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Art Deco Cameras

Agfa Billy Record 8.8


Agfa Billy Record 8.8
Agfa Billy Record 8.8
Manufacturer: Agfa
Produced: 1936 - 1942
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Self Erecting
Film Size:120
Film width:62mm
Image Size: 6 x 9 cm
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Jgestar
Focal Length:100mm
Focus Type:two position
Focal Range:6-16ft & 16ft-inf.
Aperture Type :Iris
Apertures :f/8.8 - f/16
Shutter Type:Agfa-Automat
Shutter Speeds:T,B, I(1/25, 1/50, 1/100 s)
Size Open (w x h x d):80 x 155 x 126 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):80 x 155 x 32 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident


The Agfa Billy Record 8.8 is a vertical folding camera, made by Agfa from 1936 to 1942. It makes eight 6x9cm pictures on 120 roll film. This camera is one of a series having similar external characteristics produced between 1932 and 1942. Other version featured apertures of f/4.5, f/6.3 and f/7.7.

The camera is capable of three speeds - 1/25s, 1/50s and 1/100s - as well as a bulb setting. A lever is provided to hold the shutter in the bulb setting if required. There is also a socket to fix a cable release. The aperture is controlled by an iris that is variable between f/16 and f/8.8. There is a two point focus adjustment allowing for focus ranges 2-5m and 5m-infinity.

Film advance is via a knob and is not coupled to the shutter release. Frame advance is via red window which is provided with a cover. Picture framing can be achieved by either using the fixed pop-up frame on the body or via the brilliant reflex viewfinder fixed to the lens plate. This is a well-built and substantial camera.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which easily available from photographic outlets.

Shutter speeds are 1/25s, 1/50s and 1/100s although the accuracy is not guaranteed. The aperture range is f/8.8 to f/16

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 1 or 2 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.

Remember that the exposure guide in the camera user manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day (May-August) in the UK.

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125

Key: Green - Good exposure; Amber - acceptable exposure; Red - unacceptable exposure. Number of stops over or under shown.

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
+3 over
+2 over
+1 over
+2 over
+1 over
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16
+1 over
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/8.8
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/8.8f/8.8
-1 under
Open Shade
-1 under
-2 under

Photographs taken with this Camera

Kodak Portra 160 film. Developed in Tenenal. Forgot to clean the lens. D'oh!

Cardiff University, Wales
Cardiff University, Wales
Queens Tower, Cardiff, Wales
Queens Tower, Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff Castle, Wales, UK
Cardiff Castle, Wales, UK
Park Lodge, Marquess of Bute, Cardiff, UK
Park Lodge, Marquess of Bute, Cardiff, UK