Mid-week Camera Review … Week 12 / Argus C3

The Argus C3 was manufactured in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1939-1957.
There were several variations to the C3 cameras, not so much in design and appearance but rather features on the camera. The predecessor to the C3 was the C2.

Among all the Argus C cameras is the 50mm f/3.5 – 16 with standard aperture settings.
The shutter speed settings were 1/10th, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/300th.

I have enjoyed shooting with this camera but not nearly as much as other vintage 35mm cameras. There was a reason is was given the name “The Brick” back in the day for a reason. It is not particularly an easy camera to hold and it is heavy. Every dial, button and knob has its spot on the camera but they seem to be in separate locations around the camera. The shutter advance is on the front right of the camera while the film advance is on the top left. To advance the film, you have to release the film catch (top center) and advance the film by turning the winding knob. Being careful to hold down the film catch only a quarter turn so that you do not advance the film to far and miss a frame. It’s a process, and it’s not the most manageable. The shutter speed dial is on the front top left of the camera while the aperture settings are on the face of the lens and the focus dial is on front right opposite the shutter speed dial.

Argus C3 01

The shutter advance is on the left of the camera.

The shutter advance (black knob) is on the left of the
camera.

Argus C3 03

The film advance on the the top left of the camera.

The film advance on the the top left of the camera.

Argus C3 06

A solid hinged rear door.

A solid hinged rear door.

Argus C3 08

Nice secure leather case.

Nice secure leather case.

Though the camera may have been a great price back in the day, I suspect there were other brands that were more user friendly.

I look forward to seeing the results on film to give a better idea of the accuracy shutter speeds and focus.

UPDATE …
I am happy with the consistent results from the Argus C3! It took awhile after loading the film that I realized that I had to push the Film Release switch. After figuring that out, I was able to take the rest of the 36 exp roll. I ruined the first 2-3 images by ripping out the sides. I also messed up the last two images with my self portraits … which ended up working out pretty neat. The focus was OK but was not all that consistent.

I did not have the opportunity to scan the negs in with a scanner BUT I have an APP on my iPad called NegativeViewer, I took a picture of the neg with my iPhone and then downloaded it to my computer & inverted the image in PhotoShop. It would have been a lot easier to find a negative scanner and go it the right way!

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One response to “Mid-week Camera Review … Week 12 / Argus C3

  1. Go Michigan. One of my favourite camera (but I am not going to lie to you, I wont try and shoot it everyday). I actually never tried the 50mm lens. I have the Enna 35mm lens and it’s superb. Will wait to see the results !

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