As the Agfa Ansco company in Binghamton, NY gradually mutated into the Ansco company - which I have heard happened during WWII - the general design continued, but some real changes were made to cut costs and produce super inexpensive cameras.
While some aspects of "The Agfa Ansco Advantage" continue to be applicable to the Ansco cameras, not as many parts are interchangeable.
If you find one without rust and in good condition (as we have!), it's a really pretty camera. By the time the Shur-Shot 20 was introduced, Ansco had pretty much decided to let go of anything resembling features offered in the older Agfa Ansco Shur-Shot cameras.
What is left is a simple point and shoot. One shutter speed and one aperture. No time mode or filters or extra formats. Depending on your point of view, you might relish this minimalist setup. Or you might be looking for a bit more...
MFBOXCO has sorted through hundreds of these cameras and has noticed a few things that you may want to keep in mind if you're looking for a Shur-Shot 20 of your own:
This is all to say that these cameras were made cheaply and in massive quantities. But for some reason, they also have a very low failure rate. They can be grungy and nasty on the outside, but remain perfectly functional. Perhaps mass production of the shutter parts was a good thing.
The biggest issue with all Anso cameras of this era is the cardboard film holder. Gone is the all metal "cartridge" of earlier Agfa Ansco cameras and replacing it is a fragile cardboard "cone" with some thin metal supports. This type of holder can be tricky to load, and can be a bit more likely to produce "fat rolls" if any of the parts are missing or bent, or if the cardboard itself is crushed, torn or simply crumbling from age.
Fortunately, for the intrepid MFBOXer, all of these issues are moot if you get a camera in good condition - and they are out there! We try to find the best ones for our shop.
APERTURE: f/13 (?)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/50
MIN. FOCUS: 2.5m/8ft
BEST FILM: 100-160 ASA
BUILD: Cardboard body, metal parts, plastic parts, vinyl covering
MFBOXCO RATING: 7+
Our lowest rating. We added the plus because it looks really cool.
Do you have experience this camera? Any helpful tips? Have you seen one at your local flea market? Do you know some trivia about the history the company or other knowledge you'd like to pass on? Add your stories below. We will periodically select the best tips and other bits to include above.