An Argus C3 is not my first film camera but this is the camera that made me want to shoot 35mm film regularly. Unfortunately, the copy that got me hooked was only a loaner and I was again taking pictures with my only camera at the time, a Canon DSLR.
At some point I figured out that my DSLR lenses would fit onto an older Canon SLR, so i found a used Canon EOS 3 to shoot film again. Auto focus, light metering and auto film advance is all good but there is something really nice about a 60 year old, all manual rangefinder.
I did finally find an Argus C3 for sale on the street in Brooklyn. I knew what to look for to be pretty sure it worked. The seller was asking $20 but took $15.
Mine has a 50mm f/3.5 lens. All of them are really heavy. I like having black and white film in this camera.
Pros: 35mm film, no batteries, 50mm lens, made in US, conversation starter(rare-ish, looks cool), low cost, very tough build, the feeling of shooting thru a 70 year old lens and getting rad pictures back.
Cons: heavy, very small viewfinder, difficult to focus, max shutter speed is 1/300th, no light meter, must wrap up to carry or it will win in a backpack fight with whatever it rustles around with (they dont call it “the Brick” for nothing)
Made in USA