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  1. #1

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    Argus C3 Brick Minor Problem

    I have an Argus C3 circa early to mid 1940s and the rangefinding alignment dial is very difficult to turn.

    I would like to know what my options as far as lubricating it so that it might turn a little easier.

    I have key oil, which could become a problem by getting into places I don't want it to, and I also have some graphite powder which might present some of the same problems. The only other thing I can think of is a graphite lubricating pencil of some sort.

    Do I have to take it to a shop and have them overhaul it, or could there be another solution?

    The camera is still usable in it's current state, but still I am looking for an inexpensive solution to the problem described above.

  2. #2
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Since the rangefinder is geared to the lens and its focusing helix, the stiffness is probably mostly due to congealed lube in the lens barrel assembly. I have cleaned and relubed mine with a silicone fishing reel lube, but I'm not convinced that was the best choice as it is still a bit stiff. I think some sort of specialized grease; i.e., neither oil or powder, is the best thing to use. There are some repair manuals on the Argus Collector group site if you want to wade in yourself. It's a bit tedious, but not up to neurosurgery. I think they recommend some lubes -- perhaps someone else will chime in here.

    Over a couple of years I cleaned mine (purchased new circa 1958) up and calibrated the rangefinder so I can celebrate Argus Day each year.

    DaveT

  3. #3
    dehk's Avatar
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    You also have the option on keep using it, and maybe you will free it up more and more.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  4. #4

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    Thank you very much for the answer and the links.

    I came across a site (which I think might be the same as your links) that has a repair, maintenance, and user manuals. One is an Armed Services manual with illustrations and the other one made for civilians has photographs of this camera in use.

    Both will be helpful to using this camera in the near future.

    I will have to look what type of lubricant was used in the armed service manual, but I am almost sure there is probably a better option now, to what was available back then.

    The camera currently has some film in it right now that has probably been there since the 1960s and is only on the 16th exposure.

    I am going to take a guess and figure it has film in it at between 160 and 200 ISO and finish out the remaining exposures accordingly. I am pretty sure the film speed reminder dial on the back has been moved, so there no sure way of really knowing what speed film is in there.

    Some people manage to get usuable images from film close to 20 years old or more; so why not 40?

    This camera was used to make many slides for slideshows when I was a child by relatives that owned it previously. So if it has color film in it, it is probably some kind of Kodachrome.

    Once again thank you for the links and the information, and I am sure I will enjoy using this camera even if it is currently a little hard to move the rangefinder dial.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Have fun with your camera.

    If the film inside is Kodachrome, it would most likely be Kodachrome II, and have an ASA of 25.

    If it is colour print, or black and white, it would be a better guess to shoot it at ASA 64 or 100. Of course, it might be Tri-X
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6

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    The easiest thing is to unscrew the gear/coupler top, pull out the gear after the "top" piece is off soak it in lighter fluid, and for good measure, some light machine oil on the "pin" under the coupling gear. I can post a video if you like, it is fairly easy to do.

    Richard

    EDIT: If it is color film, my guess - and what was inside my second "Brick" was Kodacolor II, with an ASA of 80.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    If the film inside is Kodachrome, it would most likely be Kodachrome II, and have an ASA of 25.
    Good call.

    The film was Kodachrome 25 for color slides KM135-20 at 25 ASA and requires a K-14 process.

    I finished out the exposures at a different setting because I thought it was at 100 ISO and set the lens aperture at f5.6; I was expecting them to be overexposed, because the plunger was stuck on my cable release and it took me a few moments to release the plunger.

    These finishing shots were indoors with existing light; a couple with low to medium light at late dusk and shot on a bulb for 10 seconds (cable stuck) and the others were a lighted Christmas tree on bulb in the low light at night for 16 seconds.

    Now I only have to find a place that does the old K-14 or the current equivalent slide process, if there is any.

    I am more curious as to what is on there from the past then my current exposures, if they turn out at all.

    I have only done Black & White and C-41 at home and have no experience at all with slide film.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cromlech View Post
    The easiest thing is to unscrew the gear/coupler top, pull out the gear after the "top" piece is off soak it in lighter fluid, and for good measure, some light machine oil on the "pin" under the coupling gear. I can post a video if you like, it is fairly easy to do.

    Richard
    That would be nice if you could, now that I have the camera empty of film.

    As far as the bulb settings I used described above, most of the shots I have done with some amount of success with the exposure set on bulb were done in cameras with smaller lenses that were either set, or no more than 2 aperture settings; so some of this was guessing as to the duration of exposure time and aperture settings.

    I also found that 2 different exposure guides (one online and the other on a dial) provided different answers as to what the best exposure was.

  9. #9

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    Hi Clocker,

    Your video is being uploaded to youtube as we speak. It should NOT be 7 minutes long, but it is... However that happened!

    I'm including, in the video description, the text process. It is VERY easy to do, but if you're anything like me, seeing something is easier than reading about it!

    Video link will be added in, in an edit.

    Richard

    Video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FGhRdwGtEw

  10. #10

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    You are out of luck regarding developing if Kodachrome. Dwayne's, the last lab in the world developing Kodachrome film, shut down its developing line for the film at midnight on December 31st. The news stories said the equipment will be sold for scrap--and the stories also correctly described it as the end of an era.

    Keith

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