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REVIEW: Agat 18

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-03-17

Belomo Agat 18

A half-frame camera made by Belomo between 1983 to 1991.


Specs:

Lens: Industar-104, 28mm f/2.8
(3 elements in ? groups)
Closest Focus: 0.9m (3ft)
Aperture: f/2.8 to f/16
Shutter: 1/250s to 1/60s
Leaf shutter
Light meter: No
Battery: Non
Flash: Yes, hot shoe
Weight: 120g

Takes 135 film
Any film can be loaded but the exposure aid with weather symbols are for ISO 16 to 250
18×24 mm negative size

Operating
Belomo Agat 18

Viewfinder:

Quite small but quite good brightness.
It has a framing mask in the viewfinder but this seem to be a bit narrow.



Image quality


Analogue B&W film
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18


Bokeh

Belomo Agat
                                                      18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo Agat 18 Belomo Agat 18


Flare / Backlight
Belomo Agat
                                                      18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18
Belomo Agat
                                                      18
Belomo
                                                          Agat 18

More sample images can be found at:
http://www.sample-image.com/belomo-agat-18-agat-18k/

Build quality

More or less everything is is plastic except for some internal parts and the lens.
And some of the parts are also really cheap plastic which can break easily.




Usability

Like most half-frame camera it takes a little getting used to that you hold the camera vertical to take a horizontal shot and vice versa.
This is also a little oddly shaped and with the shutter button on the front.
But I found it to be quite quick and easy to operate after some use.

It has a scale focus system and are indications from infinity to 5m and then steps down to 0.9m.
This can be a little hard to judge by eye but this has a quite wide lens on small negative size so it's somewhat forgiving if you miss focus a little.
Nice plus is that it has a hot shoe where you can mount a old focus aid accessory if you have one.
This can help a lot for correct focusing.

The shutter in this camera has three speeds but these are directly linked to the aperture which is a little odd but still works quite well.
If I interpret the manual right this uses 1/60 from f/2.8 to f/5.6.
Goes up to 1/125 between f/5.6-f/8 and keeps that speed until f/16 where it is 1/250.
But this is something you don't really need to know if you follow the exposure aid system on the camera with weather symbols.



Conclusion


Not exactly the camera you might go for if you want a solid quality camera and nice clean image quality.
But this is one for those that are more into toy cameras and want a really small, light and odd looking one with great image feel.

The Industar lens gives a very nice feel to the images but is however not all that well coated.
So expect quite a lot of flares etc but that is not all that uncommon with Russian lenses with this age.
Image quality are quite sharp in the middle but not the best corner sharpness.
But internal reflections is also something you get quite easily and you can se a darker edge on the side or sides in many of my test shots.
This is because all the inside between the lens and film is a flat and quite the glossy plastic.
Light can easily bounce of this and go onto the film which you then see this as these dark edges on the film.


Thumbs up:
Image feel
Size and lightweight
Quiet shutter

Thumbs down:
Some poorly made plastic parts
Internal reflections
Flare / Backlight



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Technical Info
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: Kodak Tmax 100
Developer: Kodak Xtol

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