The Argoflex Seventy-Five was made by Argus in 1949 until 1964, and there were two versions; the first had the name Argoflex Seventy-Five written on the front and the second had the name Argus Seventy-Five. Later models replaced the words with the number 75. I happen to have one of each of the first two versions.
My Argoflex Seventy-Five came to me with a sticky shutter. I have a soft spot for this camera because I fixed the shutter and brought it back to life so to speak. It was my first success fixing a film camera. I never thought I would shoot with it, but I just had to after this.
It has a beautifully big and bright waist level viewfinder that you look into to “show you your picture before you take it.” It was marketed as a modified TLR – Twin Lens Reflex “type” of camera, but it is basically a box camera. The manual says it is a modified TLR that has been simplified to the greatest possible degree.
While it is very simple to use, it does have some nice features.
It sports double exposure prevention with the shutter unable to take a a second shot until the film is advanced, and then a red dot appears in the lens to let you know it is ready.
The lens is a 75mm fixed focus lens with a speed of about 1/50th of a second and aperture of around f11.
It has two settings: Instant and a Time setting which is really bulb. The earliest version of the Argoflex has the Time setting above the Instant setting. The set pictured above came with the flash guard and bulbs. A genuine leather case could be purchased separately. My cameras both have the case but only the Argus Seventy-Five has the complete case and flash guard. I really like that the front of the case comes off and that there’s an opening for the flash guard to be attached even with the case on. Both models also have the tripod mount on the bottom.
The lens focuses everything 7.5 feet and farther away unless you have the slip on portrait lens that allows you to take pictures up to 3-4 feet away from your subject. There are also other accessory lenses and filters available to fit the 28.5mm mount size.
With my first rolls I ran through the camera I didn’t have this knowledge and didn’t pay attention to my distance. This was the result with some Ilford XP2 400 taken at a local cemetery:
Not too bad I think. As you can see the lens is sharp down the middle but falls off around the sides.
The Argoflex Seventy-Five takes 620 film, but I have successfully been able to use 120 film in mine. Please refer to my video down below for how I did this. I basically just trimmed the rim around the two ends of the 120 spool and it fit fine.
In my last blog about the Ilford Ortho Plus 80 film, I talked about my day in Tradition, FL. That same day I also brought along my two Argoflexes. It was a day of a lot of firsts. My first time trying Ilford’s Ortho Plus 80, first time trying Kodak Portra 400, first time going out with my Mamiya 645 (blog on that at a later date), and my first time shooting color film in my Argoflex.
I highly recommend this camera to anyone that is interested in vintage cameras. I have tried many old cameras and so far this one has given me the best results. It is extremely easy to use apart from the bit of complication loading the 120 film, but other than that I would love to see parents helping their children learn film photography using one of these.
If you like these reviews check out my vintage camera reviews here. Also I have a new series on my YouTube channel called Aly’s Vintage Camera Cabinet where I will be showcasing a camera from my personal collection like this one, and shooting with it. If you haven’t already, please head over there and subscribe to be notified as those are posted.
For more pictures and info on my experience with the Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five please see my video below.
5 thoughts on “The Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five”
Nice. That’s a good sharp lens (except in the very corners, as is normal in cameras like these). Nice work with yours!