Episode 42: The United States of Argus

No one has recently challenged the Camerosity Podcast as the “Nerdiest Film Photography Podcast” but that won’t stop us from further proving that point by taking a trip to the USA!

No, not that USA, this time I am talking about the United States of Argus!  For Episode 42 we invite two special guests, both members of the Argus Collector’s Group, Phillip Sterritt and Mike Reitsma.  Phil and Mike both have an otherworldly level of knowledge about Argus and their cameras, their history, rare versions, and what the best Arguses are to use.

Although we spend a great deal of time on Argus, in this episode, we venture into a huge number of other American cameras worth checking out, like ANSCO, Perfex, Clarus, Universal, Falcon, Detrola, Ciro-Flex, Graflex, Wollensak, Winpro, and many others!

Joining us on this episode are collectors and first time callers Eric Risse, Pat Casey, and retired US Navy Photographer Greg McCreash who at the very end of the show busts out one of the most amazing American Cameras ever made, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, so you’ll just have to listen to the episode (or read the show notes).  In addition to Eric, Pat, and Greg are returning guests Dan Hausman, and Robert Rotoloni.

On the episode we cover a ton of history, what is an extinction meter and how does it work, our recommendations on which American cameras you should try if you’ve never shot an American camera before, and Theo discovers a rare Australian Argus in his collection that he didn’t even know he had!

As always, the topics we discuss on the Camerosity Podcast are influenced by you!  We would love to hear from more listeners, especially those who are new to shooting film or collecting cameras.  Please don’t feel like you have to be an expert on a specific type of camera, or have the level of knowledge on par with other people on the show.  We LOVE people who are new to shooting and are interested in having an episode dedicated to people new to the hobby, so please don’t consider your knowledge level to be a prerequisite for joining!

The guys and I rarely know where each episode is going to go until it happens, so if you’d like to join us on a future episode, be sure to look out for our show announcements on our Camerosity Podcast Facebook page, and right here on mikeeckman.com.  We usually record every other Monday and announcements, along with the Zoom link are typically shared 2-3 days in advance.

If you want to join us for our next episode, we will record Episode 43 on Monday, February 20th and we will talk to John Minnick about his custom built Graflexes, along with an entire Graflex and 4×5 discussion.  Be sure to stay tuned for the official announcement!

This Week’s Episode

  • Many Advanced American Cameras of the 40s and Early 50s Were Because You Couldn’t Get Stuff from Germany / ANSCO Automatic Reflex 3.5
  • Charles Verschoor and How Argus Originally Made Radios / IRC and Detrola Used Bakelite in Radios Worked Well in Cameras
  • The Argus A Series / Argus B Has a German Lens and Possibly French Lens / How to Differentiate Between Argus A Cameras
  • How Do Extinction Meters Work? / Mike’s Favorite A-Series is the Argus A2F with the Focusing Helix
  • $25 Was the Price Point for Several New American Cameras in the late 1930s
  • The Argus C-Series / Argus C  / The Ontora Double Exposure Device
  • Anthony’s First Impressions of the Argus C3 / Enna Werk Sandmar Lenses / Changing Lenses on the Argus C3
  • The “Argus Grip” / Repositioning the Cocking Lever / Argus C3 Match-Matic is the Harry Potter Camera / How the Match-Matic Meter Worked
  • What are the Rarest Argus C-Series / Argus C with F/S Switch / Argus Prototype / Metric Scale Arguses / Minca Arguses
  • Theo Has a Rare Australian Made Argus Seventy-Five And He Didn’t Know It / Argus C4 Black Bodies
  • Argus Was a Pretty Cool Company to Work For / Argus Eyes Newsletter
  • Where did the Name Argus Come From? / Mythological Character with Many Eyes
  • What Was the Successor to the Argus C3, the Argus C4 or the Argus C33? / Argus 21 Markfinder
  • The Mythical White and Gold Argus A / Mike Reitsma 3D Printed One From Scratch
  • If You Want to Try an Argus, but Not the C3, What is a Good Camera to Try? / Argus C44 and C44R
  • Argoflex TLR / Rare Argoflex II with Auto Film Stop
  • Wollensak Lenses Are Consistently Good to Great / Wollensak Stereo Revere Camera
  • Universal Mercury Lenses / The Universal Mercury Is a Lot of Fun to Shoot
  • Mike Also Like the Clarus MS-35 / The Clarus Shutter is Very Reliable / The Wescon Clarus Variant
  • The Best Perfex is Not the Speed Candid! / Who Made Perfex Lenses?
  • Argus was Acquired by Sylvania and then Mansfield / Argus Golden Shield
  • Spartus and the Chicago Cluster / Devry QRS Camera
  • Vokar and Vokar II / Vokar A and B / Wirgin Variants / Zenith Winpro 35
  • Argus SLRs / The Argus SLR / Argus Cosina and Petri Variants
  • Ciro Cee-ay 35 Was Originally a Perfex then Became a Graflex
  • Herbert & Huesgon Tourist Multiple Had a Zeiss Lens and Shot 750 18x24mm Exposures
  • Mike Loves the ANSCO and AGFA Memo Cameras
  • American Cameras We Didn’t Talk About / Polaroid SX-70 / Bolsey B-Series and Jubilee / Falcon / Aircraft Gun Cameras / Kardon
  • The Combat Graflex Is Amazing! / Hubert Nerwin Designed the Combat Graflex
  • Next Episode We Talk About Graflex and Have John Minnick Joining Us!
  • Glass Brass and Chrome by Karlton C. Lahue and Joseph A. Bailey
  • The Worst American Camera is the Traid Fotron / We Don’t Talk about the Fotochrome Either

Show Notes

If you would like to offer feedback or contact us with questions or ideas for future episodes, please contact us in the Comments Section below, our Camerosity Facebook Group or Instagram page, or email us at [email protected].

The Official Camerosity Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/camerositypodcast

Camerosity Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/camerosity_podcast/

Camerosity Twitter – https://twitter.com/CamerosityPod

Argus Collector’s Group – https://www.arguscg.org/

Phillip Sterritt – http://argusinfo.net/

Mike Reitsma (Argus Museum) – https://argusmuseum.wordpress.com/events/

Dan Hausman – https://historiccamera.com/club/occs/

Theo Panagopoulos – https://www.photothinking.com/

Paul Rybolt – https://www.ebay.com/usr/paulkris and https://www.etsy.com/shop/Camerasandpictures

Anthony Rue – https://www.instagram.com/kino_pravda/ and https://www.facebook.com/VoltaGNV/

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  1. Mike,
    First, “Devry” should read ‘DeVry’. (I’m a 1961 graduate of DeVry Tech in Chicago). Earlier classes helped assemble DeVry products.
    Second, there have been enough references in the blog to the teeny cameras that you need to add a category for subminiature cameras, such as the Minox size film cameras, 16mm still cameras, and 110, which have all experienced a resurgence in popularity.

    1. Steve, I am in northwest Indiana and Ann Arbor is only about 3 hours from me. I really want to get there some day. Maybe one day I can go with a bunch of collectors and get a tour!

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