This folding camera first came on the market as the Isorette (Jsorette) but the name changed to Isolette (Jsolette) quite soon. From late 1937 the name writing form of I (like J) changed again to Isolette. This means that very early 1936/37 models have a Jsolette writing on the front plate leatherette of the camera. Isolette production lasted till 1942.
This model was called in Germany during the WWII times the "Soldatenkamera" (Soldiers' Camera) also. One of the very distinctive feature is the top-plate which is made of a plastic called "Trolitan". There were many different lens/shutter combinations.
There are two distinct models of the first Isolette (Jsorette/Jsolette) series:
- The early model, produced before and during WW2
- The late model, produced post WW2
All Isolette series produced between 1936/37-1950.
|Agfa Isolette (Jsolette), 1936/37, early model, from the first production year of the Isolette series.
image by Süleyman Demir (Image rights)
Isolette (Jsolette) early model
|Agfa Isorette, 1936 image by alf sigaro (Image rights)|
This data belongs to the camera Isolette (Jsolette), early model, 1936/37, in the pictures.
- Produced between: 1936/37-42
- Model: 1937, Jsolette (pronounced Isolette, the cameras with the name writing as Jsolette produced in only 1937, later the writing changed as Isolette)
- Folding film camera, roll 120 type rollfilm,
- Dual format 6x6cm and 6x4.5cm (by the built in internal mask halves)
- Lens: Igestar (Jgestar, later the writing as Igestar) 6.3/8.5cm, also offered with Apotar 4.5/8.5cm or Solinar 4.5/8.5cm
- Focusing: manual front element focusing, guess the distance, Focus range: 1-10m +inf, on the scale 3m and 10m are red coloured, a reminder for portrait and group shots
- Shutter: Vario, speeds: 1/25-1/125 + T&B (no click stops, also offered with Pronto, Prontor II, Compur or Compur-Rapid.
- Cocking and Shutter release: by the same small knob on the top plate, pressing this button cocks the shutter and release it
- Viewfinder: optical direct vision viewfinder
- Bellows: Automatic opening
- Others: self-timer; hinged back cover;
- Body: metallic, top plate: a plastic called Trolitan, Weight: 504g
The camera in here is from the first production year of the Isolette series. The Vario shutter is on very early models which name's writings as Jsorette and Jsolette, but there is no shutter name on the lens-shutter barrel. On the early Jsolettes/Isolettes the front focusing element were frozen in time which is apparently typical.
|Agfa Isolette (Jsolette), 1936/37, early model from the first production year of the Isolette series
Images by Süleyman Demir (Image rights)
Isolette (Jsolette) late model
|Agfa Isolette, late model image by alf sigaro (Image rights)|
The late model was made from 1946 till 1950 with the name writing as Jsolette or Isolette. This was somewhat arbitrary at that times.The camera offered many different lens/shutter combinations, like f/4.5 Agnar, Apotar or Solinar lenses and Prontor, Prontor-S or Compur-Rapid shutters The other differences from the early model are:
- Top plate cast-Hydronalium alloy (Nüral).
- Format: only 6x6cm
- Accessory shoe
- Double exposure prevention
All Isolette camera models
The Agfa Isolette series camera models include:
- Agfa Isorette (the name writing as Jsorette) 1936 (Some sources say 1937)
- Agfa Isolette (the name writing as Jsolette) 1937
- Agfa Isolette (Early model, lens f/6.3 or f/4.5) 1937-42
- Agfa Isolette (Late model of Isolette f/6.3, the lens was only f/4.5, the name writing was somewhat arbitrary at that times like Isolette or Jsolette) 1946-50
- Agfa Isolette I 1952-60
- Agfa Isolette V 1950-52
- Agfa Isolette II 1950-60
- Agfa Isolette III 1952-58
- Agfa Isolette L 1957-60
Notes and References
- The writing of Isolette looks like Jsolette because it is written with an old German capital letter "I" which resembles a "J", pronounced Isolette, and later changed with the new form of the "I" , in 1937. info from: Old German Letters
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover).