I had hesitated for a long time, but at the beginning of April, the time had come. I was again in possession of the camera that was once my first. An Agfa Clack, 6×9. Back then, around 1975, my brother-in-law gave it to me. I had exposed maybe one film at that time, because my pocket money was quite small for the development. And my father hadn’t had the equipment to process medium format. But a beginning had been made.

Now it was in front of me again. I opened the back and what do I see? On the right side, a wooden spool. Oh dear, when was the last day this machine exposed a film? The shutter was also very sluggish at first. But after a few releases, it got going again. Well, let’s see what it can do.

This camera has a meniscus lens with a focal length of ?mm. It doesn’t matter, you can see through the viewfinder what’s going to be in the picture. There are two distance settings, 1–3m / 3–10ft and 3m–∞ / 10ft–∞. There are two aperture settings, cloudy and sunny. There is a shutter speed that is around 1/30 and B (bulb). Oh, and a cable release port. That’s all there is, that’s all you need. For the 1/30, I then choose a 100 ISO film, an ILFORD Delta 100 Professional.

It was the only 100-speed in the fridge besides an old ACROS. And the ACROS was a bit too pity for me. By the way, I never had any problems with films that went straight from the fridge to the camera. Sure, from the freezer I would give the film time to thaw first.

Now out into nature, it’s late afternoon and the sun is shining deep and pretty. Yes, the path I chose, I already walked countless times, but this time against the sun. The 8 shots I have then also made. And at least once I also used the close-up lens. I have read so much bad about it, let’s see.

When I came back, I had to develop the film immediately, of course. I am so impatient when I have something new. I developed the film in Adox FX39 II, 1+9. Also a developer I had to try out. And yes, the developer does its job very well. The developed film already looked very good. It could be a bit finer-grained, but that doesn’t matter at 6×9 anyway. And with the Clack regardless.

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After dinner it is dry and then it goes into the scanner.

I would describe the exposures as good throughout. From the normal shots, I was not so convinced of the sharpness, it was ok. But the one with the close-up lens blew me away. It’s amazing how sharp and detailed it is. And, of course, the photo with the meteorite impact.

I assume that there was a large spread in the series for the lenses of this camera. And for me it was clear that I only want to use this camera at close range, 1-3m. Which is actually more fun for me anyway.

I think it’s great too, you don’t have to worry about the exposure. You only have the choice between sunny and cloudy. I had originally planned to convert it to a pinhole camera. But after the result in the close-up range I let that be. And, what I noticed later, the clip-on filters (30mm Ø) for the Agfa Isolette also fit on the Clack.

~ Olaf

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I'm a hobby photographer who has been pursuing this for a long time. I really started in the mid-1980s, when I got my first and especially my second SLR camera, a Minolta X-300. It still serves me faithfully today. But then it went blow by blow, I discovered...


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