Argus Sandmar 100mm Viewfinders
I've got a couple of questions that I'm sure someone on this list knows the
First, I picked up a shoe mounted finder recently that is marked "Sandmar
100mm." It is the tubular sight type finder, actually shaped more like a
Grecian urn on its side. It has a parallax correction feature on the eyeball
side as well. I assumed it would slide into the Argus C3 accessory shoe and
be usuable with the TeleSandmar 100. Wrong! Not only is the shoe too small
for the C3 accessory shoe but it is too small for a standard flash/accessory
shoe on any camera I have. The foot is narrow at only about .55 inches. What
the heck did I end up with here? What other cameras used a Sandmar lens? The
shoe is as manufactured with original finish so I would rule out it having
been custom machined.
I have a couple of Sandmar viewfinder items: One is a 'Sandmar Zoom-Vue
35-135' viewfinder, which also has parallax correction. Though nicely
finished, its 'Zoom Vue' refers to a dimly visible mask which changes size
within a viewfinder the viewing angle of which changes not at all. The
other item is a 'Sandmar Zoom-Vue Accessory Shoe for Argus C3', also nicely
made of metal. It is only necessary for the shoeless C3, as the Zoom Vue
finder fits the C3 shoe. The accessory shoe came in the original box, which
states that it was sold by Geiss-America.
Sounds like the Zoom Vue would be the hot setup for shooting with all four
lenses as it covers that last 135mm length that the other Argus finders
neglect. I've used the plastic 35-100 finder mounted in a shoe. I guess
there was an earlier version that had the spring clip to attach to the earlier
bodies without accessory shoes. This finder is pretty easy to see through on
35mm but when you flip forward the 100 mask the peephole is kind of small to
do much fancy composing through. I've also used the 35-50-100 turret finder
from the C44 which is pretty slick but it doesn't fit into my camera case
without removing the finder every time so I stuck with the lower profile
plastic jobbie. For 135mm Soligar work I would just use the 100 finder and
frame up the scene with plenty of daylight around the edge, centering the main
subject of the scene dead center so I would snag most of it on the negative.
Not a perfect solution for the 135.
Another trick I figured out for the 135 is that the rangefinder window in the
C3 gives me just about the same frame size as a 135mm finder I have for Leica
copies. This would have been almost perfect but for the fact that the upper
half of the frame presents itself as a semicircle and the bottom half is a
little tough for me to see where the edges of the frame actually are (dirty
mirrors the most likely cause of this). But if I had nothing else I could
probably make due with just the rangefinder window to frame up 135mm shots.
I've got one of those finders too. If you find out what the heck it is how
about letting the rest of us know. I wonder if there might have been another
piece which went with it to hook up to a shoeless C3, although I know of
another member who has one also and describes it as just like ours.
I have a September 1952, Modern Photography with a Geiss advertisement.
It is selling the New Tele-Sandmar 100mm lens.
(this is not an Argus ad)
It shows the finder on a C3. There seems to be a plate added to the top
of the C3. It looks to be held in place by the small screw above the
viewfinder and the round silver plate above the range finder window.
The plate is about 1.25 inches wide and fits on top of the camera. It
seem to cover the top of the camera from front to back.