AGFA was the abbreviation for Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation, given in 1873 to a company that had been founded in Berlin in 1867. It produced chemicals for photography. Most famous is the film developer Rodinal, introduced in 1892 and continued for 115 years. When Agfa obtained the Rietzschel camera works in Munich from Bayer in 1925, it badged all Rietzschel products with its Agfa rhombus. In 1926 it introduced the first real Agfa camera, the Standard. In 1927 the name Rietzschel disappeared from the products. In that year the successful Billy camera series was introduced, and Agfa licensed Ansco to manufacture its products for the American market.

In 1930 the first Agfa Box camera for 6×9 cm exposures on roll film was produced. In the following year it popularized photography in Germany by dumping the Box 44 for 4 Reichsmark, easily recouping its losses afterwards by selling Agfa 120 roll films. In 1937 it brought out its first camera for 35mm film.

After WWII Agfa improved its prewar models and introduced the new 35mm Solinette. In 1954 it modernized its camera design with the Silette series; 1956 saw the introduction of the medium format Automatic 66. In 1959 a 35mm viewfinder camera with autoexposure button followed, the Optima. In 1964 Agfa introduced the Rapid system as an answer to Kodak's 126 film. The company debuted cameras accepting 126 film in 1967.

In 1968 Agfa introduced its red sensor point, a round membrane made of red foil and framed with a metal ring. Depending on the camera type, either a mechanical or an electromechanical shutter release button was hidden under the flexible membrane. Since then this touchpad-like shutter button was used on most of the company's models and became a familiar feature.

In Germany Agfa had a huge success with its popular "Ritsch-Ratsch" pocket cameras, which accepted 110 cartridge film. A whole series of these Agfamatic cameras was launched twice, the first series using magicubes and the second, flipflash. Of course these cameras had the red sensor point as shutter release button.

In the early 1980s Agfa produced its last film cameras. The new models of the Selectronic series were manufactured by Chinon. Agfa gave up camera production in 1983. All later Agfa film cameras were OEM products.

In the early days of digital photography Agfa sold low end compact cameras under the Agfa ePhoto name. Today the AgfaPhoto brand is licenced by German photographic company Plawa which sells a modest line of AgfaPhoto Sensor compact digital cameras.

35mm film cameras[]


Fixed lens[]

Fixed lens, half-frame[]

Rangefinder, interchangeable lens[]



27 film cameras[]


120 film cameras[]




Plate cameras[]

Rapid film cameras[]

126 film cameras[]

110 film cameras[]

The series 1000/2000/... accepted magicubes.

The series 508/1008/... accepted flipflash.

The sophisticated models had a special hot shoe for the Agfamatic Lux flashes.

APS film cameras[]


  • Agfa ActionCam (1995)
  • Agfa StudioCam (1995)
  • Agfa ePhoto 1280 (1997 0.7 megapixel)
  • Agfa ePhoto 1680 (1998 1.2 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto 307 (1997)
  • Agfa ePhoto 780
  • Agfa ePhoto 780c
  • Agfa ePhoto CL18 (2000, 0.3 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto CL20
  • Agfa ePhoto CL30 (1999, 0.9 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto CL30 Clik! (1999, 0.9 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto CL34
  • Agfa ePhoto CL45 (2001; 0.7 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto CL50 (1999 1.2 mp)
  • Agfa ePhoto Smile (0.3 mp)


Japanese advertisements[]



Camera industry in Berlin
Agfa | Amigo | Astro Berlin | Bermpohl | B W | Foth | Goerz | Grass & Worff | Plasmat | Rudolph | Rüdersdorf | Schulze & Billerbeck
Camera industry in Munich
Agfa | Deckel | Eder | Enna | Friedrich | Leitmeyr | Linhof | Niezoldi & Krämer | Perka | Rietzschel | Staeble | Steinheil

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