Agfamatic 901 motor
|Agfamatic 901 SE|
image by Saskia Bormann (Image rights)
Agfamatic 901 motor is a series of 110 film cameras produced by Agfa and released in 1979. Their main characteristics are an integrated winder, electronic system flash coupling, a rigid body and, for most models, a continuous mode.
All models are equipped with a three-element Color Apotar 6,3/27mm lens. Focus is fixed, reaching from 1,2 m to infinite. A slider on the camera’s upside allows to choose the shutter speeds, which are represented by weather symbols, or the “0” (off) position which turns the camera off and also blocks Agfa’s “Sensor”-style shutter release.
The simple viewfinder has frame markings and a hinted close-focus frame marking for parallax compensation.
Even compared to the other Agfamatic models, the rigid body is surprisingly compact for having both a winder and exposure meter – almost as small as the fully mechanic earlier models. It measures 113 (L) x 53 (W) x 27 (H) mm and weighs circa 160 g.
A flash coupling exists on the right side (seen from behind the camera) for a matching electronic flash unit, which shares a connector with the disposable flip flash system. Flash sync speed is 1/50 sec. Located on the left is a standard tripod mount, pointing sideways, which was normally used for the supplied metal hand strap.
The film door of all cameras can be opened if a cover above the viewfinder is shifted to the left. Two AAA (micro) batteries can be inserted if the cover is completely pulled off. An integrated winder advances the film after each exposure and also rewinds it after the last frame.
Agfa manufactured the 901 series in their Munich factory in Germany.
|Agfa Sport and its container|
image by Hans Kerensky (Image rights)
The 901 motor is the basic model with two settings for shutter speed: 1/100 sec (symbol: sunny) and 1/50 sec (cloudy, also acting as flash sync setting). Other colors than black are rarely seen, probably special occasion variants, like the bright red Agfa Sport which was delivered in a watertight container.
901 S motor
|Agfamatic 901 S motor|
image by Wolf (Image rights)
The 901 S motor (= Serie; German for sequence) is similar to the basic model, but has a continuous mode button and four shutter settings, two which also act as flash distance settings. The continuous shooting mode of circa one frame/second is active if the "serie" button next to the shutter is up.
It was also sold as Tramp and Tramp 2, colored khaki brown and possibly with lens or shutter modifications. The Sport was a red variant.
901 E motor
|Agfamatic 901 E in silver color|
image by bottledog (Image rights)
The 901 E motor from 1980 also has a continuous mode button, but furthermore features a CdS exposure meter; instead of four exposure settings it only has an automatic setting and two for setting flash distance. Shutter times range from 1/50 to 1/125 and 1/200 sec, depending on setting. A red light in the viewfinder warns of underexposure. Only this model was available in an elegant silver-colored finish, too – reminiscent of the classic, mechanic Agfamatic models.
901 SE motor
The 901 SE motor model seems to be identical to the E model, despite the lack of any selectable shutter settings.
From 1982 it was also sold under the name Star, differing by a Color Apotar 8/27 lens, a minimum shutter time of just 1/1000 sec and a dark gray housing.
|Agfamatic 901 with Agfamatic Lux 901 Mini Flash|
image by Bernard Faure (Image rights)
Agfa made the Agfamatic Lux 901 electronic flash unit especially for these cameras in a similar design. It has a separate sliding power switch and was often placed in a gift box together with a camera. Power comes part from the camera and part from two AAA batteries in an battery tray in the unit itself. According to the manual, the guide number is 18 at ISO 100/21°, it needs 12 sec to charge and fresh batteries allow 150 flash pictures. The readiness light can be pressed to release a manual flash.
The compact Agfamatic Lux 901 Mini Flash from 1981 is not only less wide, it also gives a more whole look when attached to the camera, to resemble the bigger Agfamatic models with integrated flash. All units possess the same connector as the disposable flip flash system, but are reinforced by a locking connection piece next to the connector.
|901 Mini Flash|
image by Hans Kerensky (Image rights)
- Agfamatic 901 motor at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr (French)
- Agfamatic 901 S motor at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr (French)
- Agfamatic 901 E motor at Industrie- und Filmmuseum Wolfen online exhibition (German)
- Agfa Star at Industrie- und Filmmuseum Wolfen online exhibition (German)