Yay! Argoflex in Hand!

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by JamesD, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Finally! I have my (beloved!) Argoflex E back in my own personal posession! It's a little worse for wear... missing a facing ring on the taking lens, and the mirror needs glued back down, plus a little cleaning here and there. It will be back in top shape sooner rather than later, though, and I can't wait to start shooting with it again. It's my favorite camera of all time.

    Has anyone else ever used one of these? It's a fabulous little camera, with its uncoated lenses and non-fresnel ground-glass... and it's odd shutter speeds, etc.
     
  2. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Never used that camera but a heck of a lot of tlr... and all my cameras have funky shutter speeds.

    Where has you wandering camera been?
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great. Be careful with gluing the mirror though, sometimes is quite tricky. I've had one some time ago in my collection but I never used it.

    Interesting fact about your Argoflex, it has a Varex Anastigmat lens. That Varex was also used by Exakta in Germany and when they imported that camera here in the US they had to call it Exakta VX (short for Varex).

    Good luck with restoring it.
     
  4. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    It's a long story... I was in Alaska when I bought this little camera, from a nice gentleman on Ebay. It came to me, not working, dirty, and a bit worn, but in decent general condition. The leather case had been patched a bit, but was still in fine condition. The camera itself lacked any sort of shutter function, and the lenses, ground glass, mirror, and interior were all coated with various grades of fine dust.

    At the time, I worked in an electronics maintenance shop (I still do, actually, but that's neither here nor there). So, I naturally had all the tools I needed to perform the delicate surgery required to restore this camera--except for a spanner wrench for removing the lenses, but I'd learned from cracking the lens on another antique camera exactly how to do this tricky operation without using a spanner.

    I had never worked on a shutter before, and at first, I was hesitant. I researched on the internet, however, and asked around even on this very forum, and discovered that many others had worked on this relatively simple leaf shutter, and my confidence was boosted. So, one day after work, I assembled all of my tools, and my lighted bench magnifier, and the solvents and cleaning supplies, and I set to work.

    [​IMG]

    It was a tricky operation, but not terribly complex. The most difficult part was placing the tiny machine screws which held the shutter together. Then, when I had reassembled the shutter, I discovered something dreadful! When I pushed the shutter release, the shutter would cose, then open--and it would stay open!

    Obviously, this wouldn't do. I disassembled the shutter again, and discovered that after cleaning the grease and grime from the shutter blades and it's delicate cam ring, I had put the leaves back into the shutter backwards! It was a fairly simple (but tricky) procedure to reverse them, and then the laborious reassembly.... but after a few hours, my shutter was working and ready to go.

    So, I now had, in full working condition, my (beloved!) Argus Argoflex E TLR.

    Then disaster struck. I was informed on very short notice that I was being transferred. I hastily packed, and my beloved Argoflex went into my luggage, carefully packed amongst my clothing so that it would not be damaged. The travel office, however, had neglected to tell me that my luggage was limited to 50 lbs, and that I would have to pay for any extra weight up to 100 lbs.

    But wait! My luggage weighed 108 lbs! I had to search my suitcase for things to remove... and fifteen minutes remained until boarding on my flight began.

    What to do? Well, in my haste, I'm afraid I made some very poor decisions. You see, I couldn't miss this flight; my job did not depend on it, but my paycheck did. So, I hastily searched for things to remove... a fifth of Tequila I'd been given for Christmas; my hiking knife; the pewter dragon I'd bought for my mother while I was in Korea; and, alas, my beloved Argoflex.

    With a heavy heart, but insufficient time to dwell upon the ramifications of my overly-hasty decision-making process, I handed these items off to my friend, Tristin, who had given me a ride to the airport. He vowed to take care of them, and send them to me in due time.

    Time passed, and I did not hear from Tristin, my friend. Then he also got reassigned. He had placed my treasures in a box, and this he gave to our mutual friend Joshua. Then, my girlfriend transferred back, and she agreed to secure this box of my treasured posessions and return them to me.

    This did not happen. Joshua transferred to the same installation where my sister and her husband live, and when I discovered this, I was overjoyed!

    So this weekend, while I was visiting with my sister and her lovely family, I also paid a visit to my friend Joshua. After a brief bout of beating him about the head and shoulders with a stick, he returned my treasures to me.

    Well... that's not quite true. My knife had been stolen from Tristin (he was using it at work), and my Christmas Tequila had mysteriously vanished, but I did get the dragon, and most importantly, my beloved Argoflex E!

    Now, my Argoflex will need a little repair, and perhaps some focus adjustment, but I'm sure it will work just fine once I get it there. It truly is a marvellous little LPB, and I look forward to using it as much as I can.

    The End.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    A well told tale of woe and misery but a happy ending I hope.
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow James! That's quite a story!!! Glad you were reunited with your beloved A-flex.
     
  7. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Thank ya, thank ya, yer too kind. The Argoflex has been inserted near the top of my queue of projects, so I should get to it soon, and then I'll be shooting with it. Alas, I have no means of enlargement, so, that department will be limited unless and until I can devise or acquire some sort of enlarger. Them's the breaks.

    Shouldn't be too long, though.
     

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