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Interestingly, sales of the C3 had slumped many times during its production life, and each time Argus announced they were going to discontinue the camera, dealers and photographers would rush to buy what they believed to be the last of the cameras, leading Argus to reverse their decision to end production several times.It has been argued the Argus C3 is responsible for popularizing the use of 35mm film, and considering the long production run and the high number of Argus C3 cameras made, this may very well be true, especially in its native United States.Indeed, for a small, low-priced camera, it has a decent range of features, allowing professional results from a well-adjusted, competently used example.One way the engineers of the C3 kept these systems compact and cheap to manufacture was by simplifying each mechanism as much as possible.Sometimes this requires the photographer to be more knowledgeable about his or her camera to achieve the same results, but it brought quality photography to the masses in a small package, at any rate.Indeed, the difference between American and German engineering culture is apparent when comparing the Argus to a Leica or Contax: where the German cameras are detail-oriented and heavy on miniaturization and added features, the Argus designers emphasized the big picture, compromising individual features to build a functional, cheap camera that many could afford and most could service with simple tools.The most famous 20th century photographer who used it was Tony Vaccaro, who employed this model during World War II The C3 was constructed primarily of Bakelite plastic and metal castings.

During the years it was manufactured, it was the best selling 35mm camera, around 2 million cameras were sold.By virtue of its low price and reputation for rugged durability the Argus C3 managed to outlast most of its American competition and fend off precision German-built cameras and the cheap high quality Japanese cameras that began to enter the American market in the 1950s.But eventually the design simply became too outdated and clumsy and production ended in 1966 after sales had slumped.I always carry my IPhone in a belt case, and the thought that I could use it for opportunistic shots without having to lug around my Sony with humongous 24-105 lens was very appealing. Images were sharp, colors were brilliant and shapes had well defined edges.I processed a number of the jpeg images in Photoshop, using only slight cropping, due to the megapixel limits of the i Phone camera.

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