Argus Argoflex E Review
To see images shot with this camera, click the category link at right.
The art-deco bakelite-bodied Argus Argoflex E was made in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1940 to 1948. It’s a cute little twin-lens reflex camera, with a gear-focusing front element lens similar to the Ricohflex. But based on my first roll of film through the Argoflex, the lens isn’t as good as the Ricohflex. I’ll add some photos of the camera and more information about it soon. It’s a fun little camera – nice and light; real focusing (unlike the psuedo-TLRs like the Duoflex from Kodak), 1/10 – 1/200 sec shutter, plus B and T; f/4.5 to f/18 75mm lens. It’s made for 620 film, but a nice thing about it is that 120 spools will fit. In the take-up spool position, the 120 spool is a bit tight in mine, so winding the film takes some force. But the supply spool area holds a 120 spool nice and loosely, so even though it seems like you’re forcing it to wind, the film shouldn’t be under any stress or extra tension. I ran my first roll through with a 120 roll of film in the supply side (bottom of camera) and an old 620 spool in the take-up position just to make sure things went smoothly. It’s easy to come by 620 spools if you find some old brownie cameras at rummage sales (they’ll usually have one spool left in the camera from the last roll of film shot), and you can just ask your processor to return the spools to you. I haven’t lost one yet.
Shooting my first roll of film in the Argoflex, I found that the lens produces very low-contrast images. I had to boost the contrast significantly in Lightroom, but was able to get decent images out of it. They have a slight softness to them that’s kind of nice.
This particular camera is a post-WWII version, which you can tell because the earlier models had a small knob on the left side below the viewfinder, where on this model there’s simply a decorative circle.