The Ansco B2 Cadet came along the split from Agfa and Ansco's subsequent race to pack shelves with inexpensive amateur cameras. While it looks almost exactly like the earlier Agfa B2 Cadet, it is distinctly lower quality. With that in mind, we at MFBOXCO do strongly believe that simple is good, and although a distant cousin, it still shares in some of "The Agfa Ansco Advantage."
The Ansco B2 Cadet reduces functionality down to the barest essentials - load film, point camera, fire shutter. There are no shutter controls, bonus apertures, or extra formats.
The one upgrade from the Agfa version is the "Always Off" shutter that works like most of us expect a shutter to work. Everything else is a bit of a downgrade from its earlier namesake. The winder is a plastic knob, the metals utilized where more prone to corrosion, and the straps - if they're still hanging on - seem to have been made of paper.
The biggest issue with all Anso cameras of this era is the cardboard film holder. Gone is the all metal "cartridge" of earlier Agfa Ansco cameras and replacing it is a fragile cardboard "cone" with some thin metal supports. This type of holder can be tricky to load, and can be a bit more likely to produce "fat rolls" if any of the parts are missing or bent, or if the cardboard itself is crushed, torn or simply crumbling from age.
Despite being cheaply made and devoid of "features," they also have a very low failure rate. They can be grungy and nasty on the outside, but remain perfectly functional. Perhaps it's a testament to the advances in mass manufacture in the 40s and 50s - or maybe they were simply used less. Whatever the reason, don't shy away from one that is nasty looking, because as long as the shutter still fires, you've got yourself an 85 megapixel camera!
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: 7
The lowest rated of any box on this site, but still perfectly usable to make those giant negs!
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