Not exactly the size of the Rollei 35, but very close; one of the German compacts that could be easily mistaken for a cheaper point and shoot camera. Nothing could be more far from the truth, as this little thing packs a powerful set of features, together with the well-known German quality for building photographic tools. Or tools to take photographs, you get the point. And Agfa Optima Sensor 1035 is one such, in a compact machine.
Released in 1969, this is 35mm film camera, aperture-priority, auto-exposure and a viewfinder focus indicator camera; as said, as compact as they come for that era, and with a rugged appearance. Front, top and side plates are made from metal (alu?), covered with a black paint, which may flake off in many cases with these cameras.
The lens is a an Agfa Solitar, 40mm/f2.8, consisting of 4 elements in 4 groups. Shutter is Paratronic (leaf) from 1/15s to 1/1000s, and an ISO range of 25 to 400. Focusing at a minimum distance of 0.9m. A large viewfinder, with very bright frame, it contains the focus symbols, with an indicator which is put in motion by rotating the focusing ring around the lens. This is a nice feature to have, and not many of that era cameras have it.
The sensor lives up to the expectations one may have for this type of metering: mainly, the 1/15 speed comes handy, in many situations. Really reliable shutter, in such a small camera. The camera is powered by 3 x 625G batteries, easy to find in most dedicated shops; I have heard of users inserting LR44 ones, but I have never tried this type in this camera. If it says 3x625G batteries, then this is what I am using.
The loading system is a an easy one, and ingenious as well: open the back plate, the film loading side is on the right hand. A plate containing the winding spool falls by half out of the bottom plate, and this makes the loading a breeze. Film is transported from right to left for shooting; upon shooting the entire roll, press the little black button on the top plate. This will shift the sprocket engagers in reverse, so cranking the film advance lever you will actually rewind the film. Very interesting design if you ask me.
A flash shoe is provided, but I have never used it. If you must, the aperture ring is available for you to choose the opening for flash, and this ring can be only used for that, camera being automatic, as said. A large, red, soft membrane is laid over the release button and many will recognize this Agfa feature, and is indeed soft and pretty stable platform to press. A frame counter can be found on the right upper corner of the camera, with a tripod bush on the left hand plate, used also for the lanyard connector, when in case (or not).