Saturday, December 15, 2007

Some Classy Argus Hardware

I have been busy getting the equipment from George O'Neal's estate ready to sell on ebay, and it has been an interesting experience so far. I'm enjoying the various cameras and photographic items, even though they are being sold. I have long gotten over the urge to collect so many things, and the experience over the past year with several estates of deceased photographer/collectors has allowed me to handle a lot of cameras that I otherwise would never see. In my case, handling these old cameras and sometimes using them for a short time is just fine, as I don't need to own a slew of old cameras. I already have quite a few (as does my daughter Marjorie), and I have been paring down my collection a bit, as well. Working with the cameras from George's estate has been fun, for the most part -- How many times might one get to handle an Ernemann Ermanox camera, or some other rare or unusual cameras? Of course, I am not going to show those here, but instead, an example of what I consider to be one of the best American examples of a rangefinder camera. Argus' C-4 was a sturdy camera, operationally and aesthetically superior to the C-3 brick. The only thing lacking with the C-4 was the ability to mount a lens other than the sharp 50mm 2.8 Cintar.
In 1954, Geiss-America Corp. designed a lens mount to retrofit the C-4 to accept a series of lenses imported from Enna-Werke in Germany. As far as bargains go, the $10 charged by dealers to have the mount added to the C-4 by Geiss was amazing. It only was available for 2 years, from 1954-56, after which the C-44 appeared with its interchangeable (and inferior) lens system.
Argus C-4 with 45mm 1.9

As much as I would have liked to have acquired a Geiss-C-4 a few years ago, I know I wouldn't use it much, even though it is a pretty nice system, so I didn't even consider acquiring it for myself from George's estate. It will be interesting to see how high this outfit goes for on ebay.

Geiss-modified Argus C-4 outfit

1 comment:

steve said...

I'm not sure I would use the words classy and Argus in the same sentence, but it IS a beautiful looking setup. But then, there's the actual shooting of the pics....sigh.