CMF Bencini Argo
|Body Type||:||Folding Bed|
|Bellows Deployment||:||Self Erecting|
|Image Size||:||2¼ x 3¼|
|No. of Images||:||8|
|Focal Range||:||6ft - inf.|
|Shutter Speeds||:||P(bulb), I*(1/100s)|
|Size Open (w x h x d)||:||87 x 175 x 135 mm|
|Size Closed (w x h x d)||:||87 x 175 x 39 mm|
|* Measured on this camera|
Art Deco Credentials
Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention
- Produced during the main Art Deco period.
- Geometric pattern on shutter plate.
- Chrome used on struts.
- Embossed linear pattern on covering
- Embossed 'CMF' in Art Deco style on back covering
- Embossed 'ARGO' in Art Deco style on front covering
- Chrome table stand
- Chrome film door latch.
The Argo Camera was manufactured by CMF of Italy in 1939. A pocket folding camera giving 6x9cm exposures on 120 roll film. The camera is made of metal with a leather covering. The exposed metal is painted black. The camera is self erecting. The struts are chrome plated. There is a press plate under the lens to release the strut mechanism to fold the bellows into the body.
The waist level viewfinder swivels to provide both landscape and portrait views.
The camera is fitted with an Aplanat lens with a focal length of 105mm. The simple shutter has both instantaneous (I) and Pose/Bulb (P) modes.
The red window on the rear has no cover and a tripod socket is not provided
How to Use
This camera takes 120 film which is widely available.
The aperture is fixed at f/16. The measured speed on this camera was 1/100s. As the shutter speed is only 1/100s, it is advisable to hold it against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.
The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100/125 film. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Modern film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when overexposed by 2 or 3 stops or underexposed by 1 stop.
The tables assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day (May-August) in the UK.
Remember that the exposure guide in the manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.
Modern film is sensitive to red light so you should cover the red window with black tape when not winding on.
Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/100s
|Weather Conditions||Shadow Detail||Aperture||Exposure|
with sharp edges
|Slight Overcast||Soft around edges||f/16||-1 Stop|
|Overcast||Barely visible||f/16||-2 Stops|
|Heavy Overcast||None||f/16||-3 Stops|