Tagged: Voigtlander

Roll 52 – Goals, dreams and regrets

Goals are important to life. None of us will ever get anywhere without them. For many of us though, goals are subsumed by the mechanics of daily life. They decay into dreams, and finally into regrets.

Mount Washington from Intervale, NH








Camera: Voigtlander Bessa 66

Film: Ektar 100

Developed at home (Unicolor kit, JOBO) & scanned on Epson v700.

Vitoret L – week 78 results

I like the Vitoret L. It’s reasonably sized without being huge. The shutter release on the front feels a bit odd, but it fires smoothly and quietly. I would get used to it with more use.

The Selenium meter seems to work well. As with all general area meters, you must be aware of odd exposure situations and compensate for them manually.

The scale focus is a bit of a handicap for me. I just can’t estimate distances well. The final three examples here made use of an accessory rangefinder. For the others I simply guessed well.

Canobie Lake Park is dog friendly and still has this fountain in the middle of the original section.


imageRockin’ Roosters

image Yum!

image Save me!

image These giant steel dogs have appeared in Newburyport. I don’t know why.


This week’s photos were shot on Ilford PanF+ 50ASA developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 11:00. I should use this film more often.

Week 78 – Voigtlander Vitoret L

Manufactured circa 1964, the Voigtlander Vitoret L is a viewfinder camera for 35mm. It features a 50mm f2.8 Color Lanthar lens with a Prontor 1/300 shutter. A coupled Selenium meter reads on the top plate of the camera; adjusting shutter speed or aperture moves another needle to match it.

Focus is via distance markings on the lens. There is no RF or other mechanism to assist.

I’ve loaded a roll of Ilford PanF+ 50ASA for the week. As I’m notoriously bad at estimating distances, I will be using my BLIK rangefinder a lot.

Camera Wiki
Vitoret L

Voigtlander Vito B – Week 63 Results

The Vito B remains one of my favorite small viewfinders. The controls have a light, mechanical feel to them. It has full manual control and no meter, so it takes a bit of thought to get the best images from it.

(I’m a bit disappointed in the color of this roll, but I rushed it. I took it to the local 1-hour place instead of using my regular lab. I always end up regretting that decision.)

I haven’t forgotten Week 62, I just haven’t had the time to develop them yet.

Voigtlander Bessamatic Deluxe – Week 53 Results

When E6 film is exposed properly, it’s incredible.

I didn’t do most of this roll justice. I started out at the Mary’s Firemen for a Cure charity race at Shawnee Peak.  The long shots with bright white backgrounds were difficult.

I do love this one taken inside the lodge, but I missed the focus slightly.

The Bessamatic is a mechanical joy to shoot. I just love the sound it makes, a symphony of springs, cogs, and levers all performing their magic. I should record video of it for the blog, but I’m just not a video guy.

Using it one handed was a bit difficult; that’s not the camera’s fault.  After the mountain, my next opportunity to shoot was a cold, snowy day. I headed to Plum Island on a whim, but a squall whipped up. Most of those shots were disappointing. I did find this though:

A snow cat at the airport! A Pisten Bully trail groomer, in fact, parked across the street in an icy lot. I have no idea how long it has been there or how many times I’ve passed without noticing it. The orange cab stood out nicely in the snow.

Being all mechanical with a Selenium meter, the Voigtlander didn’t care a bit about the cold. I need to bring it out again when the weather is better.

Week 53 – Voigtlander Bessamatic Deluxe

As week 53 marks the beginning of a new year, I’ve decided to return to my roots.

Introduced in 1959, the Bessamatic was Voigtlander’s answer to the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex and the Kodak Retina Reflex.The Deluxe version debuted in 1962. It is a heavy, leaf-shutter SLR with interchangeable lenses and a Selenium match needle meter. Aperture and shutter speed are mechanically linked; once an exposure is set, changing one value will automatically adjust the other accordingly. Speed and aperture are both adjusted on the lens barrel, and a periscope above the light meter cell makes them both visible in the viewfinder window. An ingenious system of tabs on the lens barrel moves to indicate depth of field as the aperture is adjusted.

From 2/28/14

I have a long history with this camera, as it was (and still technically is) my father’s. Dad was drafted by Uncle Sam and sent to Germany in the early 1960’s. While there, he bought a full Voigtlander camera outfit and set about to document his travels. Throughout his time overseas, he periodically shipped slides home to Mom and the rest of his family.

Growing up, the Bessamatic was the Big Camera in the family. It came out for family portraits and special occasions. Later Dad entrusted it to me for a high school photography class, and it is now the core of my camera collection.  Although the 50 year old leather case is showing its age, the 35, 50, and 135mm lenses and original Vivitar flash are still going strong.

Kodachrome may be long gone, but in honor of it’s history I’ve loaded a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 50 for the week.

(Edit: results)


Camera Wiki

Mike Butkus has the manual, of course.

eBay has them, but prices and condition vary. It’s a mechanically complex camera, so buyer beware.


52 Cameras – Week 2 Results – Voigtlander Bessa 66

I learned a long time ago that my internal balance is off slightly. Most of my images tilt a few degrees to the right and have to be corrected in post processing. The Bessa 66 taught me that I also cannot estimate distance well.

The zone focus system means you either have to measure or guess, then set the appropriate distance on the camera. I didn't guess very well. In wide aperture, low depth of field situations, my images are out of focus.

Shooting the folder is still fun. It's a sure way to attract attention in public. There is no mistaking it for a modern digital. The controls are a bit clumsy, with three levers and a focus ring arranged on the lens. Winding the film is a fully manual experience with no mechanical stops, making it easy to overwind. In spite of the sport finder, I don't think I could ever shoot this camera rapidly.

The shutter fires with a satisfying click, accompanied by a bit of clockwork whirring at the slower speeds.


All in all, a neat camera and a nice shooter.

52 Cameras Week 2 – Voigtlander Bessa 66

Introduced in 1938, the Bessa 66 is a nice little German folder. It takes 12 6x6cm exposures on 120 roll film. Mine is the deluxe version with an additional sport finder. A button on the bottom releases the bed, and the shutter release folds out from the side when the lens is extended. Mine features a Vaskar 75mm f4.5 lens. Focus is manual with no rangefinder, with distance called out in feet on the focus ring. There are cheat symbols at around 11 feet for photographing people and 30 feet for larger scenes. Shutter speed is set by rotating a ring behind the focus ring, and aperture is a small lever on the side. Another small lever manually cocks the shutter, and there is no double exposure prevention. Film is advanced by winding a simple knob, with a shutter to cover the red window and prevent fogging the film. A rotating lever on the bottom of the case serves both to lock the film door and when rotated provides a convenient table top stand.

When folded, the Bessa 66 is about the size of a paperback book. It can be carried in a shirt pocket, although its 530g weight means you need a sturdy shirt.

Mine came via eBay with a nice metal takeup spool installed. I've replaced it with a modern plastic one so I don't lose it at the photo lab. I'll save it for developing my own black & white. I've loaded a roll of Ektar for the coming week.


Camera Wiki

Manual – German only, and a similar 6×9 version in English

Want one? Try eBay.