Agfa A-8 Cadet Box Camera

The Cadet uses 127 film and is smaller than your average box. It fits nicely into one of the smaller size Crown Royal felt bags.* I recently took the Cadet on a snowshoe trip that didn’t pan out. But it was a great time in the rainy North Cascades nevertheless and I took the waterfall and boat shots, below.

When I loaded the film, I noticed that the lens was dirty. (Yes! It’s got a lens! It’s on the inside of the shutter, silly.) But I didn’t clean it. A dirty lens is a diffuse image waiting to happen.

The Cadet takes eight rectangular images on 127 film. Manufactured in 1940.

There’s a “b” tab on the top and a viewfinder that folds out on the side.

If you take it on a trip, take two! …They’re small.

For more info check out the Box Camera Basics Page. Don’t forget: Pull the winder knob out to remove the film assembly!

* Speaking of Crown Royal felt bags; over the years I’ve collected gobs of these in a variety of sizes. They’re perfect for giving those case-less (I should say “case-free” – like “focus-free”) junk cameras a cozy ride in a bag or pocket. I used to see tons of felt Crown Royal bags at camera shows. (Hey! They stole my idea! Ha.) Since Washington state deregulated liquor stores, the price of a drink has gone sky high. I’m seeing fewer and fewer of these bags. No one can afford Crown Royal anymore. Too bad Black Velvet or even McNaughton’s doesn’t come in a little fabric bag. ( I was kidding about McNaughton’s. I wouldn’t buy that shit even if came in pure silk.)

McKeown’s PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS states, “1937-40. Simple model of Cadet A-8 series. Folding frame finder, plain front. Uncommon. $35-$50.” With flash sync contacts it’s worth $40-$60.

If you’re entering this site from my main site and the “Camera Reviews” page, this is the very first camera on the menu. As you click through the following camera reviews you’ll probably notice that I take a lot of pictures of myself with these cameras. Self portraits including the cameras. They are my family, really. Why I’m dressed as I am in the photos is anyone’s guess. I have no freakin’ idea.

2 Responses

  1. Big camera collector here. That is, collector of multiple big and small cameras. Not only fun to shoot, but each one is a cultural artifact capable of churning out more cultural artifacts. That’s a kind of unique.

    Anyway, wonderful writing. For me, reading your reviews is like munching cookies out of a cookie jar.

    1. Thanks, Richard! The cookie jar analogy is kinda what I’m going for. I looked at your Flickr feed (at least, I assume it’s yours). Great photos all around! I’d love to see a couple shots of your Hawkeye “lefties”.

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