|Simple control layout, nothing you don't need.|
My example of the the CR-1 came with the 55mm f/2 Argus Auto-Cintar lens, which has the matching indentations on the focus ring that you see on the shutter speed and rewind dials. I purchased the camera on eBay in November 2020, and paid $30 + shipping. When I was actively engaged in Argus collecting (2002-2011), the CR series SLRS would often show up at camera swaps, and because they were not actually made by Argus, I was not that interested in them. I remember someone selling new in box CR-1s that were probably bought when stores were dumping excess inventory, when somewhat generic M42-mount cameras could no longer compete with the K-mounts, Canons, Nikons, and Minoltas of 1980.
Once I was sure that the camera worked as advertised, it became my "keep in the car" SLR. I also paired it with with the lovely Zenit Helios 44-M 58mm f/2 lens. With black and white film in it, it's always there should I need it.
|Paired with the Helios M-44 58mm f/2 Soviet lens and|
a vintage Argus-branded flash unit.
Two features on the camera that I really like - the locking collar around the shutter button to prevent accidental exposures, and the large shutter button. That Copal Square shutter sure makes a loud kerchunk when it fires, so there's no question that I have taken a photo. The body has a typical hotshoe on the prism as well as PC connectors from X and M next to the lens mount. The flash sync is 1/125 sec. While I have read that the CR-1s have a decal with the model name, mine is definitey engraved on the front. The camera with a lens weighs 2.5 pounds, which is pretty hefty. The tank-like build reminds me of the Ricoh Singlex TLS from the late 1960s.
Overall, the CR-1's design is its standout feature, as it has pretty much the same features as most M-42 mount SLRs of its time. The beauty of the M42 mount, or Praktica Screw mount is that you can find lenses for it for almost nothing. As I have written before on RCB, there are a lot of wonderful M42 SLRs out there, with the Pentax Spotmatic F at the top of my list. The Argus CR-1 is no Spotmatic F, but it sure isn't a Zenit, either. Chinon made a lot of SLRs, but the CR-1 stands out from the crowd. Note, if you live in Europe, you re more likely to find a Photo Quelle Revueflex 1001, which is the same camera, but with a different name.
Here are a few images from my CR-1, loaded with Ultrafine Extreme 100 film, developed in D76 1:1.
|Dogwood buds in March|
|Big Creek falls|
|Riverside Arts District|
|Giant Allium going to seed.|