PHOTOGRAPHY   © mike connealy
Argus Super Seventy-five
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The production run of the Argus Super Seventy-five was bracketed by the Eisenhower Presidency and coincided exactly with my highschool years, 1954 to 1958. The camera's design and construction were considerably superior to its closest rival, the Kodak Duaflex, another simple twin-lens reflex. Shutter choices were limited to "Time" and "Inst", but there were three aperture settings, f8,f11 and f16; and the the coated 65mm Lumar could be focused from 3.5 feet to infinity. A massive lens under the flip-up viewfinder provided a brilliant view of the subject. Double exposures were prevented by a simple, but robust, gear mechanism. A unique color code linked the f-stop and distance scales to achieve proper exposure when using flash

The brilliant viewfinders found in many of the cameras from this era made shooting a real pleasure. Since the view is so bright and clear, I find that I rather often forget to focus the lens, but that probably says more about the mileage of my gray matter than about the camera's functionality.
    The lens on the Super, like those on most simple cameras, is a lot better than is often acknowledged. Picture sharpness is much more a function of two other variables: focus estimation and camera steadiness. In bright light and at medium distances, guessing focal distance isn't much of a challenge. Finding some way to brace the camera is definitely a good idea with a shutter speed in the 1/30th to 1/50th range. The slow shutter speed also means that moving objects are often going to be a bit smeared.

These b&w sample photos from the Super-Seventy-five were shot on Fuji Acros 100 and developed in Agfa Rodinal at 1:50 dilution. The 120 film was rerolled onto a 620 spool to fit the narrow film compartment.


Most people today who are shooting the '50s TLR cameras have acquired them for the purpose of making Through-the-Viewfinder (TtV) photos, with the actual image being recorded by a digital camera.


The user manual for the Argus Super Seventy-five is on line at the Butkus site.

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