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Argus RF Forum for Argus RF nuts. The American made Argus C-3 may be the most prolific rangefinder, with over 3 million cameras produced! While American RF nutz of the 1950's may have yearned for a Leica, Zeiss, Canon or Nikon, most of them used an Argus !

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First roll through the new-to-me C3
Old 03-04-2014   #1
rwintle
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Smile First roll through the new-to-me C3

So I recently acquired a C3 on some online auction site or other. Based on the serial number and its location, it's probably from about 1945-46. So not special or collectible - but a nice thing nonetheless. I've wanted one for a while.

Finally got the roll finished - my standby B&W film, Arista Premium 400. First impressions - yep, it's heavy! It's really easy to foul the shutter cocking lever with a finger as it snaps back into position while the shot is being taken (the manual even warns against this, of course). The rangefinder window is TEENY TINY, but magnifies things nicely for focusing. The rangefinder wheel on mine is a bit stiff - could probably use a touch of lubrication I guess. And I think I was a bit ambitious in my handheld shutter speeds.

Oh, one more thing - I love it already.

A few shots from the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, plus a couple from a local pioneer cemetery north of the city up in King Township. There will be more, but this is a start. Next, I'd like to put some really nice colour film (Ektar maybe) through it to see what it can do with that.

Comments, critique, suggestions, and so forth more than welcome of course.

Thanks for looking,
Richard.

The camera - taken with a Nikon D5000 + 50mm f/1.8D

Argus C-3 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Escalating - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


East by North - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Two Looks - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Primitive Methodist Hammertown, circa 1868 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Primitive Methodist Hammertown, circa 1868 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
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Last edited by rwintle : 03-11-2014 at 08:23. Reason: West, East... what's 180 degrees between friends? + fixed photo link
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Old 03-04-2014   #2
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I really like the interior shots. Great images.
Enjoy the camera.
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Old 03-04-2014   #3
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Those are good looking shots. Nice work with "The Brick."

It seems that all of these have very stiff rangefinder wheels.
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Old 03-04-2014   #4
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This is proof -- if anyone here needs it -- that it's photographer who makes the pix, not the camera. Stout work with a clunky but lovable antique. Congrats and enjoy!
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Old 03-04-2014   #5
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Very nice!
I have a brick as well, but haven't got around to using it yet. I hear it has the swirly bokeh that's quite magical.
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Old 03-04-2014   #6
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Great shots.

If the cocking lever is slapping your finger, you can loosen the lock nut and reposition it. I've done it on all four of my bricks. You get used to pushing up to cock it.
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Old 03-05-2014   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyrider View Post
This is proof -- if anyone here needs it -- that it's photographer who makes the pix, not the camera. Stout work with a clunky but lovable antique. Congrats and enjoy!
Agreed! Nice job!

I also found a nice C3 with leather case at an antique co-op for $15. Mine is stiff as well but usable. I'd like to lube it but am afraid of taking the camera apart. You're right, VF is very squinty but this is a very capable camera.

The Cintar lens performs very well in color also.



Enjoy!
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Old 03-05-2014   #8
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Thanks everyone. I am well pleased so far.

mortalenema - thanks for that cocking lever tip. The ever-ready case I have just about fouls it on its own without help from a finger, so repositioning it is definitely worth thinking about.

CliveC - I haven't been brave enough to shoot it wide open (not convinced that I can nail focus at f/3.5, even with the RF window) but I'll have to give it a try. Swirly bokeh = tasty.

raydm6 - thanks for that example. Definitely colour film next!
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Old 03-05-2014   #9
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Repositioning the lever is really easy. It unscrews clockwise. Turn the locking nut underneath roughly 180 degrees and hold it in place when screwing the lever back on.

Great job with the Brick. I like the shots of the floor patterns a lot.
And that coated Cintar lens can still get the job done.
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Old 03-05-2014   #10
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Taking it apart to lube the rangefinder is very simple - I managed, with the extra complication that I had to try to keep the leatherette intact as no-one makes new leather for Matchmatics. Loads of instructions on the intertubes.

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Old 03-05-2014   #11
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Mr. Flibble, Muggins - Thanks, both, much appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2014   #12
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Those are some excellent results, Richard. I've got eight Bricks now, and all of them have the cocking lever at a different position, so I just try to make a conscience attempt to avoid it by positioning my fingers on the top and bottom of the body.

Sometimes though, you can get some cool effects when you forget to keep fingers out of the way.


Locomotion Dreams by br1078phot, on Flickr

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Old 03-06-2014   #13
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Thanks farlymac. And yes, that doubling effect is very interesting (dare I say "dreamy"?).

A couple more from the roll:

Barrel and perspective distortion corrections not entirely successful:

Top Down - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr

A wee bit wider open:

Grave Marker, St. Andrew's Presbyterian, Nobleton by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
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Old 04-07-2014   #14
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rwintle great photos. Love my C-3, I need to take mine out.

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Old 04-13-2014   #15
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Thanks, David.

I have since run some Easypix 200 (Shoppers Drug Mart store brand, it's Fujicolor) through it. While a bit underexposed, I enjoyed taking a few shots of the final days of the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.

No, it was never really the world's biggest bookstore, but it's a good name for a store in a building that was previously a bowling alley. All shut and gone now unfortunately, doubtless to be replaced by yet another high-rise condo development.

Underexposure and dodgy colour correction are all my fault. The vignetting belongs to the Argus and its Cintar lens.





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Old 04-13-2014   #16
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I know how you feel. We lost our "Books-A-Million" store last year, and it's hard to drive by and see it still empty.

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Old 04-13-2014   #17
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Nice!
A C3 I found in a junk shop for $10 is what started me down the rangefinder path. I still have it on my shelf...I guess I need to load up some film and shoot with it again for old-times sake!
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The Eyes have it
Old 04-14-2014   #18
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The Eyes have it

This might be blasphemous thing to say on this forum, but with an eye as good as yours it almost doesn't matter what camera you use. Nice pics!
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Old 04-15-2014   #19
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Thanks everyone. Chucknova - that is very kind, much appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2014   #20
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Unearthed a couple more from that first roll:


Eaton Centre 1 - Argus C3
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Eaton Centre 2 - Argus C3
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
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Old 09-01-2014   #21
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And one more from that colour roll, cropped and colour-corrected a bit.


Phone alone - Eaton Centre, Toronto
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
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Old 09-01-2014   #22
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Pictures here looks nice. IQ is one of the reasons.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-01-2014   #23
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Enjoyed seeing all your photos. Good looking brick you have also.
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Old 09-02-2014   #24
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Not only are all the photos technically good, but they are artistically excellent. Some fine work there, Richard.

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Old 09-03-2014   #25
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Usually posts like this made me want to look up the camera and consider buying it, but in this case I am convinced that the photographer is a genius. Enjoying each one of them greatly.
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Thank you!
Old 09-05-2014   #26
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Thank you!

Thank you everyone, so many kind words. I am honoured. Where's the "blushing" smiley?
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Old 09-05-2014   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Not only are all the photos technically good, but they are artistically excellent. Some fine work there, Richard.

PF
PF you nailed it, these are some outstanding photos!
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Old 09-06-2014   #28
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Very nice work rwintle. Keep shooting with that "brick"!
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Old 12-06-2014   #29
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From my first roll through my also "new c3" soooo shocked at the quality of these old triplets!! BTW the scan is without any pp of any kind. Love the hell out of this camera!
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Old 12-09-2014   #30
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Nice. I've got a roll of Kodak Gold 200 in mine at the moment so perhaps I'll post a few more pics once I've shot my way through it.

UPDATE: finally shot it. Here are a couple. Any lack of sharpness is probably my scanner (Epson V550 with unsharp masking turned off; the second photo had a touch of sharpening re-applied in Adobe Camera Raw after scanning).


Disused train station - Ernestown, Ontario
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Disused train station - Ernestown, Ontario
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr



I continue to enjoy this brick and I'm quite pleased with the results here. To my eye they are plenty sharp and contrasty enough although I am sure there is more I could do with the scanning. I need to start bending this camera a bit more - into the sun, wider open, and suchlike.
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Old 07-09-2015   #31
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A couple more. First, some odd lens flare (top right quarter of the photograph):


Three headstones - Lutheran / Union, Ernestown
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr

And another view of the station. Some obvious corner vignetting here.


Abandonded train station - Argus C3, Kodak Gold 200
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr

Thanks for looking.
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Old 07-12-2015   #32
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More nice ones, Richard. I've noticed the flare on Cintar 50mm shots, and even on the Enna 35mm ones. A hood helps the Cintar, but since the Enna comes with one, it could be internal haze I haven't checked for yet. A little burning in post processing the scans will get rid of most of the flare.

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Old 07-14-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
More nice ones, Richard. I've noticed the flare on Cintar 50mm shots, and even on the Enna 35mm ones. A hood helps the Cintar, but since the Enna comes with one, it could be internal haze I haven't checked for yet. A little burning in post processing the scans will get rid of most of the flare.

PF
Thanks, PF. I think I may have been trying to shade that one with my hand but I could have forgotten.

There's a brownish blob of flare there and if you look closely, sort of a rainbow squiggle, along with the overall lighter area. Curious, but as you say it could all be eliminated in post I suppose with a little judicious cloning/repairing.

EDIT - the blob could be a bird, I suppose...

Got a roll of Arista Premium 400 in it at the moment - back to B&W for a bit.

Thanks for looking,
Richard.
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Old 09-06-2015   #34
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I put these in the "Argust 15th" thread but I hope nobody will mind me cross-posting here. Still enjoying The Brick.


Argus C3 (Cintar 50mm f/3.5), Arista Premium 400 semi-stand in Adonal 1+100. Gory development details on Filmdev.org (linked in the Flickr descriptions).


Chicken coop, Riverdale Farm
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Window and ivy - Toronto Necropolis chapel
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Headstone, Toronto Necropolis
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Chicken coop staredown - Riverdale Farm, Toronto
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Dunn - Toronto Necropolis
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Family plot - Toronto Necropolis
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Lone monument - Toronto Necropolis
by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
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Last edited by rwintle : 09-11-2015 at 14:24. Reason: A couple more, why not?
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Old 10-03-2015   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwintle View Post
So I recently acquired a C3 on some online auction site or other. Based on the serial number and its location, it's probably from about 1945-46. So not special or collectible - but a nice thing nonetheless. I've wanted one for a while.

Finally got the roll finished - my standby B&W film, Arista Premium 400. First impressions - yep, it's heavy! It's really easy to foul the shutter cocking lever with a finger as it snaps back into position while the shot is being taken (the manual even warns against this, of course). The rangefinder window is TEENY TINY, but magnifies things nicely for focusing. The rangefinder wheel on mine is a bit stiff - could probably use a touch of lubrication I guess. And I think I was a bit ambitious in my handheld shutter speeds.

Oh, one more thing - I love it already.

A few shots from the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, plus a couple from a local pioneer cemetery north of the city up in King Township. There will be more, but this is a start. Next, I'd like to put some really nice colour film (Ektar maybe) through it to see what it can do with that.

Comments, critique, suggestions, and so forth more than welcome of course.

Thanks for looking,
Richard.

The camera - taken with a Nikon D5000 + 50mm f/1.8D

Argus C-3 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Escalating - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


East by North - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Two Looks - Eaton Centre, Toronto by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Primitive Methodist Hammertown, circa 1868 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr


Primitive Methodist Hammertown, circa 1868 by Richard Wintle, on Flickr
I've got several C3's & use them all. Here in Arizona, especially in the summer, 400 speed film is just too fast for the camera. 1/300 @ f/16 & photos would be overexposed. I use 100 or thereabouts, both color & B/W. I like your photos. Crisp, good exposure, interesting subjects. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-05-2015   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r.reeder View Post
I've got several C3's & use them all. Here in Arizona, especially in the summer, 400 speed film is just too fast for the camera. 1/300 @ f/16 & photos would be overexposed. I use 100 or thereabouts, both color & B/W. I like your photos. Crisp, good exposure, interesting subjects. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, much appreciated. I confess my use of 400 speed B&W film here is because I'm a cheapskate and the Arista stuff was very attractively priced and available in a nearby store. 100 speed would make more sense in bright sun for sure, even here.

Cheers,
Richard.
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