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ArgusArgus C44

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1956-1957. 35mm rangefinder camera. Known as "Argus C-forty-four".

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Argus: Argus C44 camera

Camera featured in these collections: zjerke-emael Zely vcpayne dreckenschill Toor fredondo arnstone GFcollection bill339 MCatGossett eppaar OhioCameraSwap LPaul gopernoper vayasteve

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by bill339 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:21 pm

The Geiss Company of Chicago customized Argus C4 cameras for interchangeable lenses which were made by Enna in Munich, Germany. Argus took what they were doing and followed suit with the C44 (spelled out as "c-forty-four" on the camera itself). The camera shared the same body as the C4, including that model's improved rangefinder/viewfinder. The only real difference was in the lenses. The standard Cintagon 50mm f/2.8 was the first 4-element lens (Tessar-type) that the Ann Arbor factory produced. The design was said to have been computed with the help of an early digital computer, 'MIDAC (Michigan Digital Automatic computer),' belonging to the University of Michigan and developed in 1951. Three other focal lengths were offered as well: 50mm f/1.9; 35mm f/4.5 and 100mm f/3.5. These were manufactured by Steinheil in Germany, to a somewhat higher standard of finish, but also branded Cintagon. However the C44 bayonet is clumsy to use, as a lens cannot be mounted until pairs of small red guide marks inside the mount throat and the lens bayonet are aligned. The C44 employs a behind-the-lens leaf shutter (as do other Argus C-series models), offering speeds of 1/10 to 1/300 of a second and B. This fires with an unexpectedly noisy snap, not unlike a mousetrap closing. The camera's frame counter counts down to 0, so the user must remember to re-set it to the correct number of frames with each re-loading and hope not to bump it accidentally after that. A new C44 owner will search in vain for a rewind-release button. Instead, lifting and slightly twisting the advance knob disengages the film drive and allows the roll to be rewound. The camera does have a two contact hot shoe that went well with the Argus flash unit designed for it. The flash unit mount has a spring loaded center contact and a locking lever on the side to secure it to the camera. It operates using two 1.5 volt C batteries that are loaded in the unit and add quite a bit of weight.

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