Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five
image by Steve Harwood (Image rights)
The main body was molded from plastic (perhaps bakelite), while the film door is a painted metal casting. The front panel and viewfinder hood are in a contrasting satin-finish metal. A cloth neck strap is permanently attached to the top of the body.
Images were 6x6cm on 620 film. While essentially a simple camera, it did feature double-exposure prevention, as well as a clever reminder when the film has been wound: A red-painted shutter blade is visible through the taking lens only after the shutter is cocked. Frame spacing relied on a simple red window, however.
The lens was branded as a 75mm Lumar, and was a single meniscus element in front of a fixed aperture of approximately f/11. A version sold in Australia has Argus Lumar 75mm Made in Australia printed on the lens mount. The shutter runs around 1/50 of a second, with a small slider next to the shutter release selecting between "Inst" (instant) and "Time" (actually bulb).
A standard Argus Seventy-Five kit would typically have included a leather protective case, flashbulb holder (mounted with two pins 1-3/16" apart), and a slip-on accessory "portrait" lens to focus in the 3 to 4 foot range.
The final version of the Seventy-Five in production until 1964 received a modest redesign of its graphics, becoming the Argus 75. Argus also offered two higher-specification variations on the Seventy-Five, adding a focusable lens: the Argus 40 and the Argus Super Seventy-Five.
To date your Seventy-Five, look through the inside for a four-digit code. Not every version has one, but for those that do it indicates the month and year of manufacture: 5303 for instance corresponds to March 1953.
Owners hoping to photograph with a Seventy-Five using currently-available 120 film will find that a 620 take-up spool is required. It is impossible to fit a 120 spool into the take-up compartment, as its dimensions are too small in all directions. However, a fresh roll of 120 can just barely be squeezed into the supply compartment, perhaps with some trimming down of the spool flanges.
- 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