ARGUS 75: so simple, so fast


Last year I found this camera on a flea market. I did not have a lot of money on me but I splashed all the cash; 30 euros. I wasn’t sure whether I did the right thing because this kind of camera uses 620 film and that kind of film is not in production anymore these days. But I fell in love with his very very bright viewing glass and his chocolate bakelite body. The viewing glass is so bright and sharp I now wish my other two- eyed camera’s, the Lubitel, the Yashica, the Mamiya and the Welta had such bright and sharp viewing glasses. But they all have other handy features, like the possibility to adjust the aperture and shutter speed. With the Argus 75 you don’t have these properties. You can only set to ‘instant’ or ‘time’ (for long exposures). You can’t focus the lens. The only thing you’ll have to do is to hold the required distance of 2 meters in front of your subject. The camera takes 620 film but I don’t use 620….
On the internet I found somebody’s tipster about a way to use 120 film in the Argus 75 and it is so simple! Just cut off the edges of the 120 film spool and the roll of film will fit into the camera!
So much for the technical crap…
But now the real reason why this camera is my favorite 6×6 two- eyed wonder to take out on the streets. I love to make portraits of people that I meet on the street. I make street portraits for over 15 years now. Before I had the Argus 75 I used my Mamiya C330 for this kind of photography but this camera is so heavy and before I can make a picture I first have to do some light metering than a just the apeture and shutterspeed and before you know the picture is gone. With the Argus 75 I don’t have to worry about all of that. I only have to think about to hold the required distance 2 meters so that the subject will be in focus. The other thing I did not like with the Mamiya it is a monster of a camera people freez up when I asked if i could make a picture because it got the look of a proffesional camera and most of the time before I even took the pictures I had to explain to the person for what purpose I want to make the picture and again the moment was gone…
With the argus 75 I don’t have that.
This year in april I have an photo exhibition and when I have exhibitions I always try to make some new works that fit with the location. The location where I will have the exhibition is an revalidation hospital. And with the portraits that I have made with this agrus 75 camera I tried to focus on People who enjoy the little things in life such as sitting in the sun. The things you could do even if you are ill or that you are rehabilitating from an accident.
I always use Ilford hp 5 400 iso b/w or fomapan 400 iso b/w and go outside when the weather is nice.
I always ask if I could take a picture and I hear now more yes than no with this camera. And I always give my card with contact information so if they want the picture than I will send the picture to them.

Here are some photographs I took with the Argus 75

Credits: marjanbuning

written by marjanbuning on 2013-02-01


  1. ksears119
    ksears119 ·

    I haven't tried it but have read articles that you can re-roll 120 film on to a 620 spool. Here's the Lomo blog. Good luck.…

  2. ksears119
    ksears119 ·

    I read further and see you have already discovered this. Looks easy enough.

  3. marjanbuning
    marjanbuning ·

    @ksears119 Thank you for your comment and you have great blog about the 620 subject.