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In the beginning, there was Edward Anthony, who was a pioneer in photography equipment in the US in the later part of the 1800s. The company became E. & H. T. Anthony & Company when his brother joined the venture. In 1902, they merged with Scovill and Adams, a company formed just a decade ago. The new entity was named Anthony and Scovill and sold their wares under the Ansco brand. It didn’t stop there, as in 1928, Agfa of Germany either took over or merged with this company, depending on whom you ask. The new venture was named Ansco, I guess for brand recognition. Ansco promptly dropped the camera models they had earlier sold and focused on selling German-made Agfa cameras, either under the German original model names or names unique to the US market.

In 1939, Ansco renamed itself GAF, short for General Aniline & Film, perhaps to diversify further than the photography trade. However, they still used the Ansco brand name on their cameras till 1967, when Agfa stopped making cameras, so the GAF banner took over.

The GAF brand had lost whatever lustre Ansco had had and diverted into selling low-end Japanese rebrands, mainly instamatic type, pocket and cine cameras. Several compact SLR models made by Chinon were offered but did not make a big splash. The GAF L-CM is a Chinon CM, with another rebrand under Argus CR-1.

The L-CM is a typical Chinon model, practical to the hilt, no-nonsense and no fireworks. Assume it was meant for the advanced amateur market, as were the plethora of similar Japanese models sold. The unit I have suffered a lot, so making it work is akin to the second coming, so it went to the Japanese part donors shelf.

List number 31527
Brand GAF
Model L-CM
Manual Buktus
Value at GAF L-CM
Argus CR-1
Format 35mm
Introduced 1974
AKA Chinon CM; Argus CR-1
Country USA
Qty made
Initial price
Type Compact SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual, meter assist.
Weight 750 gr,  Body only
Class average weight 610 gr,  Body only
ASA range 10-800
Kit lens 2,0/50
Lens make Chinon
Filter size
Lens mount Thread
Mount size 42mm
Shutter Focal plane vertical metal
Shutter make
Light meter 2 ea CdS TTL for backlight compensation
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds B, 1-1000
Mirror Auto return
Viewer Fixed eye level prism
DOF preview Yes
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Hot
External sync X/M
Sync speed
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery, original PX625
Battery, replacement
Battery voltage 1.35
Integral flash None
Service / repair links See
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