agfa optima sensor electronic

I've got gas. Fortunately for my coworkers, and fellow travellers on the London Underground, it isn't the kind you are thinking of. GAS, is the acronym for the self-explanatory phrase photographers lovingly coined - 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'. 

This is what kicked off the frenzy. Spotted in a bag full of old dirty rubbish cameras in an antique market, the big red shutter button stood it out amongst its peers. I 'acquired' it, based solely on its good looks, and its solid feel in the hand. The research came after, as did the blind hope that it would actually work.

The Agfa Optima Sensor Electronic is basically a 60's point and shoot film camera made of plastic coated metal. It has a descent fixed prime lens 40mm f/2.8 which I later realised was quite standard in its heyday. Two awesome things about this camera; the shutter release is a huge red button that is a delight to press, and the viewfinder - huge, bright and fantastimogorical!  Read more about it.

The little thing looked mint after giving it a good wipe, which is testament to good design and durability of products made back in the day. And after tracking down the correct batteries for it, and loading it with some cheopo film, I was ready to roll - pun intended. It was the first time I had encountered zone focusing to be honest. All the cameras I'd used previously had either been focus-free, autofocus, or totally manual focus (zone focusing is manual focusing really). No surprises then that the first roll was a complete disaster.  The focus and exposures were all over the place. Even more disastrous was the composition, which was nothing short of a complete catastrophe.

You can stop laughing now.  

After a bit of research, I realised 'ah, that's what those crazy lines in the viewfinder are for'.  Parallax correction they call it. And it helped. A bit of research and a couple of rolls practice later, I was fortunate to go on a fun, casual photo walk with my friend, the magnificent street photographer @ninky3 (she's awesome).  

Behold what this little thing can really do.

And in low light, it's not really that bad at all. This is a 200 speed film mind you. In theory, it's a rubbish photo, but I like how the old bill merge into the graffiti. This is a perfect 'lomography' camera or what?

Love this camera!  Fits in my pocket, looks gorgeous, and takes awesome photos. What's not to like?


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