Argus C4 Geiss

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The Argus C4 was an attempt by Argus to improve on the C3 model by combining the rangefinder and viewfinder into a single eyepiece; and restyling the body into a smaller and more modern-looking design. However in one respect the C4 was a step backwards, in that it offered no option for interchangeable lenses, which the C3 had offered (albeit inconveniently).

Into this void stepped the Geiss company of Chicago, who adapted the C4 with their own proprietary interchangeable lens mount. In addition to adapting the stock 50mm f/2.8 Cintar, Geiss imported a nice series of lenses made by Enna-Werk in West Germany, including:

  • 35mm f/4.5 Lithagon
  • 45mm f/1.9 Lithagon
  • 100mm f/4.5 Lithagon
  • 135mm f/2.8 Lithagon

Argus followed suit in 1956 with its own C-forty-four camera offering interchangeable lenses by Steinheil. However Argus's own mount system was strange and inconvenient; and unlike the Geiss system, it did not allow focusing by grasping a focus ring on the lens barrel. As a result, the Geiss-modified C4 is now considered one of the most usable and desirable of all "Argus" cameras.