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Argus C44 Repair - A Moral Dilemma Perhaps

Jorn Ake , Aug 08, 2005; 10:58 p.m.

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?

Responses


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David M , Aug 08, 2005; 11:17 p.m.

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.

Bill Mitchell , Aug 08, 2005; 11:32 p.m.

Fix it! It's one of those "priceless" things they have in the ads.

George Bogumirskas , Aug 08, 2005; 11:46 p.m.

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.

James Baker , Aug 08, 2005; 11:51 p.m.

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.

C D , Aug 08, 2005; 11:51 p.m.

Can you find any photo that this camera has produced?

P C Headland , Aug 09, 2005; 06:23 a.m.

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.

Paul

W J Gibson , Aug 09, 2005; 06:59 a.m.

possibly one other angle to consider.....what do you think your grandfather would do in this situation?

Jorn Ake , Aug 09, 2005; 07:31 a.m.

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...

David Bedell , Aug 09, 2005; 08:06 a.m.

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.


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