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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Unique Argus A at Museum of Transportation tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Unique Argus A at Museum of Transportation

The historical importance of the early Argus Model A cannot be underestimated.
Introduced during the mid-1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression, its capability for quality imagery balanced with production methods that kept the cost very modest made it an overnight success. The first reasonably priced 35mm camera in America, it opened the doors of popular photography for the average person.

When I started to clean up this acquisition, a fairly early production example with serial number 45583, I was struck by the unusual brass wind lock release, seen next to the film counter dial. This little part is finely machined, and totally unlike the normal stick-and-cap design release button found on every other Argus A body I have ever seen. Consultation with a group of Argus experts came up with no real leads regarding the origin of this unique
button.

Friday morning I loaded up the camera with a roll of Kodak ASA 200, and went to the Museum of Transportation to walk the areas I missed due to ice and snow the last time I was there.
Lighting was nearly perfect for shooting with the camera's max shutter speed of 200 and max smallest aperture of f/11.
The Model A has a simplified focusing capability with only two possible focus positions: "far," and "near."
With the depth of field at the smallest aperture, shortest distance for reasonably sharp focus is about 4 feet.

I think that, especially considering the age of this camera, the results were rather decent. Sharp, good color.

Please click on thumbnails to see enlarged.
All images are 2013 E.J.Kowalski.
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