Classic Fixed Lens Rangefinders:

Ansco Super Regent

aka Agfa Super Solinette

by Karen Nakamura


Overview and Personal Comments

The Ansco Super Regent is a post-war German folding 35mm rangefinder camera. It was made by Agfa Camera Werk in Müchen, Germany. Agfa also sold the camera as the Agfa Super Solinette.

I bought this camera at an antique fair in January of 2004. The seller had apparently kept it in a box in his basement for a long time and the shutter blades had stuck together. The rangefinder was also off calibration. Because of that, I got it for a song. After I got home and played with it, the shutter freed up on its own accord. If blades are sticky, a bit of Ronsonol (lighter fluid) can sometimes clean them, but never put oil on a shutter blade. Oil makes them sticky, shutter blades are dry lubricated.

The RF is easy to recalibrate. Looking at the photo below, the horizontal rangefinder alignment screw is located at the 5 o'clock position (bottom right corner) of the lens, right by the cover support strut. From the front, turning it left brings the image closer to infinity, right further away. It looks like there was originally a lock-screw in my camera, but it's missing, perhaps why the camera RF fell out of alignment. A few quick turns using the moon as a target and my Super Regent is back in horizontal alignment. Unfortunately it looks like the vertical alignment needs the top cover to be taken off.

For a Agfa/Ansco camera, it's solidly made. The lens is a Solinar 50mm f/3.5 and it uses a Synchro-Compur leaf-shutter with speeds from 1 sec to 1/500 sec. It supports both X and M flash sync and has a self-timer ('V' on the selector).

I don't know much about the Solinar 50mm f/3.5 lens, but apparently it's a Tessar-type lens with excellent performance, and a unique look wide-open. I haven't passed any film yet through this camera so I don't know.


Interesting quirks

In practice, the camera is hard to use. The focusing dial is close to the body and there is no focusing lever. It's very difficult to peer through the finder and focus at the same time.

You'll find these in the junk bin at stores and swap meets because the shutter has a interlock. The film sprocket wheels need to rotate for the shutter interlock to release. You can either put film in the camera or rotate the cams yourself by opening up the back. The shutter is not self-energizing, you have to cock it separately after winding the film.

Technical Details

Camera Name
Ansco Super Regent
Afa Super Solinette
Place of Manufacture

Müchen, Germany

Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Coupled rangefinder (coincident image)
Combined viewfinder/RF window


Solinar 50mm f/3.5

4? elements in 3? groups (Tessar-type)
Close focus: 1 m (3.5')
Filter: xx.xmm screw-in
Cap: xxmm push on


Synchro-Compur leaf shutter: 1 sec. - 1/500 sec + B

Metering System

EV System used


f/3.5-f/22 (1/4 stop steps)


M and X PC-type flash connection on lens

Film type / speeds

135 type (35mm standard film)
24x36mm frame size

Battery type
Dimensions and weight

xx W x xx H x xx D mm
xxx g

Retail price



About Agfa

Agfa actually has quite a long history. It was formed in 1873 as the "Actien Gesellschaft für Anilin Fabrikation." Agfa USA joined with the Ansco corpation in 1928 (before the War for the history-impaired) and produced a series of Agfa-Ansco cameras, mostly inexpensive consumer models. After the war, they quickly jumped back in the camera (and film) business and produced a number of inexpensive consumer cameras under both the Agfa and Ansco marquees. Some time in the 1970s, the brand died, but I don't have more information on that.


On the Net



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