|Argus A, 35mm camera, c1936|
The Argus A came into being following the introduction of the 35mm cassette by Kodak in 1934, precipitating an explosion of 35mm cameras. At the time a 35mm negative was regarded as very small, and consequently the early 35mm cameras had to be very precise and expensive instruments to get the most from the film. The Argus A is a departure from this philosophy and is a very reasonable attempt to produce a 35mm camera for the mass market. The main body is manufactured from an early thermosetting plastic known as "Bakelite" and exhibits some very art deco styling influences. It has a self energising shutter and the basic model doesn't have variable focus but the AF model (1937) does. However, it seems that the manual states that focus can be optimized for distance by not rotating the collapsible lens barrel into the locks, call me a cynic if you will, but that smacks of an afterthought to me! The design was optimized for mass production and the quality was perfect for the intended market. The same basic chassis remained in production until 1950 with the Argus A2B. Despite it's budget theme it did, and still can produce surprisingly good images - especially considering the competition were using Schneider Kreuznach lenses. Despite it's small size, it has a telescoping lens mount to save space when stored. This example would have been made very late in the manufacturing run, in 1941, probably in the last month of production. For more information about Argus cameras, visit the Argus Collectors group.
Shutter, IRC, speeds T, B, 25, 50, 100 and 150th
Lens, Argus Anastigmat f/4.5
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