Argus Instant Load 284

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As the Argus brand struggled to regain relevance in the late 1960s, the company launched a series of Instant Load cameras for 126 film, the format made hugely popular by Kodak's line of Instamatics.

The Instant Load 284 from 1967 was intended as a prestige model in this series, said to be made in Japan by Sedic.[1] This is a rather stylish camera offering scale focusing and programmed exposure controlled by a CdS cell. The autoexposure is a bit rudimentary, with just two notched blades serving as both shutter and aperture opening; their range of movement is regulated by a trapped-needle mechanism (which also displays shutter/aperture pairs at the bottom of the viewfinder). The meter is able to adjust to cartridges notched for ASA speeds from 64 to 160.

The manual says the shutter reverts to a constant 1/30th second when switching from Auto to a manual aperture setting (as for flash exposures). At intermediate apertures the two blades open to an odd elongated diamond shape.

A selling point of this model was its 40mm f/2.8 Cintagon designed by Argus's "optical research and development affiliate" the Te Company (this may also be the lens used in the Instant Load 270).


  1. Page 131, Gambino, Henry J. Argomania: A Look At Argus Cameras and the Company That Made Them. Doylestown, PA: Aeone Communications 2005. ISBN 0-9770507-0-X