This camera really did represent a breakthrough with its integral motorwind. Powered by two AA cells, the motor was built into the take up spool.
"The motor winds on, cocks the shutter and then if the finger is kept on the release, a sequence of shots at approximately 1 second intervals are obtained" (AP 19/8/59)
And so a revolution was started .............
Three focal lengths are available for it - Three standard lenses - A f2.8 50mm Rodenstock Ysarex and two f1.9s. A Steinheil Quinon (pictured above) or Rodenstock Heligon (identical to the Retina 111S/Reflex Version) The Telephoto (f4 135mm) was a Rodenstock Rotelar (pictured right) and the Wide Angle (35mm) was a Rodenstock Eurygon or a Steinheil Culmigon
All these are in the standard Compur (Deckel) mount. This was common to both Retina and Voigtländer cameras of the period and with a little "adaptation", a wide range of focal lengths are available - including 28mm, 85mm & 200mm lenses from the Retina Reflex/IIIS range.
The Price? Well, it made its sole appearance in the AP Camera Guide of 1959 at £88.13.6 with a f2.8 lens and by 1960 it had disappeared from view. Shortly after that Agfa took over the Iloca Company and the Iloca Electric design became the near identical Agfa Selecta m with Solinar f2.8 (see Konumas web site)- minus the interchangeable lenses.
Overpriced? Well slightly! A Leica IIIg with a f2.8 Elmar was priced at £88.11.0. and an M2 was only £109. That's why Iloca Electrics are as rare as hen's teeth in the UK, where only a handful were probably sold.
The home market was probably not much more of a success as German collectors are prepared to pay £150+ for a good example.
However, Ilocas did well in one country, the USA. They were re-badged as a "Graphic 35 Electric" on the top and given a little "Graflex" round badge on the front. (Rather like Agfa Silettes being sold as "Ansco Memars") As far as I can tell, there were no specification differences.
As they sold in greater numbers, their current price on ebay is considerably less than the Iloca variant. However there is a snag to buying one - Reliability. I am now on to my fifth one (a "worker" - at long last!) plus my original four "non-runners" but hope springs eternal and I am confident that "I can fix it!" (in the immortal words of Bob the Builder!) The good news for me is that prices for the Grayflex version have doubled since I first wrote this in 2004. Collectors are now appreciating their rarity and the gap between the Grayflex and Iloca versions is fast closing
I'll let the pictures tell the story. What they don't say is how heavy it is - as much as my Topcon RE and that's more a weapon than a camera!
So if you want a real he-man's rangefinder, get yourself an Iloca Electric. One thing is for sure, you will not meet another person with one!
He says: "I'm attract overall by innovative cameras, little piece of hardware containing the genius spark, that were little piece of camera's evolution." I simply could not have put it better!
Tigin's Iloca History Page - This is a truly excellent web site now hosted by UKcamera. Well worth exploring if you are interested in German Cameras. In my opinion, one of the internet's "top 10" classic camera web sites.
Grayflex Org's Dates of Grayflex products Evidently it was sold from October 1959 to June 1963 in the States, which is well beyond the date of Agfa's takeover of Iloca and the discontinuing of the Iloca Electric. Old stock perhaps?
Discussion on the merits of the Graphic 35. I can find no trace of the article mentioned (Yoder's history of this camera)
Camera Shopper published an article entitled "Graflex 35 Electric 91 When Shoemakers don't stick to their last! By Jack Freymuller, (Index but I have never read this (I would pay for a photocopy if anybody has this article)
Ebay: I use the following search for Iloca, but it usually throws up just stereo cameras and the lessser (and not very interesting Ilocas). Try "jloca", as a search word as some sellers use this. <
Written 2nd July 2004 - Revised some text and updated links on 13th March 2006