Agfa Isoly Junior - 50 Years On and Still Fabulous!


So there it was. A vintage German camera sitting at a flea market stall. It had a brown cover and not much else. It reminded me of my Diana in an eerie metallic kind of way. The seller could not guarantee it still worked. For $8, I thought I’d find out.

The camera was a 1961 Agfa Isoly Junior and I did not expect the quality of my first film to be so fantastic! No light leaks, great contrast and framing, and the whole roll worked!

I managed to locate some instruction for the Agfa Isoly (base model) on the Internet by translating German to English. As far as I can tell, the Agfa Isoly and Agfa Isoly Junior are structured much the same (maybe they ARE the same yet named differently in different parts of the world?). I know that the Junior is also sometimes referred to as Isoly “0”. Either way these are the most accurate specifications I can find here.

Shutter speed: single speed 1/30 sec
Focus (in meters): 5 to infinity – sun, 5 to infinity – overcast, 2.5 to 5m – close up, sun.
Aperture size: 11; 16
Tripod thread: available
Self-timer: available
Flash shoe.
120 film
Single Lens.

The Isoly instructions recommend ASA/ISO 40 film for sunlight and ASA/ISO 100 film for dull days. I have used ISO 100 B&W. I feel that even on a bright day, the ISO 40 recommendation would be too slow. Overall the camera is very forgiving of the available light given such few settings.

I have yet to find a Agfa flash that will fit this camera so that I can try it out in low light/night.

One of my favorite things about this camera is its curved framing which gives the shots a very vintage feel, as if they were taken decades ago. They remind me of several of my mum’s high school photo albums which I trawled with pleasure as a kid.

I adore this camera for its simplicity, size and light forgiving accuracy. Given its age (50 years!) and simple construction – I am pleasantly surprised with this great little flea market find :D

Best recommendation I can give is to trawl your local markets – the treasures are hiding so go find them!

written by jojo8785 on 2011-07-09 #gear #australia #black-and-white #review #camera-review #lomography #germany #frames #german #film-camera #user-review #1961 #agfa-isoly-junior #50-years-old


  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Love the amera...<:) However, anything German is expensive here...<:)

  2. jschussler
    jschussler ·

    love the round corners! does it not take a normal hot shoe flash? I usually can use my Diana flash with the hot shoe attachment on older cameras like this just fine

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Is there a PC socket for flash on lens barrel or camera body. If so, any flash or flash with socket adapter will work. Enjoy.

  4. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Looked at specs at your link... Noted that camera has hot shoe!! You are all set for any hot shoe flash... Colorflash!!!

  5. bulletofmine
    bulletofmine ·

    its worth ! I love all vintage camera.

  6. amybreaksloose
    amybreaksloose ·

    Thanks for the information! My boyfriend's grandma gave me the isoly junior as a gift because i love collecting old/still working camera's and i didn't know how to use it properly, so i opened that site you recommended with the instruction manual on it and now everything is clear, haha. I hope my results will be as good as yours, so fingers crossed and we'll see what comes out of it :D

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