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I am not familiar with vintage cameras. On looking through some old family storage boxes I have found an Agfa Billy Record with bellows - I think its the 7.7 model.

The shutter button on the top right does not want to press, and the small dot next to the button is showing red.

Is there a shutter lock on this camera, and if so where is it?

There is no film loaded - would that prevent shutter operation?

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2 Answers 2

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Some of the more sophisticated simple cameras had a double exposure interlock -- this requires the film advance to be operated to unlock the shutter, which locks after an exposure is made. Many of these interlocks weren't very "smart" -- they'd unlock the shutter after only a fraction of a frame had been advanced, and a few such cameras (like the Duaflex II and later members of that family) had an override control to allow intentional double exposures.

Try turning the film advance a turn or two and see if that unlocks the shutter release.

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I'm not familiar with the particular model, but the vast majority of bellows cameras from that era require the shutter to be cocked manually. The reason the shutter button isn't doing anything when you press it is because it hasn't been cocked yet.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the vast majority of consumer cameras from that period had "everset" shutters, which cocked during the firing stroke. As you might imagine, the force required to cock the shutter would usually cause considerable camera movement when hand-holding. (Another limitation was usually a very small range of shutter speeds if any selection was available at all, like 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100. Something like a Brownie didn't give you any choice.) \$\endgroup\$
    – user95494
    Feb 1, 2021 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Many cameras from that era had "everset", or what I call "double action" (a term borrowed from the firearms world), shutters , but I'm not sure I'd agree that the vast majority did. I probably should have qualified it with "bellows" cameras, which I've since edited into the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Feb 1, 2021 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Bellows" just buys you folding cameras, which, given the negative size of the era and the focal lengths required, includes many more cameras than I think you have in mind (including Kodaks). \$\endgroup\$
    – user95494
    Feb 1, 2021 at 19:02

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