American Cameras - Few Words in cmc/CMC/Classic Manual Cameras

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, May 26, 2011.

  1. Everybody else has some kind of picture forum. I'm not proposing this as a regular item, but thought it would be interesting to see what people have.
    Is this to be Few Words Classic Manual Cameras?
    Anyhow, here are a couple of American-made cameras. How many of you can post at least one picture of an American camera and tell where it's from?
    The picture below are a couple of "new" ones for me that need some work before I can post an 'article' with pictures. On the left is a Perfex fifty-five - a Chicago-made camera aiming to compete with the Leica and Contax (focal-plane shutter) at an American price.
    The camera on the right, of course, is an Argus A, from Ann Arbor, MI. Probably more important for the popular success of 35mm film (read, Kodachrome) than any other camera - priced for the masses, not the elite.
  2. Possibly one of the worlds ugliest cameras, produced 1940-48 Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY, USA
  3. OK, I'll play. Here is the Kodak Bantam, 828 film format. Rochester New York.
  4. Since Rick beat me to it with the wonderful Kodak 35, I present this fine example, with dual 80mm f3.5 Kodak Anastar lenses (and a sticker inside that says "Caution, this camera does not take 120 film - Use Kodak 620 film":
  5. One of my favourites is the Kodak Bantam Special. I bought it for its looks ;) Then I got 2 more..
  6. Here are two cameras with two different histories with me. The camera on the left is a Kodak Pony II. It was given to me by a co worker some years ago. I still haven't put a roll of film through it. The camera on the right is a Signet 35. It was my first real camera. I got it at a yard sale when I was 14. I still use it. Maybe again soon...
  7. I'll add my Argus.
  8. I can add a Ciro-Flex from Delaware Ohio.
  9. Picked-up this one a few days ago: A Kodak Duaflex ll produced in Rochester,NY. (though a bunch were also made in the UK). Simple box camera with 72mm/f8 Kodar triplet. 1/30 shutter and 3 waterstop apertures (8,11,16) with scale focusing. I re-spooled some new Kodak portra 160 and will hopefully take some pic. this holiday weekend. This camera Btw wasn't cheap; was $22 in 1950 - about $185 in Todays dollars...
  10. JDM, seems like your Argus A is one of the earliest ones. S/N less than 10K?
  11. Two specimens from Newark, NJ (ca. early 1940s) :
    The venerable Weston Master Model 715 exposure meter and the Jem Jr. 120 metal box camera.
  12. 1957 Graflex Graphic 35, Rodenstock Graflar 50mm f/2.8. Made in Rochester, N.Y.
  13. I had to go look at the Argus A -
    it's serial number 18,383. The lens data are "Argus I.R.C. f/4.5 Anastigmat." The f/stops are f/4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.7, 18. Top speed is 1/200.
    details on models at ( )
  14. Louis,
    I really like the looks of your Graphic 35.
  15. Hmmm, I have a large number of American cameras in my collection....
    Graflex Anniversary Speed Graphic, from June 1945 and a Graflex Miniature Speed Graphic from the first batch after May 1945. Rochester, NY
    Kodak Autographic Vest Pocket, Rochester NY, with US standard aperture stops. so this is a post WW1 model.
    My WW2 Kodaks
    Signal Corps Kodak 35 "PH-324", Kodak 35, Medalist from 1944 (now sold), Kodak 35 RF, Medalist from 1941.
    Kodak No.2 Box Brownie from the 1920s
    My family of Argi
    Argus A2 (I think), Argus C-3, Argus C-44, produced in Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Couple of younger Argi C-3s (both sold)
    Ciroflex Model D from after WW2 made by the Ciro Company in Delaware, Ohio ,
    Currently in the mail. Another Perfex 55 from Chicago (to replace the 'firebombed' one)
  16. 1/6th Plate American folding tailboard, with 1910 Kodak ball bearing shutter and B&L Rapid Rectilinear Uses 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 glass or tintype plates in a wet plate holder and also has adapters for sheet film as well as 120 roll film. Has all movements rise, fall, swing, tilt, shift, and quick change lens boards. A super camera, Made In U.S.A. !!!!
  17. [​IMG]
    Bell and Howell ELECTRIC EYE 127
  18. Here are 2 from my collection:
    Kodak Medalist II
    Bell & Howell Foton
  19. Glad to see some Signet 35's, such a pretty camera -
    And, of course, the immortal Hawkeye -
    And the very 'unique' Mercury II -
  20. I live in Ann Arbor, home of Argus, and there is a nice Argus Museum here if anyone decides to stop by for the thrill of seeing it. Here is an black Argus C-4 that I owned for a while...
    Certainly has to be the sexiest Argus made.
  21. Then, there is the classic Argus A3 with "Streamline Moderne" styling. It, and the Argus CC were the first metal-bodied Argus camera models, and set the stage for the C4. However, the rim-set shutter and aperture and lack of RF focus were a liability, and in my opinion, kept this model from achieving popular status. The extinction meter, as usual, is pretty much useless for anything but outdoor shooting on a sunny day.
  22. Often forgotten as an American-made SLR... I assume made in Massachusetts.
  23. Wow. I am glad I started this. ;)
    As Flounder says, more or less, at the end of Animal House, "Gee, this is swell"
  24. JDM,
    Wow. I am glad you started this. This really is a swell thread.
  25. A fine collection of Argus cameras, something I always wanted to play with but never come across them here in UK.
  26. Rick, I'm always glad to see a fellow WW2 enthusiast (if that is an appropriate word!). One of my dream finds is to come across a huge chest of 35mm negatives from the war. Plus the Leicas that took them. ;-)
    Funny how some of these cameras are really pretty - and yet the companies that made them go on to make some of the most hideous things I've ever seen.
  27. Here's the oldest American camera I own: a folding 3A Brownie from the early 'teens (from Rochester, New York).
  28. I'm quite shocked that nobody has posted the mainstay of press photography for over half a century. The american made press camera. Crown Graphic in this case, Others include Burke and James and Busch. I would also like to see some of the RB series graflex cameras represented here! Come on and get em' out guys and gals!
  29. If anyone actually owns a Combat Graphic, I'd like to see that here too!
  30. Cliff, you must have missed Rick Van Nooij's post, hist first frame has two Speed Graphics...
  31. Yeah I did miss them, the pictures were so dark and I didn't have my glasses on and read the print. Sorry Rick!
  32. Here's another "Top Shelf" American camera made in Rochester, NY This is a model II that is I guess better than the model I
  33. OK, let's see, I have some that have not been shown yet.
    Acro Model R, Chicago ILL
    Webster Winpro 35, Rochester NY:
    Kodak Signet 80, Rochester NY:
    Uniflex II, NY NY:
    Anybody know where the Revere Eye-Matic 127 was made? Chicago perhaps?
  34. Cool thread, really enjoying it a lot! Something tells me that Gene M owns all of these lol :)
    I feel very left out, I should really get some US made cameras... I really want a Crown Graphic, and someday I will get one, but I think I'll start with an Argus of some sort - I actually think they are very stylish looking.
    Rick - that Kodak 35RF looks like the result of a drunken night of debauchery between Robocop and a camera ;)
  35. Sorry Cliff I don't have a Combat 4x5 Graphic. JDM used one in the past didn't he? I wish I had one, but they are getting very expensive.
    Or did you mean the Graphic 70?
    Those are some wonderful cameras Erik! That Acro Model R really takes my fancy. Shame it's in 127 format, means I have to develop the film myself ;)
    Peter, the 35RF was Kodak's "OH SH!T"-answer to the Argus C-3. If they had taken the time to design another RF camera, who knows what kind of beauty they could've dreamed up. *cough* Ektra *cough*
  36. Cliff, that Hawkeye Instamatic was my very first camera. I never used it with flash (not knowing what battery was supposed to go in the bottom of the camera) but I shot with it for 4 years until I asked for a got a Kodak 110 camera with built in electronic flash for Christmas. That I used for a couple years until I began using my mothers Canon Canonet GIII QL17. I also bought my own 35mm camera, a Chinon Bellami (for $75, while I really wanted to buy an Olympus XA, which by 1985 was hard to find new).
  37. I wish I had the "Marine Combat Graphic", as we called it then. It was the property of the Smithsonian Institution - River Basin Surveys - Missouri Basin Project.
    Later I just used various Graphics/Graflexes in 4x5, often with Polaroid Type 72. Plus-X was really super in 4x5.
    Here's the real thing, not to be confused with merely olive-drab-colored Graphics or the 70mm "super Contax" Graphic. Note the entire camera is a wooden box covered with OD. The lens front when carried has a door that is shown below, snapped up under the lens area. (Folmer Graflex Corp., Rochester, NY)
  38. I remember you talking about them before. The thing that made me mention wanting to see one , is that I just came across a Pre-anniversary Speed that someone spray painted green and were calling it a "Combat Graphic" and I thought the real thing had the bellows totally enclosed, and was quite well armored.
  39. Here's the one that started it all for me...the Kodak Instamatic X-15.
  40. Here's another Kodak from Rochester, I believe. It's a Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie. This one still has the original stylus that came with it!
  41. I've got one of those too, Andy. Though the bellows on mine are riddled with pinholes.
  42. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????
    I can't believe it... How could it possibly be, that nobody has so far posted a photo of one of the cutest US cameras ever!?!
  43. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????
    I can't believe it... How could it possibly be, that nobody has so far posted a photo of one of the cutest US cameras ever!?!
  44. Well, where is my photo now? Let's try again...
  45. Third attempt....
  46. Here is another very loved Argus model. The Seventy-five !
  47. And what about the Infamous Holiday Flash! Now that's cute!
  48. And another little dream from Argus, the 21 Markfinder.
  49. From New York's Universal Camera Corporation, ca. 1938 :
  50. My contribution is a c. 1903 Seneca Chautauqua plate camera, acquired one late night on Fleabay US. It's the rarer version in rosewood, most being in Henry Ford-approved black. It's also the oldest camera in my entire collection, and is unrestored. Some family just looked after it exceedingly well, for which I'm eternally grateful. (Pete In Perth)

Share This Page