Argus C2/C3 Restoration

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ic-racer

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Finally got around to making a decent leaf shutter tester that calculates effective shutter speed based on ISO 516:2019 definition.

There are plenty of resources out there on repairing and maintaining these cameras. I don't have much new to add, other than the fancy red covering from "Camera Leather."

Argus C2 red.jpeg
 
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Maybe not so easy to make out, but the speeds I got (after a lot of fiddling with the mechanism) are as follows:

1/10 = 1/15
1/20 = 1/30
1/30 = 1/70
1/50 = 1/70
1/100 = 1/90
1/200 = 1/160
1/300 = 1/160

What am planning is a little conversion chart for the back of the camera to fit over the "Weston" speed dial.
DSC_0200.JPG
 

jay moussy

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A silly question: what are the differences between the C2 and C3?
I own a C3 (or two!), have studied them a bit, but never heard of the C2. Argus was an interesting company, it seems.
 
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Anyone not familiar with this camera may be surprised that it has interchangeable lenses. Also:

1) Rangefinder focusing
2) Clear and bright Galilean viewfinder
3) User set shutter speeds with "B"
4) User set aperture
5) Coated lenses
 

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I'm also stumped. It looks like a C3 to me. What's the difference?
 
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A silly question: what are the differences between the C2 and C3?
I own a C3 (or two!), have studied them a bit, but never heard of the C2. Argus was an interesting company, it seems.
DSC_0182 2.JPG

I think the main change was the addition of flash contacts.
 
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I'm also stumped. It looks like a C3 to me. What's the difference?

I actually changed the thread from "C2" to "C3." I had thought the now-red one was the C2 and my black one with flash C3, and even ordered the red as C2 leather. But I think you are correct in that they are both C3.

Some confusion because the serial number on the red one I thought was "20031" but after close examination with a magnifier I think it is "220031." I'll try and post a picture.

56395 for the black one.

This is the website I used to try and figure out which ones I have:


Argus serial.jpeg
 
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Sirius Glass

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I actually changed the thread from "C2" to "C3." I had thought the now-red one was the C2 and the black one C3, and even ordered C2 leather. But I think you are correct in that they are both C3.

Ask the moderators for help, the title still reads C2.
 
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A silly question: what are the differences between the C2 and C3?
I own a C3 (or two!), have studied them a bit, but never heard of the C2. Argus was an interesting company, it seems.

Do you use them?
 

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I have a couple of C3s, one was sent for CLA 10 years or so, my other last year. I happen to like the C3, I have one on my desk, I was going to shoot a roll of Foma 400 in the next couple of weeks. Although I have the coated 50 3.5 Cintar it will fare even with lens hood. The tech who worked on the most recently cleaned version tested the shutter but could not the shutter any closer than "1/250 or so," I think is closer to the or so. I have the 100mm, don't use it much, too much trouble to change out the lens. The lens is a triplet still sharp once stopped down to F 8 to 11.
 
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"1/250 or so," I think is closer to the or so. I have the 100mm, don't use it much, too much trouble to change out the lens. The lens is a triplet still sharp once stopped down to F 8 to 11.

That is pretty good. I even increased the tension on the spring on the red one and only got it to 1/160th with the escapement fully disengaged. I have yet to work on the black one.
 

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I actually changed the thread from "C2" to "C3." I had thought the now-red one was the C2 and my black one with flash C3, and even ordered the red as C2 leather. But I think you are correct in that they are both C3.

Some confusion because the serial number on the red one I thought was "20031" but after close examination with a magnifier I think it is "220031." I'll try and post a picture.

56395 for the black one.

This is the website I used to try and figure out which ones I have:


View attachment 340734

Ah. Ok.

I have 3 Argus C3s. Two work, one doesn't. I used them, only thing lacking is ability to attach a flash easily and strap lugs.
 

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Thread title tweaked a bit.
 

DWThomas

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There is a group, the Argus Collectors Group out on the Interwebz that has a lot of information, as well as a database from a survey of various models.

The C series had a long history of major and minor variations over its long market life.

The just plain C had no coupling between the lens barrel and the rangefinder.
The C-2 had the rangefinder coupled, but no flash.
Then came the C-3 with flash contacts.
Within the models it seems there were dozens of variations in number of shutter speeds, f/stop number sequence, and all sorts of things.

I get my C-3 out every year when the ACG folks have Argus Day, but I'm not into obsessive collection!
 

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View attachment 340733
I think the main change was the addition of flash contacts.

Same as my stock beige Matchmatic, then?
(the ebay seller is very eager to see his father's camera used again, sweet!)

No I haven't used them yet, been busy with other photo stuff,gardening, travel.
I am curious about what won't work on a C3?
Repair information is plentiful, Argus forum also very active.
 

Paul Howell

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Ah. Ok.

I have 3 Argus C3s. Two work, one doesn't. I used them, only thing lacking is ability to attach a flash easily and strap lugs.

I have an ever ready case that came with one of mine. In addition the C3s I have a C4 that needs some work, might take a look at freeing up the shutter this weekend.
 

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I have an ever ready case that came with one of mine. In addition the C3s I have a C4 that needs some work, might take a look at freeing up the shutter this weekend.

I've got one that's cosmetically mint and it has a flash too but the whole thing is frozen up.
 

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I'm going to try some starting fluid on the shutter to see that loosen up any dried lub then use some Nolls shutter lub, if not rather than spend the money on CLA I will shop around for another or maybe a C44.
 
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These Argus cameras are great to learn basic camera repair. For example the shutter is very easy to take apart and get back together. It is a good stepping stone camera on the way to repairing Copal and other leaf shutters.
 
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I finally got around to making a correct shutter speed wheel:

Argus shutter Testing.JPG
DSC_0119.JPG
 

jay moussy

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So, what would you say the shutter speed drift is from indicated on stock dial?
In other words, what would be a quick rule for folks without a way to do actual readings?
 

Jim Jones

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The Second World War disrupted civilian camera design and production for several years. Perhaps Argus was a bit quicker in resuming sales to the civilian market. This gave it a head start over a major domestic competitor, the Univex Mercury II. This competitor looked even less like a good camera than the C3, but was a better camera in quality and reliability. Its focal plane shutter was far more accurate, and the build quality was better with metal castings for the body. Unfortunately, its rotary focal plane shutter precluded the inclusion of a rangefinder. The Mercury was a half-frame camera, getting twice the pictures on each roll of film. As Kodachrome became popular, deviating from the well established 24x36mm format of most 35mm cameras must have cost many sales. Univex started producing a traditional 35mm camera, but by then Argus dominated the market. Eventually better (but more expensive) cameras from Leitz and other makers trickled into America. I owned, but never used, an Argus C3 and did use a Mercury II for a few years. My two Mercury IIs and a prewar Mercury still appear to be in fine working condition. My Argus C3 is not.
 
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