Optima 500 Sensor


The Optima 500 Sensor, made by Agfa and introduced in 1969, as part of the Optima Sensor range, is a fairly eccentric 35mm film viewfinder camera with automatic exposure. Like all Agfa Sensor cameras, it has the large round orange shutter release on the top plate. There is also a cable release socket on the back.

The advance lever is on the bottom plate, to the users left. This doubles as the rewind lever. To rewind, the rewind release, mounted beside the lens, is moved in towards the lens and upward - where it latches. The advance lever is now reverse-geared to be a rewinder. Opening the back, using the catch on the right-hand end, releases the film-spool drive spindle- which springs out of the bottom plate, and resets the rewind release. The exposure meter is a CdS meter.

The lens has three focus zones visible from the top, and a distance scale underneath. Semi-circular film speed scale scale in top plate with pointers at opposite ends for DIN and ASA. Manually-reset frame counter in bottom plate. Flash can be connected via a hot shoe, which has a pin to detect the flash gun; a guide-number scale is fitted in the right-hand end.

  • Lens: Agfa Color-Apotar 42mm f2.8
  • Shutter: Paratic speeds 1/30-1/500 +B
  • Power: PX625 battery, placed where the advance lever might be expected. Look for the rectangle on the top right of the camera's back, this is the battery tray of the chamber.