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Argus C3 Matchmatic 35mm 1958 model excellent survivor still works

Auction No.:
Current Bid:
High Bidder:
Scott McCormick
Bid History:
5 Bids [View History]
Spokane Vly, WA - United States
11/12/2020 09:41PM
11/22/2020 09:41PM
Buyer pays shipping
PayPal, Personal or Cashier's Check, Money Orders
These don't come up often, though at one time, these were the camera to have and use...

This is a 1958 Argus C3 Matchmatic. Known as The Brick, which my grandpa did call it, this is 100% all USA-made right down to the Tiffen filter and even the protective leather case. Japan's innovative and cost-effective single lens reflex models had yet to take over and literally replace American-made cameras altogether ; it having yet to happen until around 1966. So until the end of the C3's production in the later portion of the 1960s, it had already endured a profitable and popular 27-year run.

And Argus, though not nearly as well-known today by us snot-nosed kids, is producing cameras, though now out of Inverness, IL; not Ann Harbor, MI.

This kit will come with the following, all of which is original to this camera...

35mm camera unit with Range Finder
Tiffen light orange thread-on filter
Side-mounting flash unit (will need a bulb)
Flash instructions sheet
Top grain cowhide leather case for camera  (NOT leatherette)
C3 model box with dividers. Missing top lid
Unused 35mm Kodak roll in original aluminum canister WITH instructions sheet

The camera will mount to any #1/4-20 applicable tripod or tripod panhead. The cowhide case will also mount to any #1/4-20 applicable tripod or tripod panhead AND you can unclip the back and the front piece will hang forward and out of the lens' way so you can take your photo WITHOUT having to remove the entire case.

Lots of brass, aluminum and some steel in the construction. VERY dense to hold at 1 pound 11 ounces. It will weight 2 pounds 12 ounces with case on, film loaded and flash with batteries.

This C3 was my grandpa's and I've had it on display in my office for about 21 years now. Space is limited in my home and I have so many photos and other memories on hand of my grandparents, I'm fine letting this go and find a collector. It was last used in the fall of 1988; I still have yet to develope the final roll of film he use before grandma and him upgraded to a Canon. It still works very well, but just a few things to go over first.

The rear compartment door, which is mounted to a bulletproof hinge consisting of (10) screws, connects to the other side via a click-in tension clasp. The tension in this clasp has loosened over the many decades. It is complete with no missing parts, but will not hold shut anymore. This is why in the photos you see the rear door remaining open. You could remedy this super fast with a mildly adhesive tape, but it will not fix it in the long run. And a door that won't stay shut will obviously expose your film.

The flash housing, which uses (2) C batteries has only mild corrosion on the terminal "spring". It is not bad and current will still be carried safely to the bulb. You, however, will need to locate a bulb, which pops into the top "L" slats; its base being spring-loaded.

The front objective is extremely clean and dust problem-free. No fungus or pitting. And the shutter works great. The Range Finders will need a little deeper cleaning. They definitly do work, but if they were cleaner, you'd get an even brighter image to focus....Assuming you will want to actually take photos.

The cowhide leather case is in outstanding condition for its age and has some moisture spotting on the very top face. With diligence and the correct oil, it can be removed. The leather is not cracking badly, the strap is very strong, stitching is near mint, and the inner felt is not separating or having mildew problems.

The Tiffen filter is in very excellent condition and threads perfectly. I didn't know Tiffen went back this far and their quality exhibited here is simply beautiful.

The box and film canister are the rarest pieces. I never got this with the top lid, but the rest of the box is complete and comes with its color-matching dividers. It is in great condition. The Kodak canister, which has a steel lid and an aluminum lower body, has perfect threads and is not grossly dented. No rust and patina is quite light.
The film inside still has its original instruction sheet; it being a very early '70s roll and you can tell by how the figures are dressed and drawn, it still aims at strong hints of the mid 1960s. This film roll should expose just fine.

Overall, a lovely piece of history that still works during an optical era when things were largely, purely USA-sourced.

All nations welcome to bid.
Time Placed User Bid Amount
11/16/2020 01:49AM Scott McCormick $10.50
11/15/2020 04:47AM Tommy Tse $5.50
11/14/2020 03:19PM James Nolan $1.75
11/13/2020 01:06PM Gary Fick $0.74
11/13/2020 05:46AM David Richards $0.05