The Agfa Silette name was carried
by a series of 35 mm. cameras from 1953 through to the mid-1970s.
Many of the cameras were very popular and sold well, so there are
plenty of them around now. Most of the Sillette range are good but
basic cameras although there were models fitted with high-quality
lens and shutter combinations, a built-in exposure meter and even
a coupled meter and coupled rangefinder.
There are a lot of variants of these cameras. I have not attempted
to list all the variants, only to trace the main camera models and
some of the variations.
The first Silette cameras were fitted
with an f/3.5 45 mm. Apotar lens in a Prontor-SVS or Pronto shutter.
They had lever wind, double exposure prevention, a film reminder,
optical viewfinder, body release and an accessory shoe. In 1954
the Pronto version costs £18 8s. 4d. and the Prontor-SVS version
£22 10s. 10d.
About three years later two new versions of the Silette, the C.R.
and the L, were introduced to Britain.
The Silette C.R. has the same lens as the
Silette, but it has a 10 speed Compur Rapid shutter with coupled
exposure value scale and click stops. In 1957 it cost £23
6s. 2d. This model was discontinued in about 1959.
Like the Silette, the Silette L also has
the Apotar lens and Prontor-SVS 9-speed shutter. The shutter has
a coupled exposure value scale and click-stop settings. In addition,
the L has a built-in exposure meter In 1957 it cost £35 13s.
9d. In about 1959, this model was fitted with a brightline viewfinder.
It was discontinued by 1961
In 1958, the basic Silette with Prontor-SVS is discontinued in favour
of a model with the Prontor-SVS shutter with exposure value scale.
In about 1959, three new Silette models were introduced.
The Silette LK is a development of the Sillette
L. It has a new lens, the f/2.8 Color Apotar and a new shutter,
the five-speed Prontor LK which is coupled to the exposure meter.
In 1959 it cost £32 11s.This camera was discontinued about
two years later.
The Silette Solinar is a high-quality
Silette with f/2.8 Color Solinar lens and 10-speed Compur Rapid
shutter with exposure value scale, X-sync and delayed action. In
1959 it cost £24 14s. 2d. The following year the camera was
fitted with a brightline finder. It was discontinued about a year
The Silette Vario was an entry-level
Silette. It has a 45 mm. f/3.5 Agnar in 3 speed Vario shutter, accessory
shoe, lever wind and X sync. It takes 30 mm. filters/lens hood.
In 1959 it cost £11 5s. 6d. This was down to £9 18s.
6d. in 1961, possibly as a result of tax changes, It was discontinued
In 1960 two of the basic Silette models were fitted
with brightline finders.
The Silette 4-speed brightline has a 45
mm. f/3.5 Color Agnar in Pronto shutter. It takes 32 mm. lens hood.
In 1960 it cost £15 17s. 8d. It was discontinued by 1964.
The Silette 9-speed brightline has a Prontor-SVS
shutter and an f/2.8 Color-Apotar lens. It takes 37 mm. lens hood
and 35.5 mm. filters. In 1960 it cost £21 0s. 9d. It was discontinued
about a year later.
The basic Silette 9-speed with 45 mm. f/2.8
Color-Apotar lens in Prontor SVS L shutter was also available. In
1960 it cost £17 5s. 10d. It was discontinued about a year
In 1962 the 4-speed brightline Silette was fitted with the faster
f/2.8 Color Agnar lens instead of the f/3.5 lens.
A new Silette, the Silette I appeared. It
has a 45 mm, f/2.8 Color Agnar in what was then a new Prontor 125
3-speed shutter with B and flash sync (X). The accessory shoe of
previous Sillettes was replaced by a hot shoe. Unlike other new
Silette models, which had brightline finders, the Silette I has
a Newton finder. The lens scale offers symbol and distance scale
focusing. It takes 32 mm. lens hood/filters. In 1962, it cost £11
A new Silette L replaced the older model.
It has a 45 mm. Color Agnar in Prontor 125 shutter, brightline finder
and a match needle meter. It takes 32 mm. lens hood/filters. In
1962, it cost £19 18s. 3d.
Two new cameras appeared in1963.
The Silette F has a 45 mm. f/2.8 Color Agnar
in a Prontor 125 shutter. It has a built-in flash which takes AG
bulbs. It takes 32 mm. lens hood (13s 8d.) and filters. It was discontinued
in about 1970
The Silette II is similar to the Silette
I. Like the Silette I, it has a 45 mm. f/2.8 Color Agnar in Prontor
125 shutter. It has delayed action and a brightline finder. It takes
32 mm. lens hood In 1963 it cost £13 18s. 6d. It was discontinued
about two years later.
A new version of the Silette LK appeared
in 1962. It has a 45 mm. f/2.8 Color Agnar and a 4 speed shutter,
brightline finder, built-in coupled match needle meter, and symbol
and distance scale focusing. It takes a 35.5 mm. lens hood (14s.
3d.) and filters. £24 19s. 6d. In 1970
a variant of this camera, the LK Sensor, was introduced which
used Agfa's quick-loading system. In 1970, the LK Sensor cost £36
19s (LK is £33 11s. 5d. in 1970). The LK seems to have been
discontinued shortly after the LK Sensor was introduced. The LK
Sensor was discontinued sometime around 1977.
In 1964, the Silette Record was introduced.
It has an f/2.8 Color Apotar lens and six speed Prontor 500 LK shutter,
with B and delayed action. There are click stop symbols for easy
focusing plus a distance scale. There is a coupled exposure meter
with viewfinder and top plate display. The camera takes 35.5 mm.
lens hood/filters. In 1964, it cost £32 15s. 6d. It was discontinued
in about 1970
In 1965 two cameras which used the Agfa Rapid loading system were
The Silette Rapid I has an f/2.8 Color Agnar
lens with zone focussing, three shutter speeds, hot shoe, optical
viewfinder and lever wind on the base plate. It takes 32 mm. filters.In
1965 it cost £11 7s. 8d.
The Silette Rapid F is similar to the Rapid
I but with four shutter speeds, B, and a built-in flash gun for
AG bulbs. It takes 32 mm. filters. In 1965 it cost £15 1s.
A further Agfa Rapid camera, the Silette Rapid
L, was introduced in about 1967. It has a 45 mm. f/2.8 Color
Agnar lens and Prontor 250 shutter with B, plus a hot shoe and brightline
finder. The Rapid cassette sets the film speed for the built-in
meter, which has a light value scale. In 1967 it cost £19
11s. All three Agfa Rapid Silette cameras were discontinued by 1970.
Super Silettes are Agfa Silette cameras with coupled coincident
The first Super Silette appeared in1956.
It has a 45 mm. f/3.5 Apotar lens, Prontor SVS shutter (no exposure
value scale) with 9 speeds, B and delayed action. Like the Silette,
the Super Silette has lever wind, accessory shoe, and a cable release
socket in shutter release. It takes 30 mm. filters. In 1956, it
cost £36 8s. 9d.
In 1959 the f/3.5 Apotar is replaced by the f/2.8 Color Apotar lens,
which takes 37 mm. lens hood and 35.5 mm. filters In 1959 it cost
£31 11s. 6d. It was discontinued in about 1964.
The Super Silette LK appeared in 1959.
It has a 45 mm. f/2.8 Color Apotar lens and Pronto LK 6 speed shutter
with delayed action and X sync. The LK has a coupled meter and a
brightline finder. It takes 37 mm. lens hood and 35.5 mm. filters.
In 1959 it cost £39 9s. 8d. It was discontinued in about 1963
The Super Silette Automatic was also introduced
in 1959. It has a coupled exposure meter with viewfinder display.
It is fitted with a 50 mm. f/2.8 Color Solinar lens in Prontor SLK
9 speed shutter. It takes 37 mm. lens hood and 35.5 mm. filters.
In 1959 it cost £50 17s. 2d. It was discontinued in about