Although I bought this camera quite a long time ago, on a whim, for it was a period when I was really taken by Agfa vintage cameras, I have never used it. Reason is rather simple: when I bought it I did not know that this type works only with its dedicated film cassette, the Rapid system, descending from the awkward (ish) Karat system, from the 30’s. So, for the last 25 yrs or so, this camera is perched on its shelf. Nice to look at, but unused. A great door stop it makes, if I’ll ever need one.
From Camera Wiki: Agfa‘s Rapid film system appeared in 1964 as a rival to Kodak’s 126 film. The Rapid system supplied otherwise-standard 35mm film in special metal cassettes, which have no central spindle and are shorter in height than standard 135 cassettes. An identical, empty cassette is used in the camera’s take-up compartment.
Largely made from plastic in 1965, the Isomat Rapid is a rather simple camera with no fancy controls. But it only works with Robot type of film cassettes, so-called easy loading ones. The film in these cassettes has only 16 frames available, of 24×24 square format. Shutter only fires if you have such a cassette in.
Lens is a 38mm with f=4.5, Agfa Color Agnar. The speeds are ranging from 4/5 to 22, controlled by a selenium meter. In auto-exposure mode, the camera gives a fixed 1/70 speed. Viewfinder is simple, and it has two tabs to tell you the shot will be underexposed or not, via either a red or a blue tab. Focus is achieved by a distance scale situated underneath the lens, not very ideal a location.
There is a hot shoe for flash shots, and you may select the aperture for the flash snap, in which case the shutter will go down to 1/30 to allow the film to catch the bulb burning moments.
Of course one can always get a couple of Rapid cassettes and reload, but I could not be bothered with this, once I learned the shortcomings of this Rapid thing. That said, the Rapid cassettes are an interesting enough item for people with lots of time on their hands to experiment.