Great British Cameras:

AGILUX

Agiflash

Agifold

Agiflex

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Agimatic

Agima

Agilux was formed as a subsidiary of Aeronautical and General Instruments (AGI) in 1946 specifically to make cameras. The first camera they made was the Agiflex, a 21/4 sq reflex camera taking 12 exposures on 120 film. This camera was based on the ARL aerial camera made by AGI during WWII which itself was based on the Reflex Korelle made during the 1930s by Franz Kochmann in Dresden, Germany.

The Agiflex I was developed into the Mk II adding slow speeds and flash synchronisation and a larger bayonet mount to take the wide aperture long focal length lenses (240 and 300mm) that were added to the 80mm and 160mm available for the Mk I. The Mk III camera was a re-engineered and re-styled camera and became a very well respected camera amongst professional photographers.

The Agifold cameras, introduced in 1948, are self-erecting 120 roll-film cameras developed through 4 versions from a simple camera with no frills to a more refined lever-wind camera with a combined viewfinder and rangefinder and lever-wind.

The Agimatic is a 35mm camera with interchangeable lenses (an 85mm telephoto in addition to the 45mm standard lens) and an ingenious mechanism which enabled the 'shutter release' to take the picture, advance the frame counter, wind the film on and cock the shutter, all with one simple stroke. An uncoupled rangefionder and extinction meter completed a very well specified and neatly styled camera. The Agima was developed from the Agimatic, a larger camera with a brightline finder and a coupled rangefinder.

Agilux made many simple plastic cameras, perhaps most notably from a styling point of view is the Agiflash (1953), a streamlined camera with integral bulb flash. Agilux also made a number of cheap plastic cameras for Ilford during the 1960s. These were the last of the cameras for the amateur market and in the face of strong competition from abroad, AGI chose to concentrate on manufacturing high quality aerial cameras and other instruments and systems which it contiunues to manufacture (see AGI Ltd ).

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