I bought this Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five for $25 from a classified ad. I wanted to jump to medium format but didn’t want to invest too much before I had had a little experience working with larger negatives.

It’s an odd little camera — almost a toy, really. The limitations of this camera are both exasperating and charming. There is one shutter speed (~1/60s), one aperture (f/11), no modifiable ASA, and no focusing capabilities. There is a BULB mode, but I can’t imagine it is of much use due to inevitable shaking. Everything 8 feet or farther away is (allegedly) in focus. The camera takes 620 film, which is the same size as 120 film simply wound onto a narrower spool; you can find 120 wound onto 620 spools online.

The manual suggests shooting (now discontinued) Verichrome or Kodacolor film, but doesn’t specify an EI. I ordered some Fujifilm NEOPAN 100 ACROS and hoped for the best.

These photos were some of the first shots I took with this particular camera and were mostly just a test to see if it even worked. I foolishly neglected to bring a tripod with me, so almost every photo suffers from significant shake.

It’s a very difficult camera to hold steady, and then pressing the shutter without a jolt from the spring-activated shutter is almost impossible. Given the results, there is a strong possibility that the shutter speed has slipped somewhat slower than 1/60s, but I haven’t been able to verify.

I took the photos from one of my favorite spots in the Quabbin Reservoir, not far from my house in western Massachusetts. Walking in at Gate 5 brings you down an old road which dead-ends into the reservoir.

You can see the water through the arched trees from about a quarter-mile up the road. When you reach the water the view opens up to the entire western side of Quabbin. The views pictured in the photographs are out over what was once the town of Enfield.

~ Gregory

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About the author

Avatar - Gregory W Brown

Gregory W. Brown

I started taking photographs in my teens — shooting 35mm and developing and printing in my school's darkroom. My interests shifted to music in the mid-'90s and I went on to become a composer and conductor with several CDs currently available. I have returned...

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  1. I’m all for putting a roll of film through any camera to see what the results are like, but just maybe that’s destined to sit on the shelf as a fun thing from now on? 😂 Do quite like those images though, **David** pretty much hit it with ‘ethereal’!

  2. Kodak Verichrome Pan was EI 125, so your experiment with 100 is just fine, and your exposures prove that out. They’re on target — and they have such an etherial quality, what with all the shakin’ goin’ on. Prop it on a tree branch next time, and give us another look. 🙂