Chris's camera pages

Agfa Ambi-Silette


Manufactured in 1955 this well-made and robust camera was Agfa's top-of-the-line 35mm rangefinder model. It is fitted with a four-element Agfa Color-Solinar 50mm f/2.8 standard lens and a Synchro-Compur shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 second.

The shutter is synchronised for bulb or electronic flash, and has the usual delay-action mechanism.

The aperture settings are coupled to the shutter speeds in the common light-value style.

AmbiSilette finder

In an unusual feature, the viewfinder and rangefinder windows are hidden behind a flip-up cover. The instruction manual suggests this is for 'protection'.

AmbiSilette and lenses

Seen with the camera here, are the Agfa Color_Ambion f/4.0 35mm wide-angle, and the Agfa Color-Telinear f/4.0 90mm telephoto lenses.

The lenses on the Ambi-Silette are fully interchangable, unlike the lenses used on the Kodak IIIc or Zeiss Ikon Contina III cameras for example, where only the front component was changed.

AmbiSilette frame selector

All lenses couple to the rangefinder, and as you can see here, the viewfinder has selectable frames to suit the three focal lengths.

It is worth noting that the outer frame for the 35mm lens is always visible while the smaller frames for the 50mm or 90mm lens appear only when the frame selector is set accordingly.

Agfa Ambi Silette instruction manual on Richard Urmonas' excellent website.

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