Karat IV

Serial nrs & production


Agfa Karat IV

The Karat IV was introduced in 1954 and was a restyled and updated version of the Karat 36 that had a coincidence rangefinder with a rangefinder patch, as opposed to the double mirror version of the previous Karats. It came with one of four lenses: a Karat-Xenon f/2, a Rodenstock Heligon f/2, an Agfa Solinar 50/2.8 or an Agfa Solagon 50/2, the latter two by far the most common. For the Karat IV Agfa no longer used Synchro-Compur shutters but sported a Prontor-SVS instead.
Due to the new rangefinder the Karat IV looked more modern that its predecessors and more in line with the Agfa Silette series, in particular the Super Silette which also sported the red diamond-shaped Agfa logo in-between its rangefinder windows. It still featured the quirky wind lever of the earlier Karats.
This was the last Karat model to be produced, with production ending at the end of 1956. The Karat cassette system, initially abandoned with the introduction of the Karat 36, would however make a revival in the 1960s as the Rapid cassette system.

Agfa Karat IV Solagon photo

A Karat IV with Solagon f/2 lens, the best-featured Karat out there.

Agfa Karat IV Solinar photo

A Karat IV with Solinar f/2.8 lens and matching depth of field scale, but otherwise identical to the one above.

Serial nrs. and production estimates

Like nearly all Agfa cameras, the Karats had complicated serial number systems consisting of one or two letters followed by three or four numbers. The Karat IV continued the numbering system of its predecessor, the Karat 36, and the system is explained on the Karat 36 page. But essentially, the first Karat IV had the serial number SL 6000 and from there on it continued, using the Karat 36 system, until it reached QB 8999 after 21,000 cameras. After that it did continued with QC 2000 but instead of changing the second letter in the serial number after each batch of 500 cameras, it kept going up until QC 6999. It then jumped to QD 2000. So essentially, the second letter changed only every 5000 cameras from here on. The last letter combination of this range was QH, and the last Karat IV must have been around QH 6900, after a total production of nearly 93,000.
To see production estimates and which lenses were mounted during which part of Karat IV production, please see the graphs on the Karat 36 page.