I was surprised to find myself the only bidder at eBay on a pair of late '30s Argus cameras, an Argus AF and a Model M. Either one alone seemed worth the $20 I paid for the two together.
I was particularly pleased with the diminutive Model M because it has the 3-element Anastigmat lens.
The 828 roll film used in the Model M hasn't been made for a long time. Luckily, the film is the same width as 35mm film. I just taped over the two windows on the camera back, and then rolled some Kentmere 100 onto the little spools without any backing and inserted it in the camera in a dark bag.
Although the camera looks nearly perfect, it turned out to have some problems. The pictures from the first roll were all out of focus, and the negatives were riddled with light leak streaks. I disassembled the camera and found that the spongy packing in the collapsible lens mount was deteriorated and loose. The packing material was both letting some light by, and it also prevented the lens from fully extending to the proper focal length. I removed the lens mount packing material, reassembled the camera and loaded up another roll of Kentmere. The extended mount seemed to be making a good seal, but I layed on some black tape just in case.
The second roll looks fine. The Kentmere is pretty grainy stuff, but the photos still show the good resolution and interesting tonal values that I was hoping to get from the lens.
I'm looking forward to trying some other film in the Model M, perhaps some Acros or TMAX 100. I've also ordered a couple rolls of forty-year-old 828 Verichrome Pan, so that should be interesting too.