Piece Of Junk – Repairing The Argus C3

The Primitive Insides, Shutter, Of The Argus C3

The Primitive Insides, Shutter, Of The Argus C3

So, picked up three rolls of C41 yesterday (insert angry Film Photography Podcast soundbite here). Not one exposure. Problem? Yes, a sticky shutter. Solution? Take this piece of junk (this is a G-rated blog- I said much worse out loud) apart. Very easy to do, this thing is loaded with what a former television salesman told me was “prairie space”, an expression that he lovingly used to describe a television chassis that had little in the way of parts, or guts.

OK, what to do once this beast is open? Well, of course, soak the shutter with Ronsonol….

Ronsonol, A Camera Repair Person's Best Friend (AKA Lighter Fluid)

Ronsonol, A Camera Repair Person's Best Friend (AKA Lighter Fluid)

I have no idea how this works, but read about it online. Soak the shutter with lighter fluid, and then work it at all speeds. The slower speeds really were sticking bad. Now, the blades are free at all speeds.

Harry Potter's Friend Colin Creevey, An Enthusiastic Argus Shooter

Harry Potter's Friend Colin Creevey, An Enthusiastic Argus Shooter

In reading about the Argus legend, I discovered that one of the characters in The Philadelphia Story, Gweneth Paltrow’s character in Sky Captain, and most recently, Colin Creevey in the 2nd Harry Potter film, are all Argus shooters. I have not seen any of those films, but may now have to do so. Creevey shoots with the C3 Matchmatic, which is now somewhat of a collector’s item as a result. The lightmeter, and olive-tan look of the Matchmatic was so cool to me that I bid online, and won, a Matchmatic, now in route. Ronsonol ready to go.

Many could think of some of the Polaroid models as “junk”, or worse. No question that the Argus is. But, hard not to fall in love with these incredibly cool looking, fun to use, pieces of $#@!.

Happy Argus Shooting!

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8 thoughts on “Piece Of Junk – Repairing The Argus C3

  1. If you have a functioning C3, they are great cameras. Excellent lenses in them! You should get them fixed and try it out!

    • Thanks, Irv! I have the C3 Standard, and C3 Matchmatic, both in perfect working order. I plan on getting some results posted soon. After soaking the sticky shutters in baths of Ronsonol, the sharp, contrasty lensed have yielded some amazing results. I have a 3rd on the way, with a flash. As primitive as they are, they are also amazing cameras. And conversation starters where ever I take them.

      A

  2. Many years ago, while in college, I worked at a retail camera department. One Saturday, I sold 7 Argus C3 cameras. Argus merchandizing was faultless. The camera, flash, and case all in one box. The price was just under $70. Their nearest competition, The Kodak 35mm rangefinder model would be over $100 and in three boxes. The Kodak did have a better lens,

    There were some dissimiliar competition, like the Mercury II, and some other odd ball cameras

    • Ironically, I just got the 35mm wide angle lens for the C-3, and the accessory viewfinder that works for both that, and the 100mm, which I have as well. Hope to do some more Argus photography this summer. Leica it is not, but cool, and quirky, with amazing glass, it is.

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