Argus C3 Matchmatic

The Argus C3 is one of the most ubiquitous cameras in the United States. Rarely will one pass through a flea market or antiques mall without seeing one of these “bricks”. As such, they are often overlooked as a decent camera.

My father carried one with him on his first trip to Europe, a crossing he made by ship. The Argus factory was located in Ann Arbor, Michigan a two-hour drive from where my father grew up.

This particular camera is an Argus C3 Matchmatic. I had two other standard C3s one of which I gave to my brother as part of a 52-week photo challenge and the other to my nieces to try and get them interested in film photography.

Make Argus
Model C3 Matchmatic
Year 1958 – 1966
Format 35mm
Shutter diaphram
Speed B, 1/10 – 1/300 (4 -8)
Lens Cintar
f3.5 50mm
Focus ~3.5ft – ∞
Aperture f3.5 to 16 (3.5 – 8)
Light Meter Yes (attachment)
Rangefinder Yes

The Matchmatic has an odd numbering scheme for aperture and shutter speed, which is useless if one is not sure that the light meter is accurate, hence the cheat sheet taped on the back.

Despite the built-in double exposure prevention I managed to cause it to happen in a few shots. I love the shots that come out of this camera and will continue to use it on a regular basis.

Example images: Ultrafine Extreme 100, stand-developed HC-110, scanned Epson Perfection V550.


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