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C3 | by Friendly Joe
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My first camera. The ubiquitous Argus C3 Matchmatic.

It was a gift from my big brother who presented it to me along with some thoughtfully concise instruction and a single page "quick reference", hand written on a sheet from a yellow legal pad. I still have it. "Frame subject. Focus. Set f-stop and shutter speed. If one value changes, recheck all values."

This was the occasion that set me on a lifetime course of still photography, and a career in visual imagery as well.


The Matchmatic differed from the original C3s in that the shutter speed dial numbers 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 300 (indicating hundredths of seconds) were changed to the numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, dumbing down the camera and rendering it and the light meter, which had been similarly altered, needlessly proprietary and helping to insure that anyone who was new to photography could avoid any pesky learning and stuff. :D


Well, it didn't work and I seem to have accidentally learned some things anyway.

I set up a black and white darkroom and shot the C3 for years, even after acquiring more sophisticated gear. One of these days I'll be bringing the old "brick" out for another tour.


Large On Black

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Taken on June 20, 2009