Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Agfa Synchro Box

From Camarapedia, this paragraph to introduce the camera:

«Agfa Synchro Box 600, also known as Agfa Synchro Box, is a medium format box camera manufactured by Agfa Camerawerk AG, München, Germany between 1951-57. It is a version of Agfa Box 50. The Synchro term in the name is for flash sync shutter.»

With this old piece of museum you may play and experiment several thinks, like pinhole photography and other possibilities.

The original camera shoots in 6x9 format, in older times it was a great advantage, you could make direct prints without the need of an enlarger. I played a lot with this camera as I was about 13 or 14. An oncle told me the essencial of photography and even offered me a device to make direct prints very confortable at the darkroom.

Today I have several Agfa boxes and one of them is used for experiments. The first think I made was to take the single lens attached to the film loading device. It was not easy, the spring that holds the lens is very strong and finally I made a drastic choice, I broke the lens. But if you are more patient, it is possible to remove without violence.

The next, I oppened the front part (just pulling it out), and removed the front glas which is only introducing noise to the pictures, it is not a lens. I also removed the piece containing the two apertures and a yellow filter. It is also possible to remove the shutter that can be used in another DIY camera.

After all, I broke a close-up lens with a 55mm ring and used only the ring without glass as a 55 mm screw adapter for other lens. This ring was centered arond the camera front ring and filled with epoxy. The box was so transformed in a interchangeable lens camera.

If I use a +10 close-up lens, I get a more or less foccused image. The next, I reduced the image to the size 4,5x6 cm, cutting so the parts less foccused of the image and doubling the number of pictures per roll, 16. One turn per picture, a liitle more at the beginning, a little less to the end.

Finally, you may use, with the 55mm adapter a wide angle lens from Holga. This will have the advantage of enhancing the aperture angle and the image becomes sharper.

Modified Agfa Synchro Box
Fig. 1 - A new camera based on the Agfa Synchro box

Playing with an Agfa Synchro Box
Fig. 2 - The image above was made without the wide angle Holga lens.

Playing with an Agfa Synchro Box
Fig. 3 - A picture made using the wide angle Holga lens .

The vertical lines in the photos are made by the black paper mask. This mask can be fixed inside the frame and will not produce these "vintage" drag marks.

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