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Argus C3

Argus C3 (1939)

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    Argus C3     The Argus C3 was produced from 1939–1957 in Ann Arbor, Michigan (when it switched to a different name and slightly different styling) and is an American 35mm Rangefinder Camera. It is based on the previous C and C2 models, which are very similar.       Its body is constructed of Bakelite with a metal front and back, which are covered in black leatherette.       The lens that comes standard on the C3 is the Argus Cintar f/3.5 50mm. It has three elements in a Cooke Triplet pattern and is able to make enlargements with pin sharpness at least to 8x10in. prints. I find my pictures to be exceptionally sharp, and this is my favourite lens.     The C3 and its predecessors have a continuous shutter range-- this means that you can select any shutter speed you desire between 1/10s and 1/300s as well as bulb (accessed by turning the collar around the shutter release button. Before firing the shutter, it needs to be cocked using the black lever on the front of the camera. On the sh

Kodak Retina (I) Type 119 (1936)

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    Kodak Retina (I) Type 119      The Kodak Retina Type 119 (Sometimes referred to as the Retina I Type 119) is an American folding viewfinder camera produced from 1936-1938 in Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany by Nagel-Werke (for Kodak Aktiengesellschaft). It takes standard 135 cassettes, which were originally pioneered with the first Retina camera. The Retina series proved very popular, as these cameras are exceedingly well made and stellar performers.     The entirety of the camera is made of machined or stamped metal. The entirety of the Retina series is made to a very high standard-- common in almost all German-made cameras. the bellows, in particular, is very strong and pliable and appears that it will be that way for years to come.     The lens on the Retina Nr.119 is the Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 50mm f/3.5. This lens is of marvelous quality, much  like other German designs. This is mounted in a Compur shutter, with speeds of 1s to 1/300s, Bulb, and Time. This shutter is c

Kodak Brownie Flash Six-20 (1946)

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  Kodak Brownie Flash Six-20      The Brownie Flash Six-20 is an American box camera produced from 1946 to 1955 in Rochester, NY. It takes 8, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4in. pictures on one roll of No. 620 film. It is identical to (save for the name) the Six-20 Flash Brownie produced from 1940 to 1946.     A clumsy person's dream, the entire Brownie Flash Six-20 is made of metal. It is wholly indestructible, as only the optics, ruby window, and leatherette covering of the camera are not made of metal.     The lens on the Brownie Flash Six-20 is a simple one-element meniscus lens. It has a fixed aperture of f/16 and a close-up diopter that can be swung into place using a lever on the front of the camera to take pictures from 6-10 feet rather than the usual 10+ feet. To eliminate film plane distortion caused by the cheap lens, the film plane is curved. The shutter is a rotary/sector shutter with speeds of Instant (1/50s) and Bulb. The modes are selected by using a lever on the front of the camera.

Folding Pocket Kodak, Model B (1897)

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Folding Pocket Kodak, Model B      The Folding Pocket Kodak is an American folding camera manufactured from 1897-1899 in Rochester, NY. It takes 12, 2 1/2in. x 3 1/4in. pictures on a roll of No.105 film. This is the first ever folding camera in the form factor that we know it.      The Folding Pocket Kodak is a very well made camera. It is made of fine varnished cherry wood and aluminum and brass fittings. The leather covering it is also 1/8in. thick. Despite being my oldest folding camera (obviously), the bellows is in the best shape of them all.     Like several contemporary box cameras , the Folding Pocket Kodak has a fixed focus meniscus achromat lens. This has three apertures selectable with a tab on the top of the camera: f/11, f/16, & f/22. The shutter is a bit curious-- it is rotary, but is actuated with a single button. Time mode is selected by triggering the shutter with a separate lever on the side of the front standard. This is a very efficient design, and I appreciate

Ansco B2 Cadet (1937)

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  Ansco B2 Cadet      The B2 Cadet is an American box camera produced from 1937 to 1941 in Binghamton, NY. It uses No.120 film, and takes 8, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4in. pictures on one roll. With appearances almost identical to its brother, the Agfa B2 Cadet, it has nowhere near the build quality.     To contrast several contemporary designs, the Ansco (Not Agfa!) B2 Cadet is made completely out of cardboard, even the film cradle on the inside. Only the hardware and optics are made of other things.   The lens on the B2 Cadet is a simple one-element meniscus lens. It has no selectable apertures, diopters, filters, or anything-- it is fixed at f/16. The shutter is a simple rotary shutter with just the Instant (1/25s) setting, not even Bulb. The shutter is released with the black tab on the side. Since the shutter disc covers the lens, this alleviates the need for a lens cap.     To open the camera, the winding knob is pulled out and the metal catch on the back released. Then, the film carrier is re

Argus A (1936)

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Argus A      The Argus A is an American 35mm viewfinder camera produced from 1939-1941 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is similar to many other Argus  A-series cameras and was the very first camera to be produced by Argus (then the International Radio Corporation).     The entire camera is made of molded Bakelite with a stamped aluminum back and metal hardware. Despite appearances, the A is a very high-quality camera for its price.      The A is permanently fitted with an Argus Anastigmat 50mm f/4.5 lens (very similar to the Cintar found on the C3). It is very sharp for its range and good quality enlargements up to 8x10in. can be easily be made.  Noteworthy is the fact that the lens only stops down to f/11, instead of the usual f/16 or f/18.     The shutter equipped is like most other A-series cameras, an Ilex Precise with a continuous speed range (meaning that intermediate speeds are possible) from 1/25-1/200s, as well as Bulb and Time modes.  The shutter is everset and is triggered using

Welta Reflekta I (1949)

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  Welta Reflekta I     The Welta Reflekta is an East German twin-lens reflex camera produced from 1949-1951 in Freital, Saxony, German Democratic Republic. It takes 12 6x6cm photos on a roll of No.120 film and is a semi-reintroduction of the prewar Tharandt Reflecta (with a 'C' not a 'K') and a predecessor to the Welta Reflekta II.     It appears that the entire camera is made of steel with steel and brass fittings. Over the majority of the outside of the camera is a leatherette covering. Although it doesn't feel as solidly built as models from, say, Franke & Heidecke (Rollei), the Reflekta is a robust camera; mine is a bit rusty due to the steel construction, but is in fully working order.     As with the vast majority of TLR cameras, the Reflekta does not have an interchangeable lens. There were two lenses that could be present on the Reflekta: the ROW Pololyt 75mm f/3.5 and the E. Ludwig Meritar 75mm f/3.5, which my example is equipped with; the Meritar is a