View Full Version : Argus C4

01-13-2007, 23:58
I just won an evil-bay auction for an Argus C4. I've been wanting one I started collecting C3's, and was told the C4 was a step-up from them. Actually this is the second one I've won. I won the first one back on December 30th for a total of $37.55 with S&H ($27.55 & $10.00 shipping), but still haven't received it. Or heard form the seller even after numerous e-mails. The one I won tonight I will be paying $10.98 w/ S&H (99 cents & $9.99 shipping) I was the only bidder on it which surprised the heck outta me. I hope that I got a good one (or two if I ever get the first one).


01-14-2007, 00:48
I've tried bidding on a C4 once, it looked like a pretty nice camera. I ended up losing though, will end up trying again probably.

Robert Price
01-14-2007, 05:56
The C4 is a great camera to use. I enjoy useing mine for the odd street shoot.

01-17-2007, 17:30
I have a $8.00 Ebay C4 that I THINK is now working, thanks to Rick Oleson's site. I have to calibrate the rangefinder and maybe get some new leathers.

The film is being developed so I'll soon know if my efforts were successful. I like the camera and will most likely try to get the newer model with the X flash sync.

01-28-2007, 23:08
I got both of my C4's, and they don't work as well as I had hoped they would. Even after cleaning the oil from the shutter blades. One only works at 1/50, 1/100, and 1/300 the shutter blades hang at the other speeds. The other one only works at 1/300. If it try to use the other speeds the shutter stays open until I turn the speed dial back to 1/300, then it closes. I think these will be the last RF cameras I'm buying from ebay or possibly anywhere else for awhile, as they have put me totally off Rf cameras with all the problems I've had lately. Or maybe I'll just stop buying 50 year old cameras, and be expecting them to work.

Justin Smith
01-29-2007, 06:32

I have a C-44 that would only work at 1/300. I took many, many repeating cleanings of the shutter blades to get all of the all off. I would flood the shutter with lighter fluid, fire it, then gently wipe off as much oil as I could with a cotton swab. I found that I could still get tiny chunks of old grease at the edges of the blades, even when I couldn't see them.

If you haven't wiped the shutter, I'd suggest trying it. Don't give up :)

01-29-2007, 19:55

I've taken the entire shutter assembly apart, and hand cleaned the shutter blades, and all the other parts also. I got the instructions from a member of the Argus Collectors Group. I'm wondering if this could be the problem.

I've cleaned the shutter blades of a few Canon Canonets with stellar results, and would rather clean a room full of them than disassemble another C4's shutter assembly. :bang:


Steve Bellayr
04-16-2007, 19:09
Another Argus Repair Question: I picked up an Argus C44 for $7 at a thrift store. Shutters work at 60, 125, & 300 but not below. That dosn't matter. I can't seem to get the rangefinder to work. I've taken off the lens several times and lined up the red dots on both the body & lens but no go. It doesn't go far enough on the close side just ot barely 3.5 and too far on the infinity side. Will not focus at infinity. Also, there is an odd black ring screwed to the front lens that appears to have no function. Any suggestions? I'd appreciate it.

04-16-2007, 19:48
I got an Argus C4 for next to nothing. It was cosmetically in great shape but had a slight hang on the shutter. Being better at taking things apart than putting them back together, I sent it off to an expert. He adjusted the rangefinder and lens to focus accurately on the film plane, and cleaned the shutter mechanism. It was well worth it since I now have a C4 that is in excellent mechanical condition. If you like an old camera model, it's not as crazy as it sounds to invest in a CLA for it.

04-17-2007, 08:06
I've always thought of getting one of these, too, though I didn't want one bad enough to actually buy one yet. Recently, however, I got to handle someone's C3, and it was just too thick for my hands. Does anyone know how the C4 compares in size and weight?

04-17-2007, 17:30
I haven't used a C4, but I do have the similar C44. It's my favorite RF when I'm in a Sunny-16 mood. It was actually a nice ebay find for a change, with all three lenses, manual, and the accessory viewfinder. The dirty rangefinder was soon nice and clear thanks to Rick Oleson's instructions.

Steve, the lensmount on the C44 is not at all intiutive. You may have seen it already, but Cameraquest's C44 page (http://cameraquest.com/argc44.htm) may be helpful. Make sure you line up the red dots on the body side before mounting the lens. I kept missing that step even after reading the manual and it was very frustrating.

04-19-2007, 20:28
Hello Kat,

I have both a C3 and a C4. So I measured them up for you.
C3: Length 130 mm. Height 69 mm. Depth 52 mm.

C4: Length 142 mm. Height 68 mm. Depth 32 mm.

These measurements do not include anything protruding from the camera body such as knobs, "feet", or lens.

The lens on the C3 protrudes 23 mm.
The lens on the C4 protrudes 50 mm.

Rangefinder "hump" on the C4 extends above the rest of the top 9 mm.

I haven't shot any film with the C3 yet. But comparing the 2 cameras just by handling them, I prefer the way the C4 handles. And I can say that for an inexpensive investment the C4 takes very sharp photos. The C4 rangefinder is a very big improvement over the C3. Much easier for me to focus.

Sorry I don't have a scale to weigh them. Anyone else know the weights?

Regards, Steve at the radiocemetery

04-20-2007, 10:16
Thanks, Steve, that's more detail than I expected. The 2cm depth difference sounds pretty good, now I'm thinking about a C4 again...:)

Dean C Williams
05-08-2007, 17:06
Sometimes if you want to get your C4 running the way it should, you just have to do it up right...

Get it clean, and it will serve you well. They're great cameras!

05-10-2007, 08:26
Hi Dean,

I bought a C4 that had a dented top plate. I took the top plate off to straighten it as best I could and the I thought , while I am in here....Soon I ended up with what you have pictured above, except I did not remove the shutter crate. I was impressed with the build quality and the rangefinder mechanism. It certainly was fun aligning all those shutter parts to reinstall the screws that hold it all together. Now the camera is back together, no extra parts and it takes great pictures too. It is fun to use a camera that is almost as old as I am.

Steve at the radiocemetery

Dean C Williams
05-10-2007, 13:21
Hi Dean,

Now the camera is back together, no extra parts.....

Steve at the radiocemetery

That's always a plus! ;)

They really are excellent shooters. Congrats on your rebuild.


11-21-2017, 12:25
I'm reading this thread and thinking: "You lucky... should I add *******s?" ;)
Getting Argus C4's for a change!
I recently got one from the evil Bay and it was not that much, around $25 but then I had to add the shipping cost of $55 to get it on this side of the pond.
Actually any camera I buy off the US eBay gets from about $40 to $55 added on top of its sale price. So I always have to choose a good one - at least that can justify its cost somehow.

Edit: I didn't know the forum would hide a not so much dirty swear word but you know what it is of course :)

11-21-2017, 12:36
Having rebuilt one Argus C4 and three Argus C3's, I recommend the C3.

They all have issues, being as old as they are, but the C4 has the added issue with the little shutter connecting bar, which, if it should break(caused by gummy shutter blades and frozen shutters) will render the camera useless.


11-21-2017, 14:25
Having rebuilt one Argus C4 and three Argus C3's, I recommend the C3.

They all have issues, being as old as they are, but the C4 has the added issue with the little shutter connecting bar, which, if it should break(caused by gummy shutter blades and frozen shutters) will render the camera useless.


Tim - great piece of advice!
Is it possible to fabricate the bar if it gets broken?
By the way, how come gummy shutter blades would cause the breakage of that bar? Many 1950-s cameras come with sticky blades. Why is it so fatal in this particular C4 assembly? Can you elaborate on this please?

11-21-2017, 20:35
There is a thin metal "bar" that activates the shutter on the C4. When the cameras were new, or when one is freshly rebuilt, the shutter blades open and close with very little effort, so the bar design works fine. But once the shuttle blades start to drag and gum up, the force being transmitted through that thin bar is higher than the bar can withstand, and it breaks. A very delicate part that I think would be pretty difficult to fabricate in any cost effective way for a camera that's current value is about $35.

11-22-2017, 01:46
Yes, I found a number of references to that problem.
One is here at the Rick Oleson's resource: http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-128.html
Does he post on this forum? He was a contributor to the old classic camera repair forum.

I hope my C4 has survived through a few cocking-release cycles with the sticky shutter blades. It still fired the last time I cocked the shutter. In fact they are so sticky the shutter hardly clicks.
I didn't know about the warning!