1937 Argus AF
all photos copyright Joseph Greco
"Possibly the most important 35mm American camera ever made. This was the camera which made 35mm popular in America. Unashamedly borrows from the Leica 1 design with a few changes to avoid copyright infringement. Produced by Argus in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1936 to 1941. Has a collapsible 50mm F4.5 lens. The body is made of bakelite (an early plastic) and is most often found in black although it was also produced in gray, brown, and olive drab." (camerapedia.org)
Mine is the less common AF (available only 1937-38) which incorporates a constant focusing mechanism rather than the standard two position focusing settings of the more common A. Other than that the A and the AF are the same camera.
· Produced: 1937-1938 by Argus Cameras, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan
· Film: 35mm
· Negative Size: 24 x 36mm
· Lens: Argus IRC f4.5 Anastigmat
· Aperture: f4.5 - f11
· Focal Range: 1.5 feet to infinity
· Shutter: Leaf shutter - 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200sec, B, T
· Viewfinder: Eye-level finder ...also has cable release socket and tripod socket
I spotted this art deco baby in an antique store case with a price tag of $9.95! It is fully operational. At left is a shot before purchase and cleaning, followed by scans of test shots I took with the camera. Despite the vignetting in the corners the images are remarkably sharp (handheld at 1/200 sec @ f/11, Fujifilm 100). I did not add any sharpening in Photoshop. The first image was cropped slightly to correct horizon, the second image is full frame. Neither image was adjusted except for the crop. Very cool little camera.