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Art Deco Cameras

Agfa Karat 6.3


Agfa Karat
Agfa Karat 6.3
Manufacturer: Agfa
Produced: 1936 - 1938
Body Type:Folding Strut
Construction:Cast Aluminium
Film Type:Rapid
Film width:35mm
Image Size:36mm x 24mm
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:Agfa Anastigmat Igestar
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Length:50mm
Focal Range:1m - inf.
Aperture Type :Iris
Apertures :f/6.3 - f/22
Shutter Type:Self-cocking
Shutter Speeds:B, I(1/25s, 1/50s, 1/100s)
Size Open (w x h x d):120 x 68 x 68 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):120 x 68 x 45 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident


This first Karat has a rounded cast aluminum body covered with a durable black synthetic material. The top cover is also rounded with two strap lugs. On the top is a window for the internal frame counter and the film advance knob, which interlocks with the Agfa self-cocking shutter for double exposure prevention. The top cover also has the shutter release and a sliding time exposure lock. The viewfinder is a simple Galilean tube.

The collapsible front plate, which is released by a button on the top, is supported by four chrome plated scissors struts. It has an Art Deco style insert and the controls for the shutter & f stop settings.

Karat Rapid film system

This camera uses a type of film cartridge called 'Rapid' that holds 12 35mm frames. The camera is loaded with a light tight Rapid film cartridge which holds the film. The film advance mechanism transfers the film into a similar cartridge on the other side of the camera. The film is not rewound and the receiving cartridge is taken for developing.

How to Use

Being fairly old, it would probably benefit from cleaning the lenses, film transport mechanism, shutter and viewfinders. This is easy to do and most worthwile. Check out my page:- 'Restoration of an Agfa Karat'.

The Rapid cartridges are no longer produced. It is possible to load a Karat/Rapid cassette with 35mm film in a dark room or changing bag. If you do not have any Karat/Rapid cassettes you can simply load the camera with bare film. See more about how to use 35mm film in this camera here:- Loading Cameras that use Karat or Rapid cassettes

Shutter speeds are 1/25s, 1/50s and 1/100s although the accuracy is not guaranteed. The aperture range is f/6.3 to f/22

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 2 or 3 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 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 film

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/22f/16f/11
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/8
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/8f/6.3
Open Shade

Photographs taken with this Camera

Rapid Cassettes loaded with Fujicolor C200

Memorial Cardiff UK
Memorial Cardiff UK
Cardiff Castle Wales UK
Cardiff Castle Wales UK
Royal Oak Whitchurch
Royal Oak Whitchurch
Whitchurch Church
Whitchurch Church