I dropped a roll of film into my Argus C3 in August and it took me until last week to finish shooting the roll. I think that means I didn’t enjoy the experience very much. And I was really looking forward to using this camera.
My C3 dates to 1945 or early 1946 and so was among the last with the old-timey f-stop scale of 4.5, 6.3 9, 12.7, and 18. Since my skill is limited to the Sunny 16 rule, and f/16 isn’t marked on this camera, I was setting it a hair left of f/18 and hoping for the best. It didn’t work; most of my photos came out poorly exposed. I tried to fix them in post-processing.
This photo of a PT Cruiser I rented while my car was in the shop also came out underexposed:
Typical of me, I dove into this camera without learning how to use it first, and it took me a while to get the hang of it. I didn’t know, for example, that before winding you have to release the film catch, a little lever on top of the camera. I figured it out after the winder tore through the film’s sprockets, crinkling the film on a couple shots. This photo shows it best, though the subject isn’t too exciting.
I had much better luck with wide shots in bright sunlight. I washed some comforters at the laundromat one sunny afternoon and I brought the C3 along to photograph suburbia’s trappings. The police were next door “code 7” as they used to say on Adam-12.
This photo could stand to be brighter, and I could have moved in closer, but the colors are good.
So my C3 wasn’t a joy to use, and because of my meager skills I ended up with few decent shots. I am sure that as I practice shooting with my old cameras I’ll get better results. And before I try out my next old camera, probably my Kodak Retinette, I think I’ll rummage around the Internet for a manual and read it.
Do you like old cameras? Then check out my entire collection.