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ARGUS Inc - Argus C3 Colormatic (1954 - 1958)

Bakelite cameras
The Argus C3 was one of these staples so common that are now in the Pantheon of the American way of life. More than 2 millions of this heavy bakelite camera have been produced between 1939 and 1966. It has been made in five versions :


Serial number
 Argus C3 (pre-war) 1939 to 1944 03 10001 03 690326
 Argus C3 (post-war)
Argus C3
1944 to 1954
1954 to 1958
10699 1740000
 Argus C3 (Regular) 1958 to 1966 1921800000 1921803726
 Argus C3 Match-Matic 1958 to 1966 1821800000 1821813368
 Golden Shield 1958 to 1966 1820372??? 1820374???

The hereunder model is an Argus C3 Colormatic produced post-war.

It has a synchro and a flash socket.

The lens is the classical Argus Coated CINTAR with a maximum aperture of 3.5 et f=50mm. The focusing is done using a telemeter.

The main difference with other C3s produced so far is the colored labelling of the exposure speeds.
These labels must be positionned according to the corresponding distance (see Range Finder) and exposure (see Lens ring) indications.

The color code is the following :


Red for exterior shoots (B&W film),


Yellow for exterior shoots (Color film),


Green for flash,


Black for regular use.

As it is very frequent when the quantity produced are so large, several variant of this camera have been produced.

The known differences are :


Exposure counter wheel in chromium-plated or plastic


Different types of rewind levers and releasers,


Different back sides (Sheet metal, sheet metal covered leather covered, Film type reminder)


Different labels on the lens ring :

f/3.5 - 50mm Argus Cintar
/3.5 - 50mm Argus Coated Cintar
Argus 50mm f3.5 Coated Cintar

Thanks to Jean-Max Lavergne for having provided me with additional information onto C3 Colormatic.

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