Lions’ Heads

Lions' Heads
[Taken 17 Feb 2011]

Probably won’t be taking this camera out again. Read on to find out why.

I didn’t have nearly this many technical issues when I first tested the Argoflex 75 in September 2005. I noticed a few light leaks, sure, but nothing so epic as what happened this time.

This time, there were two major problems: 1.) the Inst/Time switch that determines an “instant” exposure vs. a long exposure didn’t securely click into place; and 2.) the back of the camera wouldn’t securely fasten closed. The second problem resulted in bands of light leaks as in the photo above; the first problem resulted in blurry, overexposed photos like the ones below:

Painterly Skyline  S. St. Clair Street, Toledo

When the camera did work as expected, whether in Instant mode or Time mode, the photos were perfectly passable:

Mailbox In Snow  Starbucks Customer

Unfortunately, outside of one other poorly-composed shot, these were the only truly usable photos on the 12-exposure roll. The other half were mainly victims of massive overexposure due to unintended long exposures.

My dilemma is now this: do I keep a camera with this many technical faults, or do I thrift it off? The argument could be made that it was operator error that really caused these issues: I didn’t snap the back of the camera on tight enough, or I could have taped it on, or I could have gouged a fingernail trying to make sure that stupid switch was in the right position. But are the photos really worth it? I’m not convinced.

For now, it stays on my shelf to look pretty next to my other TLR (twin-lens reflex) cameras. Until I decide its fate…