The Argus C3 very well may be the best selling camera of all time. Mass production started toward the end of World War II, at a time when 35mm cameras were still considered a luxury.
Sold up until 1966, the Argus C3 recently found a whole new generation of 35mm enthusiasts when it appeared in a Harry Potter movies. While PlymouthLiquidators’ auction is for 6 of these brick-shaped cameras, there are plenty of auctions out there for individual C3’s—most can be picked up for about $25 in good condition.
The incredible success of the Argus C3 in the middle of the century can be attributed to its use of Bakelite plastic, which allowed for cheap mass-production—most other cameras that came out during this time were made entirely of metal.
In fact, our resident film camera expert here at Popular Photography told me that he picked up his very first Argus C3, brand new, sometime in the mid 40’s for $25. So not only is the C3 a simple and elegant testament to mass production, it is also apparently inflation proof as well.
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