that way.

  2. #2
    jcoldslabs's Avatar
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    For additional futzing track down an Agfa "Clipper Special" which allows limited focusing, more shutter speeds and a couple of aperture settings.

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Agfa_Ansco_Clipper_Special

    Have fun!

    Jonathan

  3. #3
    fotch's Avatar
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    I have an Ansco Clipper, pretty much the same thing. Belonged to my older sister and I got to use it as a youngster. Also have the case and flash.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  4. #4
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    I have a "new in box" PD16 and another used one. Just because I could, I took the whole lens/shutter assembly off and mounted it on a lens board to shoot on a 4x5 - to see what the coverage was like. It covered the entire sheet, but with some wild distortion outside the sweet spot that was about 1.5 inches across. I haven't shot the camera itself, but the used one came with some images and negatives in the box, a couple's travel's to FL, I think. Seems that distortion was part of the PD16 experience, or at lest with this particular one.

  5. #5

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    It's good to see that there is a little bit of a following for these older classics. Interesting timing too, as I just purchased one myself! Well, an Agfa Clipper Special to be exact - I couldn't resist the "special" as I was curious to see just how good its performance might be with its focusable and more "upscale" anastigmat lens. Actually, refurbishing (and sometimes modifying) simple old roll film cameras has become sort of a hobby of mine lately. The 120 conversion is something I will be doing for the first time with this one though, so I will be curious to hear any discussion of others' experiences with that little project, or any other tricks, modifications, lessons learned, etc., about the camera in general.

    In any event, congratulations on the new camera - old point-and-shooters can be a lot of fun!



    Jeff

  6. #6

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    Agfa Clipper was my first camera in about 1950 when 616 film was easy to come by, even in a tiny town. I picked up an old one in the $1 box at a photo show. To adapt the 120 spool to the 616 swing-out holder in the Clipper, a crimp connector, available in a hardware store with electrical supplies, works nicely-- one on each end of the spool gives good positioning. That said, I still haven't actually put film in the Clipper and shot pictures; but, I'm pretty sure that I can--maybe I need to make a mask. Anyway, I wanted to mention the crimp connectors in case you hadn't heard about them.

  7. #7
    fotch's Avatar
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    What does the crimp connectors normally connect? 2 or 3 wires? Having trouble visualizing this although I am familiar with most electrical items.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #8

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    Billdelle, I'm guessing that by electrical crimp connector you mean one of these?
    http://www.larpro.com.au/larpro/images_cat/150.jpg
    I am curious to know exactly which type you used - intriguing that you found a doodad that works as-is, without even having to modify it!

    Two other ways I have heard of for making adapters would be as explained in the following links:
    kodak.3106.net/download/616panoramicconversion-RevBE.pdfSimilar
    http://www.filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=4742.0

    The first one is technically for an old Six-16 folder, but the idea would be the same. Basically it involves cutting up spare 616 spools (maybe 620 spools would work too?), and modifying the ends so they can fit into the 120 spool ends and thus make up the difference in length. If you happen to have the spools available it seems like it would be a very clean way of adapting to 120. If anything, I think it would be easier for the PD16/Clipper cameras, as you wouldn't need to trim the 120 spool afterwords as they did - at least on my Clipper Special, a 120 spool pops into the chamber just fine without need for trimming.

    In the second link they talk about using trimmed screw anchors as adapters, among other ideas. Again, this is for different cameras (like old Brownie 116/616 and other box cameras), but the idea may still apply. I'm not sure how stable a screw anchor would be by just pressing into the end of the spool, but it may still be an idea worth exploring. Also, there is also a brief discussion in the comments at the end of that article which is interesting; discussing variants of the Clipper camera and locations of the red window(s).


    Jeff

  9. #9

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    Hello, Denverdad:

    My Clipper is not a Special so my experience may not apply; I say this because you said that a 120 spool just slips into the filmholder: not so on my Clipper, the 120 spool is too short. Anyway, here are the answers to your questions. (I'm hoping that APUG allows image posting.)

    It would be quite surprising if the crimp connectors I use are unusual: I find them in a small, neighborhood hardware store that has a bit of everything and not a lot of anything. They are in the familiar slide-out trays with little boxes inside, in the electrical accessories shelves. I haven't taken the time to look at your link; I hope that you will see the following photo of the connectors against a steel rule: Click image for larger version. 

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    In the next photo you can see a 120 spool installed in my clipper. It is on the feed side; using the crimp connectors a 120 spool will also fit in the takeup side. Click image for larger version. 

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    Next to the Clipper pressure plate you can see another view of the connectors; this may help in identification.

    Please let me know something doesn't work in this post. I don't use APUG often. It is doesn't work, I'll send you an email if you like.

    I have used the screw anchor method on a Kodak 616 folder; it worked but the fit was not as good as these connectors in a Clipper.

    Billdele in St. Paul

  10. #10
    fotch's Avatar
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    Like wire nuts except they are crimped to connect. Great idea. Only thing I don't understand is on the take up side, doesn't it need a key or key-way to have the force needed to wind and advance the film? Maybe if I had the connectors in front of me the answer would be self evident. Very inventive.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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