So this is the very camera that started it off for me. Sure I had used the family 126 Kodak Instamatic on holiday when we were growing up and the first actual camera I owned was a 110 format shop own brand from Boots (those cameras were so cool at the time) but when my father let me have his Voigtlander it took me to the next level.
I don’t remember seeing this camera until he gave it to me and I don’t know when he used it. Although I do remember him having a collection of slide photos from previous holidays and stuff which I guess must have been taken with this camera.
Once I owned it though I was intrigued, it was so different to the point and press cameras I had used, it looked so complicated and it was a while before I was actually able to use it.
This camera first came out in 1954 and was made for about 5 years. Once you get the idea it’s actually simple to operate especially with the Exposure value which locks the shutter speed and aperture together (see article on Camera-wiki.org). This means that when you use an appropriate light meter to take the exposure, you take the number it gives you and dial it in. Then the aperture and shutter speed controls are synced and you can adjust one along with the other keeping the same exposure. This concept helped me greatly in understanding how the three exposure settings work together.
I’m not certain of the age of this, it’s somewhere in the middle of the production because it has the smaller viewfinder of the earlier units but it has the 9-speed Prontor SVS shutter from the later later ones so I’m guessing this was a bit of a crossover.
The case is not in great condition and was falling apart when I got it, I manually stitched it back together; not bad for a teenage boy – it’s not pretty but it has lasted 🙂 I also have the lens hood in it’s case which got similar repairing from me.
The focussing is purely on distance so it’s not a rangefinder like the Vitomatic the viewfinder is just for composing.
|Voigtlander||Vito B||35mm||c1956||1:3.5 80mm Color Skopar||B, 80, 30, 15, 8, 4, 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300 sec||F3.5-22|
It’s a really nice compact little camera and it’s convenient to stuff in a pocket if I want to take an extra camera somewhere. Though to be honest, I haven’t done that in a while as the Vitomatic with it’s rangefinder focussing has taken that role somewhat.
This is still very much a favourite though.
Tip:the lens is the same size as a Kodak 35mm film canister lid, if you need a lens cap.
Here’s some pictures from a few years ago taken at Santa barbara (apologies if some of them have scratches);