Here at CP, we love film cameras. But the idea that film will ever again be the dominant medium in photography is unthinkable. The technical mastery and convenience of today’s digital machines is just too amazing, and we love shooting RAW. But while we pragmatically bow to the power of digital shooting, we’ll never lose our affinity for analog cameras.
This passion for classic machines informs the majority of what we do here; attempt to illustrate the ways in which these sometimes archaic cameras maintain relevance in the digital age. And it was with this end in mind that on a recent trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountains I chose to bring along a truly ancient camera; the Argus C3.
Some examples of the Argus C3 can be an astounding 77 years old. That’s an old camera. To try to put that into perspective, it’s possible that some of the C3s made in the ’30s could have been owned by 70-year-old photographers who were youngsters during the American Civil War.
Tenuous historical tie-ins aside, all we really care about is whether this thing’s fun to use. So, how did the Argus C3 fare in the wilds of 2016? Can a nearly 80-year-old camera make decent photos? And can its antiquated design satisfy a shooter who’s daily camera is a Sony A7? Let’s find out.