Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vintage Camera Back from Service - Agfa Karat IV

If you've been following my blog lately, you're well aware that I have been bitten by the vintage camera bug lately and have been gobbling up vintage cameras on eBay like a game of Hungry Hippos. And with good reason. Vintage cameras are mechanical works of art that are to be cared for, admired and they should also be used to shoot photos. Most of the vintage cameras I have purchased from eBay have arrived in good working condition, however, a few of them have had mechanical issues and that's not unexpected.

One such camera is this beautiful Agfa Karat IV 35mm film rangefinder, which was produced from 1950-1956. It features a Solinar 50mm f/2.8 lens. There are a couple interesting features of this camera. Firstly, it has a strut-folding, collapsible lens. Secondly, the film advance lever is pulled towards the user to advance the film, rather than away like most cameras.

I took it in for a full service and cleaning and to get it back in shape to shoot photos. The focus ring was completely frozen and immovable and the aperture ring was inoperable as well. Fortunately there are some excellent camera repair shops in Seoul (that WON'T expose your film and I got it repaired and serviced for a reasonable $80,000 KRW or around $75 USD.

I loaded my first roll of film into it this morning and everything seems to be working well. Focus ring is smooth and aperture rings adjusts fine. Stay tuned and I'll be sure to share some sample photos after I get the roll developed.

Isn't she a beauty?

Agfa Karat IV

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