Argus C4

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The Argus C4 is a 35mm fixed lens, couple rangefinder manufactured by Argus, Inc. In the 1950s, Argus sold over 300,000 Argus C4 35mm rangefinder cameras. It had one of the best implementations of a viewfinder with superimposed rangefinder, an easy film load concept and a hot shoe for attaching and connecting a flash without cable. It had a modern design, but no interchangeable lenses.

The C4 design is an improvement over the Argus 21 Markfinder, which did not have a coupled rangefinder. The popularity of the camera led to consumer demand for an interchangeable lens version. At first, this demand was met by a Geiss-modified version of the C4, known as the Argus C4 Geiss, that could accept Lithagon lenses. Later Argus released the Argus C44, which became their standard interchangeable lens rangefinder.

There are several versions of the C4, with the earliest (Version 1) sharing main body elements of its precursor, the Argus 21, or Markfinder. The initial maximum shutter speed was 1/200, but the later versions featured 1/300 sec maximum shutter speed, and X-synch on the hot shoe. An all-black version also exists but is rare and highly prized by collectors. There are less than 10 known examples of the Black C4. Some collectors have theorized that the black versions are prototypes created to attract US Government interest, but no evidence has been found explaining the company's motivation for this version. The black version does not have a stamped serial number.

According to photo magazine ads, the Argus C4 retail price was $99.50 USD in 1952.[1] A 1954 ad, lists the C4 retail price at $84.50.[2]


  • Badging: Argus C-Four
  • Manufacturer: Argus
  • Film Format: 135 (35mm)
  • Shutter: behind lens leaf type shutter
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/300, Bulb (early version only went to 1/200)
  • Flash sync: Hot shoe, X-sync or M-sync selector switch (1/50 or 1/100 sync)
  • Lens: Argus Cintar f/2.8 coated anastigmat, Series IV (20.6mm) filters
  • Aperture: 10-blades, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level
  • Focusing: coincident image type coupled rangefinder
  • Meter: none
  • Battery: none
  • Weight: n/a