The Agfa B2 Cadet was an early "starter model" that was made prior to, and during the merge with Ansco. After sorting through hundreds of box cameras here at MFBOXCO, we have come to believe that simple is good. These basic black boxes are not much to look at, which means they're not particularly collectible, really easy to find, and best of all, they have "The Agfa Ansco Advantage."
You really can't go wrong with a B2 Cadet. Sure it's a bit on the boring side, but it's got just the right minimal feature set, and they are so easy to find that we at MFBOXCO have come to believe that they are mandatory inventory at every flea market on the planet. (OK, maybe not, but they are really, really, really common...)
In use, these cameras are very quiet, and as inconspicuous as a box camera can be. With minimal settings to choose from, it's really just point and shoot.
In terms of controls, you have just one - a tab that slides out to activate the Time mode, holding the shutter open for long exposures. Keep in mind the difference between Time and Bulb modes - Time requires you to close the shutter with a second trigger flip, Bulb shutters close when you release the trigger.
The Agfa B2 Cadet utilizes the very simple "Always On" shutter. While we find this type of shutter a bit more awkward to use in the beginning, you get used to it quickly and it's just as capable as its more complicated cousin.
Winding on a new roll of film can be a little tricky (we sell a key specifically for this purpose), and the bar-style winder has a tendency to jam or feel tight if the metal is at all corroded - but don't let all of these small issues deter you from using a B2 Cadet. As we said before, simple is good, and although you will often find these with layers of dirt and a bit of rust, they clean up nicely.
Using a B2 Cadet will remind you of the maxim that it's not the machine, but the photographer that matters.
APERTURE: f/11 (?)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50
MIN. FOCUS: 2.5m/8ft
BEST FILM: 50-100 ASA
BUILD: Cardboard body, metal parts, plastic parts, vinyl covering
MFBOXCO RATING: 8.25
Easy to find in working condition and easy to fix if not, but pretty low on our rating scale.
Do you have experience this camera? Any helpful tips? Have you seen one at your local flea market? Do you know some trivia about the history the company or other knowledge you'd like to pass on? Add your stories below. We will periodically select the best tips and other bits to include on this page.