4other Voigtlander cameras in my collection:

 

Voigtlander Vito B (small viewfinder) [1954 - 1957]

 

Overview

Vito B advertThe Vito B body was made as two designs; the earlier (1954-57) had a small viewfinder and low profile top plate, while the later version (1957-60) had a larger viewfinder with frame-lines and taller top plate.

Early (small viewfinder) Vito B models were equipped with either a 4-speed Pronto or 8-speed Prontor SVS shutter. Later versions had 8 (now) more conventional speed Prontor SVS shutters, and the last had the additional option to set a light value, and synchronise shutter speed and aperture settings.

Both types were also offered with a f3.5 or f2.8 Color-Skopar 50mm (four element Tessa type) lens.

My Vito B is the small viewfinder type, with a 8 speed Prontor SVS shutter, f3.5 lens, old style shutter speeds, and without the aperture/shutter-speed synchronisation facility. The serial number (4016112) dates the camera to 1956 (Voigtlander camera serial numbers can be found here).

 

Viewfinder Years Aperture Shutter Shutter Speeds EV?
Small 1954-1957 f/3.5 Pronto B, 25, 50, 100, 200 no
B, 30, 60, 125, 250
Prontor-SVS B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300
f/2.8B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 300
f/3.5 yes
f/2.8 yes
Large 1957-1959 f/2.8 B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300 no
B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 300
f/3.5 B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 300 yes
f/2.8 B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 300
B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500

 

The camera appears to have cost £24 when new, which was almost equivalent to 2 weeks UK average pay at that time (£12.83). To put this in perspective, based on the 2014 average UK salary of £26,500 p.a., the equivalent camera today (on a proportional cost basis) would be something like a digital Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II compact system camera with a 12-50mm Lens. The little Voigtlander was an expensive quality camera!

 

 

Specifications

Viewfinder: Simple reverse telescope - shows image at about two thirds of natural size. No bright line or parallax.

Focus: Manual. Imperial distance scale with zone focusing symbols.

Lens: Color-Skopar 50mm f/3.5 (4 elements in 3 groups).

Close Focus: 3' 5".

Diaphragm: Nine blades, f/3.5 to f/16.

Shutter: Prontor SVS shutter (B, 1, 1/2nd, 1/5th, 1/10th, 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/100th, and 1/300th sec) + built-in self-timer.

Cable Release: Standard threaded socket in shutter release button.

Meter: None.

Exposure: Manual.

Filter Size: 32mm push fit.

Flash: Cold shoe and PC terminal with X and M synchronization selector.

Film Advance: Long stroke lever.

Frame Counter: Manually set, countdown style.

Rewind: Pop-up crank with automatic tension release.

Back Opening: Pull out base plate latch with quarter twist, opens the whole back and a hinged door beneath the film canister.

Size: 114 x 79 x 67 mm (L x H x D).

Weight: 510g.

 

 

My Camera

I paid £4.95 for this camera in June 2013. My Vito B was sold as not working due to the seller's lack of understanding of the shutter cocking mechanism, but it's actually fully operational and in great condition. Maybe I've been unlucky, but a fully working 1950s camera is a rare thing in my collection. I bought the Vito B because I had inspected one in a local junk shop, and was very impressed by the stylish compact design and high quality construction.

Something I really like about these Voigtlanders is that their evolution can be seen as bits are added to the same basic camera chassis. It would be quite easy to collect an entire set of models, but I have resisted so far (which is another way of saying that I haven't been able to snap one up for a few quid - well not until recently [June 2015]).

 

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Voigtlander Vito B

Voigtlander Vito B

Voigtlander Vito B

Voigtlander Vito B

In July 2015, I managed to buy a 32mm Voigtlander lens hood for the Vito cameras. It's shown here on the Vito B. It cost me £4.50, and was in the original box. I have since acquired more Voigtlander accessories

These cameras are often misdiagnosed as not working, because the film advance lever does not directly drive the shutter setting mechanism: a film must be in the camera for the shutter to tension.

Winding the drive cog (found at the top/middle of the camera when the back is open) with your finger/thumb has the same effect as a film would, and cocks the shutter (listen for a couple of clicks).