The Optima 1535 Sensor must not have sold well, or the people who still have them don’t want to get rid of them, or some combination of those factors, because I have not seen these cameras come up for sale very often. It’s a shame too, these are really great little cameras. The Optima 1535 is larger than an Olympus XA, and its protruding lens means it doesn’t easily slip into a jeans pocket, but it is still very light and portable. Unlike those ever popular subcompact cameras, the viewfinder on the 1535 is large, bright, and has a well defined rangefinder patch.
It is also very easy to load the film on this camera, you just pull out the film leader, tuck it under a flap on the other side of the camera, close the back, and give it a wind. That simple loading process also gives you two or three additional frames per roll. Rewinding of film is a little unorthodox. There is a button on the top of the camera that gets turned to “R”, then the film advance lever is used to un-advance the film. It feels odd, but it works well.
I would recommend this Optima 1535 Sensor, if you can find one. It has a wonderfully simple Bauhaus inspired design. The lens is very sharp. The large viewfinder makes it good for people with glasses. The film transport system makes film usage highly efficient. And, it is compact enough to easily be tossed in a bag and just carried along. It’s a wonderful camera.
Optima Cameras, the
Perfect Choice for a
First or Second Camera
Agfa – Preferred By Those Who Know
The viewfinder is simple and the framelines are not coupled, but even in the poor photo below you can clearly see the rangfinder patch in the middle. The viewfinder is large enought that it can be comfortably used while wearing glasses.