The Argus C3 is one of those cameras everyone who spends any time looking for old cameras will find time and again. And for good reason, it was made for decades; virtually unchanged from 1939 to 1966.
I instantly had a certain affinity for the C3. Its simple functional design and goofy charm are hard not to like. On top of that it was made in my home state of Michigan. Despite liking it, when I finally decided to use one I had pretty low expectations. It was still a mass produced clunker of a camera, or so I thought. Despite the complete lack of ergonomics it was rather enjoyable to use. I was quite surprised when I saw my first photos. I had been expecting dreamy soft focus images akin to many American cameras of its era, but they were clear and sharp, and had a unique look of depth for a f3.5 lens.
Sadly, it was the last time I would use that particular camera. I dropped it about halfway through the roll. Despite looking like a brick it doesn’t hold up to being dropped on concrete. I can attest that bakelite explodes particularly well in below freezing temperatures. It did however keep light from getting to my film. Rest in peace my beloved C3.
Abandoned asylum shot with Argus C3 shortly before its demise.