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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Argomonte 35, Argus + Monte at St. Louis Zoo tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Argomonte 35, Argus + Monte at St. Louis Zoo

At the ACG Gathering in Eden, North Carolina, May 2017, There was a camera on the "free" table that I was unfamiliar with, a Monte 35. I could not resist, and I brought it home.
The Monte 35 was made in Japan circa 1953-1954. It is a fairly sturdy simple viewfinder camera with a nice range of specs in the shutter and lens.
When I finally got around to unpacking and inspecting it cleaned up well, but the shutter was inoperative. After some effort the decision was that the shutter is a lost cause, with a crucial break in the cocking mechanism.
I looked at the "pop out" chromed lens barrel, took some measurements, and thought, "hmm... this really reminds me of the Argus A."
And so, with only minor changes, specifically slightly enlarging the little hole that matches the pin that holds the lens and shutter assembly from rotating on the mount, I borrowed the working assembly from a First Variant Argus Model A and mounted it to the Monte 35.
There is no provision now for focusing, but with the spacer removed from the back of the Argus lens/shutter assembly. it focuses perfectly at 25 feet from subject. With the excellent DOF typical of those uncoated Prewar Argus Anastigmat lenses, that left it with plenty of capability.
This union of cameras just feels "right," and so I took it with me on my mid December visit to the St. Louis Zoo.
A roll of Kodak 200 was run through it in a side by side shoot with a Pentax K10 D digital oufit (I have already posted a gallery from the digital's images).
There was a bit of a light leak in some frames with the Monte (have not looked for the source yet), but it measured up quite well in the company of the more modern digital.

Please click on thumbnails to see enlarged.
All images are 2018 E.J.Kowalski.
Thanks! Ed
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