The Camera Site

Agfa Kamerawerk AG, München, Germany

Agfa Billy


Agfa Billy Rekord

The Agfa Billy Record folder camera series production started in 1928 and continued until 1960. The most recent models were the latest traditional folding cameras made.

Agfa Billy Record 8,8 is manufactured between years 1933 -1942. The lens is Jgestar 105mm f8,8 in a a A.C. Gauthier shutter. Shutter speeds are B, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100.The name of the model variation comes according to the max.lens aperture (8,8 in this case). The camera takes 6x9cm pictures on a 120 film.
It has partly an ArtDéco styling. Some metal parts are nickel plated. These are hints to estimate the production year.
Nickel is slightly yellowish compared to chrome and nickel was commonly used before WWII. Another hint to date the camera is a coating of the lens. If it exists the lens is most probably made after the War. ArtDéco / Art Nouveau styling was "in" between the years 1920 - 1939. However it may also been assembled after the war using the parts which are made before the war.

I have not tried to take any pictures with this Agfa. However I have included in my future plans to add a picture or two taken with each camera which I have introduced on these pages. Naturally in some cases it is not possible courtesy of the condition of the camera. Another reason is the availability of the film. Third stalking horse is , do I have time enough to do that ? Fourth plea could be for instance, do I have skill enoug etc.etc. So, please, don´t waist your time for waiting.


Agfa Billy Clack

Definitely an ArtDéco styled simple folding camera. The lens is Agfa Jgenar f8,8 with optionable f11 and f16 settings. Simple "fixed" shutter speed. A slightly uncommon but clever folding mechanism, that is called "clumsyflex" in Finnish although it is not clumsy at all.

This version of Clack takes 6 x 9cm pictures on 120 film and the dimensions when closed are: 156 X 76 X 33 mm. A smaller 4,5 X 6cm version was also manufactured.

Agfa has made also an Agfa Clack box camera (Click in US ) but the same onomatopoetic name has been used before by a German camera manufacturer Rietzschel in Munich (München).

Art Déco (1920-1940) Art Deco is a style of decorative art. It is characterized by the use of crisp, geometric forms. As with many other art movements, even work of today is still being influenced by the past. You may have seen Fiskars scissors or garden tools.You can easily detect the influence of Art Deco in many Fiskars products. Empire State Building is a good exaple of that style in architecture.

Fiskars is initially a Finnish manufacturer of high class craft tools, garden tools, home and office supplies etc.


Orange handled scissors are a
trademark of FISKARS BRANDS, INC.


Three bits of Agfa Optics History

"- On July 12th, in 1896 Alexander Heinrich Rietzschel founds in Gabelsbergerstaße 36/37, Munich, the company "Optische Anstalt A. Hch. Rietzschel. This is the foundation of the camera plant of the Agfa-Gevaert AG."

"- In 1969 Take over of the "Optische Anstalt Dr. Staeble, Friedl & Co. KG" in Altenstadt, district Schongau. Ramp up of new productions plants: production of objectives keeping the production lines of present customers. Device for optical testing, measuring and adjusting appliances."

-Today Agfa - Gevaert Group is one of the worlds leading companies producing laser based industrial and medical measuring instruments, laser recorder modules and appropriate software, developing and producing lenses for special purposes etc.

©2007 Reijo Lauro