Argus C44 Repair - A Moral Dilemma Perhaps

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jorn ake, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. This Argus C44 (early one) was just given to me by my sister who is up
    visiting from North Carolina. It was given to her by my grandfather, a
    man I spent a lot of time with while I was growing but who
    unfortunately lost his ability to function mentally far before his
    body let him go. As a result, these sorts of gifts are few and far
    between. So sentiment and nostalgia are to be assumed here. The camera
    has similarly lost its ability to function - shutter, wind, and
    shutter release are frozen but the body is hale and hearty. Lens
    focuses (rangefinder out of alignment) lens removes, film sprockets
    disengage and move when wind lever is set to rewind, but no forward
    winding motion is possible, no shutter operation nor return spring to
    the shutter release. My sister wants me to get it fixed and take some
    photographs with it. I have been quoted a repair figure of about $85,
    but I am going to bet that is low. I know I can get a working one for
    less than that as well. You can see my dilemma unfolding. Should I get
    a similar vintage, equivalent condition replacement and shoot some
    photographs, thereby deceiving my sister and trodding upon the grave
    of my grandfather or should I fix it?

    I think I should fix it.

    Any good repair shops who do Argii to recommend?
  2. I would join the Yahoo Argus Collectors Group. There are lots of knowledgeable people there and I believe there are websites that contain strip down instructions for the Argus C44. A camera does not have a personality, it is a collection of mechanical parts. You could buy a functioning camera and fit the lens from your original camera.
  3. Fix it! It's one of those "priceless" things they have in the ads.
  4. Jorn,

    First, I am shocked! Bill Mitchell and I agree on something:) Fix it. There is no moral dilemma. It is a bridge between you and your grandfather, and everytime you use it, you will feel the connection and a very deep satisfaction.
  5. Can you find any photo that this camera has produced?
  6. Yes !!! Fix it !!! I certainly wish I had the Contessa my Dad took all our family photo's with, but it's gone. So keep the C44 and the memories that go with it.
  7. Fix it. You will hate yourself if you try any other way.

    I'm sure that there are even one or two people here that may be prepared to assist, if you don't feel up to it. With something this sentimental, I'd pay the bit extra and get it fixed by someone who really knows what they are doing - not implying anything here ;-) You are not fixing it to re-sell, and its sentimental value is worth far more than its monetary value.

  8. gib


    possibly one other angle to consider.....what do you think your grandfather would do in this situation?
  9. My grandfather would take it and have it fixed. Or he would give it to my dad. This grandfather gave me a Kodak Ektra (what was he thinking?) early in my life that I accidently dropped out a window. He tended to enjoy gadgets. But he would take this down to the local camera jockey, have him fix it, probably on some sort of barter. My grandfather was a surgeon in a small town in Indiana and walking down main street was like walking through his medical files - "Worked on his heart, delivered her baby, delivered him, took out his appendix too..." So he could work the barter pretty well. Even in his retirement, people would stop by the house and drop off eggs, chickens, fruit, vegetables, half a cow...
  10. Trod on his grave!

    Just kidding. I'd also get it fixed (when the expenditure fits easily into the budget).

    Your grandfather didn't use a similar camera bought on eBay from New Jersey. He used THAT camera.
  11. gib


    He sounds like he would have been a real treat to meet and know.
  12. Log onto the "clasic camera repair" website and do a keyword search for Argus C44. You may find some hints there.
  13. Hello Jorn:

    If you don't find another solution, I will fix it for you. You will have to pay for the postage, and probably for a C4 to donate repair parts. I can't stand to see these things go to waste.....

    rick :)=
  14. I'd fix it. If the innards of a C44 are similar to those of a C4, it may not be all that hard to free up. Compared to most modern equipment, the C4 is spacious and uses rather large, intuitive mechanical parts. Or send it to Rick. But definitely fix it. You'll be glad in the end.
  15. Just incidentally, unlike fixing a box camera or something similar, the repair C44 will likely be quite a capable user camera, and they just don't make anything any more that's as rugged as an Argus Brick. If it were me, I'd plan to fix it myself, but I've fixed a number of other cameras from various states of disrepair and I'm not afraid of small gears and cams and springs.

    I'd say, take Rick's offer -- I haven't seen his actual work, but his drawings indicate a strong understanding of the inner workings of the cameras he's drawn, as well as an ability to convey his knowledge simply and clearly. Those traits, in my experience, don't exist in a vacuum; they only come to those who know their stuff.
  16. Sounds like "fix it" is the overwhelming response!

    Very nice of you Rick to offer to repair - Jorn: I would take him up on the offer!

    Good Luck
  17. Thanks all. It's decided. Fix it is. I'll post photos when it is done, and I will dig through the photos I have from my grandfather and see if I can find some he probably shot with this camera.

    Rick, you are a gentleman for sure. Thank you very much. I will contact you off list if local sources come to naught.
  18. Jorn, if you find someone close by who's willing to try it, I'll be happy to help with instructions and suggestions. I also have some replacement leatherette material, as removing the shutter often involves damaging the leatherette on the front.

    rick :)=

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