Argus "Brick" frame counter

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by joeyk49, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Just the other day, I was given an old Argus (C3 I think) "Brick". What a neat old camera!!! The person that gave it to me got it from his father, who purchased it right after getting off a ship following service in WWII. He said that he never put a roll of film through it and it just sat in the closet!

    I loaded up a roll of film and found that the winder seemed to crank through the roll rather more quickly than I'm accustomed. A 1/2 turn on the film wind knob, caused the frame counter to advance 10 frames or more!?!? Is the gear ratio on the winder different? Is there an important proceedural step to film loading that caused this?

    Can someone help a newbee to neat old rangefinders???
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    If I remember right the frame counter rotates all the way around then stops on the next number. Try advancing till the winder catches and stops. I think you also might have to manually rotate the counter to zero when you load the film too, but its been way too many years since I had one of those toys.
     
  3. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Yes, that is how they work. I have three of these cameras at the moment. I actually saw someone using one in one of the local malls a couple of years ago. They take good pictures. Do you have a manual for it (or need one)?
     
  4. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Alas, it didn't come with a manual. I've been trolling around trying to find one posted online, but no success yet.

    Except for the strap, the leather case looks like it was made last month, not 50-60 years ago. The lens looks clean and the shutter "sounds" right (we'll see). The leatherette has a little peeling to the edges, but nothing that I can't easily tack back down.

    The back cover is a little tough to open. Is this a trait or is there a little trick to opening them?
     
  5. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I think I got it.

    Popped a new roll into it and wound till it stopped. Fired a round, then pushed the little silver release thingee next to the frame counter and wound til it clicked. Voiala! The counter shows that its on frame #2.

    Now I just have to learn to keep my fingers away from the shutter cocking lever while shooting...
     
  6. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Good luck Joey...I still make that mistake about 10% of the time with my Brick. Luckily, the tactile feedback is so obvious that you end up immediately shooting another frame...but this has to be the worst design ever for the placement of a shutter cocking lever.
     
  7. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Obvious ins't the word for it...

    I darn near dropped it the first time it snapped back on my finger...I can't wait to find out if a) the camera moved ruining the exposure or b) something happens to slow the shutter as the cocking lever is obstructed. I'm guessing "a".

    Dispite this glaring ergonomic screw up on the part of the design team (hehehe), its still a fun camera to mess with.

    I had to do a bouble take when I first saw the shutter speed adjustment wheel...1/50???

    If you set the shutter speed wheel between two points on the scale, will the speed be altered accordingly?
     
  8. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Let me look later when I get home, I may have scanned it into my home computer. If so, I'll be happy to email you a pdf of it.

    As for the shutter, it probably won't matter if you were shooting a landscape. I've had my hand in the wrong place lots of times.
     
  9. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Search for Argus Collectors Group. There are manuals and even military version service manual online.

    The shutter cocking lever is threaded on, with 'jam nut' underneath. You can loosen it by turning it the wrong way, reposition the jam nut and tighten it wherever you want it - I suggest 180 or close to 180 degrees rotated. If you avoid getting a manual, you won't know what it's supposed to look like.

    I don't think the shutter speeds are continuously variable like the aperture.

    I also have three. One gave me two rolls of double exposures. I really can't believe it was my fault, but I did shoot two more that were fine. I can't comprehend I could actually do that.

    Interesting variations. I have a C3 Matchmatic (EV numbers) and two C3's from early/mid 50's. They have at least 2 different shutters among the three. One has 7 speeds, and I think only 4 or 5 on the others. All have coated 50 mm f/3.5 lens but different barrel & thread. One used Series V filters and I think the older ones use Series IV - odd, considering the specs were the same for the lens.

    One of my favorite photos came from the Matchmatic - go ahead, laugh.

    I just smelled and focussed the two older ones - I just got them recently from a relocating person at work, and the rangefinder focus is a 'joy' to use on both (at least looking thru it; who knows if accurate).

    Murray
     
  10. gma

    gma Member

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    I recently did some repair work on my C3 shutter. My early model ( actually a C2 ) has a continuous curved cam surface without steps on the cam surface ( indentations are on the dial wheel itself ) so that you can set the shutter at any point between speeds. Various models have had click stops at different speeds. Same min and max, but more in-between settings. Some have 7 speeds, others 10. I think some Matchmatics have only 5.

    As previous stated you can easily turn the cocking lever to a different position if it really bothers you. Enjoy your brick.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2005
  11. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    A variable speed shutter, that's cool.

    Murray
     
  12. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    One was given to me just about a month or two ago. It's really a neat, old camera.

    The film winder and counter mechanism took some getting used to; and the shutter cocking lever is in a really annoying spot, but its still fun.

    I've only run one roll through it, but I'm going to keep it around to play with...
     
  13. josephaustin

    josephaustin Member

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    I have a C-4, the Cintar lenses arent that bad, sure they arent Leicas but they are underappreciated imho. My biggest problem with the camera is the feel. The shutter sounds like a mouse trap going off, and the shutter release has alot of play in it. The Rangefinder window is too close to the viewfinder, and the focusing wheel is unecessary.
     
  14. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    Interesting gizmos, these bricks. I have several, and a couple of newer Argi, too. One thing is common to all of them, though, the shutter speeds are never accurate and never the same way twice. Still, the crazy things take good photos and I have even won a prize or two with them. They're just fun to use.
     
  15. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Hi Glenn
     
  16. gma

    gma Member

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    It is interesting to me that the Argus C and the Exakta 35mm SLR both were introduced around 1937, ( before the study of ergonomics ). Though they are totally different in appearance and function, they both are prime examples of Art Deco design and both are beautiful in their own quirky way. They must be displayed in museums of industrial design.
     
  17. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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  18. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Nothing wrong with that Cintar, Murray... :smile: