AGFA KARAT 36 w/XENON 50mm f2

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Can anyone tell me what this lens is like and how does it compare to the Xenar on the Kodak Retina 2c please.

What is the Karat 36 like as a camera?

I have one offered to me but before I buy I need to know a little about it.

Stay safe everyone and thanks in advance.

Cheers
Peter
 
Just to keep this near the front page, really, as all I can tell you is that I've handled an earlier Karat and it was obviously built from recycled panzers - for a compact body it was very heavy.
 
The lens is the same as the Xenon on the Retina IIa that I have, overall better corner to corner than the Xenar. The Karat has a reputation for lubricants drying in the helical. Make sure the focus is smooth.

I converted a Karat Xenar 5-element 5cm F2.8, coated lens to Leica mount- it is very good, better than the one on the Kodak Auto III that I have.
 
The Karat has a reputation for lubricants drying in the helical. Make sure the focus is smooth.

I'd second this in fact I fear that Agfa used a slow setting cement as lens helical lubricant on many of their 35mm cameras. Mine was rock solid and required both heat and solvents to get it to move.
 
I currently have an Ansco Karomat with 50mm Xenon on the workbench and I have to say, if you find a Karomat or Karat, try to focus it. This camera is a royal pain to work on, but the lens is fantastic, just like the Retina Xenons.
Film winding is interesting and not inconvenient, just takes getting used to.
The rangefinder is bright and accurate, but split, so another thing to get used to.
Overall, it's a very good camera but the focus helicoid and the Compur shutter will need work. If you get one for free, it will probably be a $150-200 camera by the time you find a tech who will bring it back to life.

Phil Forrest
 
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