Thursday, July 14, 2011

Argus Cintar

I've had an Argus Cintar lens rattling around in my tool box for about five years which I have used as a loupe. Recently, I acquired a nice C3 body with just a 35mm wide-angle, so it seemed like a good excuse to see if the Cintar could still deliver. The F3.5-50mm Cintar is a Cooke Triplet design; this one is a pre-war uncoated example. I had partially disassembled the lens, so it needed to be put back together and adjusted. Four small set screws at the lens front can be loosened to permit collimation for proper infinity focus.

To test the C3 with the Cintar, I took it up to the J&R VINTAGE AUTO MUSUEM in Rio Rancho which has an extraordinary collection of restored classics. Photography at the museum is something of a challenge as the lighting is dim and the cars are packed tightly into all the available space. Nevertheless, I thought the C3 and the resurrrected Cintar handled the situation quite well.


jimgrey said...

Through your work I am becoming increasingly convinced that image quality is much more about the photographer than the camera. I'd love to see what you'd do with a pinhole camera.

Mike said...

Thanks; I certainly can't disagree with that sentiment. However, I also think that there are very few cameras that don't have the capacity to make technically good images. A lot of my photography is based on exploring that idea.

I haven't done much with pinhole picture making since moving to Albuquerque. When we lived in southern New Mexico I spent about a year working mostly with a pinhole camera made from an old Billy Record folder. A large portion of my web site is devoted to those images:

Julio F said...

Those are very good results with the Argus and Cintar. I like the compositions of the old cars.

My Cintar is an older, coated model, and it is very sharp too. However, I'd love to see some images from your 35mm Argus lens, which is a lot rarer.

Mike said...

The 35mm lens certainly would have been a better choice in terms of the crowded environment. My impression, though, from the one roll I have put through it is that the performance is not so great at wider apertures. Except for the outdoor shots with the 50mm, I think I made all the rest at f6.3, and the Cintar seemed quite sharp at that aperture. A tripod and a long lens would also have been useful in that venue.

jimgrey said...

Your pinhole images are wonderful!