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Thread: Agfa 35mm

  1. #1

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    Agfa 35mm

    Just got a Agfa Ambi Silette in throiugh the door.

    Looking over this and a few other Agfa cameras I have, both 35mm and medium frame, one question popped up.

    Agfa was always first and foremost a chemical company, that diversified into film production and also processing like Kodak.

    But did Agfa have camera production plants? Or did they just order them from reputable manufacturers after their own design and specifications?

    In USA Agfa was known as ANSCO which also was a chemical company. I know (or think i know) that ANSCO did take over camera factories in the US, and that they manufactured AGFA models, or maybe had them rebranded to US-specific models and designations for export to USA.

    In later years before bankrupcy Agfa most likely had cameras manufactured elsewhere and rebranded, after the collaapse of the german camera manufacturing industry around 1971.

    So what models was manufactured in Germany? What where produced in USA and what was produced elsewhere?

    EP

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Prestmo View Post
    Just got a Agfa Ambi Silette in throiugh the door.

    Looking over this and a few other Agfa cameras I have, both 35mm and medium frame, one question popped up.

    Agfa was always first and foremost a chemical company, that diversified into film production and also processing like Kodak.

    But did Agfa have camera production plants? Or did they just order them from reputable manufacturers after their own design and specifications?
    Agfa manufactured their own cameras in Germany up until about the mid/late
    1970s or early 80s when they began to outsource production to Asia.

    In its heyday Agfa was the German counterpart to USA Kodak. They produced
    many cameras as well as film, darkroom supplies, flash units and many other
    photo accessory items.

    In USA Agfa was known as ANSCO ...
    Not exactly true. ANSCO had its own history that started with the Anthony Co.
    (USA's oldest camera manufacturer) who later merged with another company
    named Scoville and became Anthony & Scoville. That name was later shortened
    to ANSCO. Then ANSCO entered into an agreement with Agfa and became
    AGFA-ANSCO which produced cameras (some made in Germany, some in the USA)
    under the ANSCO name.

    In later years before bankrupcy Agfa most likely had cameras manufactured elsewhere and rebranded, after the collaapse of the german camera manufacturing industry around 1971.
    Some outsourcing was done by "Agfa" branded cameras in the mid-late-1970s to
    early 80s after which camera production ceased.

    So what models was manufactured in Germany? What where produced in USA and what was produced elsewhere?
    Most "Agfa" cameras were produced in Germany and so were some "Ansco"
    cameras and they are marked as such. Some German-made models had both
    "Agfa" and "Ansco" branded versions but were the same camera such as the
    Agfa Silette/Ansco Memar cameras.

    The non-German-made Agfa cameras were mostly low end 35mm and 110 format
    models made near the end of Agfa's life. In the early 1980s Agfa also marketed
    a 35mm SLR under the Agfa name that was made in Japan but few were sold.

    Your Ambi-Silette was most definitely made in Germany.

  3. #3
    AgX
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    The Agfa cameraworks in Munich with about 3000 employees had been closed in 1984. Agfa was then scapegoat in Munich. However they could have closed it much earlier as that plant had ben making losses for two decennia.
    It was considered to endanger the whole company.

  4. #4
    AgX
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    In those days Agfa was willing to pay their people for the closing. A much later CEO took a different stand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Prestmo View Post
    So what models was manufactured in Germany? What where produced in USA and what was produced elsewhere?

    EP
    Agfa/Ansco twins that were made in Germany include:

    35mm

    Silette (Ansco Memar)

    Super Silette (Ansco Super Memar)

    Karat 36 (Ansco Karomat)

    Solinette (Ansco Regent)

    Super Solinette (Ansco Super Regent)

    120

    Isolette II (Ansco Speedex Special)

    Isolette III (Ansco Speedex Special R)

    Super Isolette (Ansco Super Speedex)


    The Ansco Clipper used 616 film and was made in the U.S. It was sold by Agfa as the Agfa PD16 Clipper.

    There are probably other Agfa/Ansco combinations, but these are the ones I know.



 

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