Here we have an update to another camera in my collection, the Agfa Isolette I. I found this camera in Camera Centre in Cardiff and I just had to add it to my collection. I had so much love for my Agfa in regards to its compact size and stunning image quality that the addition of a rangefinder seemed like a no brainer.
On the surface it has near the same specification as the Isolette I in that the body size, shape, finish and lens are exactly the same, the difference between them is in the practicality of use. The Isolette III came with a built in non-coupled rangefinder, in order for the photographer to be able to focus the camera, without the need to physically measure the distance between the subject and the camera. The problem with this system is that you have to manually adjust the lens according to the distance on your rangefinder. This of course is not the most accurate technique, but at least there is a degree of focus control without having to carry a separate rangefinder or tape measure.
The camera has been difficult to get used to. Being so familiar with the previous model may have set me up with some bad habits or just that the rangefinder distance markings were difficult to transfer over to the lens accurately. That being said, with enough practice I’m sure I’ll be able to get my head around the mechanics of this camera.
All in all, this camera is a welcome addition to my collection. It’s proved difficult to master, but I’m sure i’ll get some outstanding images from it for years to come. The compact form factor make it absolutely perfect for the Medium format photographer on the go, and the price point is excellent. I got mine for around £40. There aren’t many folding medium format rangefinders on the market, and there are even fewer at this price.