Anyone have the Zoightlander Perkeo 1?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by camperbc, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    I just snagged an absolutely pristine Voightlander Perkeo 1 with 75mm f/4.5 Vaskar lens (coated) and a Prontor-S shutter. It has double exposure prevention, so I'm assuming this means it is the later version, made from 1953-55? This will be my 4th folder; (I also own a 1917 Kodak Autographic 1A, 1951 Ensign Ranger and 1951 Franka Solida 1) I should be seeing it arrive in my mailbox in about a week.

    I'm wondering if any of you may own one of these, and what are your thoughts on it? I have been told by a few folks that the Vaskar lens is actually of much better quality than some reports circulating on the Net. I am not too concerned about a little corner softness, as long as the centre is sharp. By many accounts, this is indeed a very well-built camera which is capable of excellent images, regardless of whether it comes with a Vaskar 75mm/80mm or Color Scopar 80mm lens. Is anyone familiar with this Vaskar/Prontor-S combo? I look forward to any info/pointers you can provide. I will be sure to post some test photos once the camera arrives.

    Thanks!
    Glen
     
  2. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I haven't owned a Voigtlander Perkeo folder but I have had experience with the Vaskar lens with a Voightlander Bessa I 6X9 folder. The lens is not rated as well as the Color Skopar but closed down it's quite good. It's great getting a new camera in the mail. Have fun with your new camera!
     
  3. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    I have the same one you do. I do like the heck out of it. I have found used the way they were meant to be used stopped down to f8 or 11 sunny 16 metering and zone focused you'll get nice usable results.
     
  4. ilyab

    ilyab Member

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  5. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Many thanks folks, for your prompt reply! And my apologies... I just noticed I had misspelled Voigtlander! Glad to hear this lens is nice and sharp when stopped down. Now, can anyone possibly steer me in the direction of filters, a lens hood, possibly even a shoe-mount rangefinder? I've been searching online and got a shock at the prices for a hood. Will any run-of-the-mill 32mm hood work on this, provided it's a push-on type? How about filters... as long as they're push-on, will they work? Sorry for my lack of Perkeo know-how, as this is all so new to me!

    Thanks!
    Glen
     
  6. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I have a Perkeo II (with Color Skopar) which also uses 32mm push-on filters and several different brands appear to work OK. I admit to being spoiled by the more secure attachment of screw-on filters on my other cameras, but so far, so good.

    The push-ons are pretty pricey in my experience, although a steal compared with some of the 37mm push-ons which apparently fit a couple of serious collectables.
     
  7. Top-Cat

    Top-Cat Member

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    I have a Perkeo II and a Perkeo I. I've used the Perkeo II relatively often and think it's one of the best medium format cameras I've tried.

    I also have a Mamiya 645 package, which is a perfectly good camera, only it's easier to pick up and use the Perkeo.

    The Perkeo I has an only slightly more flimsy design than the Perkeo II (of the ones I have, some knobs and details made of plastic instead of metal), but it has one advantage - it does not feature the anti-double exposure failsafe of the Perkeo II, which tends to work poorly with the years, and more often than not stands in the way of turning the film to the next frame (only 80% of it or so), you can simply turn the frame counter back to zero on the Perkeo II for every picture to ignore this, but I guess it would be better not having to do that all the time.

    Oh wait, it has double exposure prevention? (Read this after I posted)

    Then are you sure you don't have the Perkeo II?

    Any way - I think the Perkeo is one of the best folding cameras available, and I can't for the life of me understand why people want to buy any old Bessas with the inflated price thanks to the newer Bessa, so yeah, good catch.

    As far as focussing goes, you have a few alternatives.

    1. Carry an SLR with a simple lens.
    2. Learn zone focussing.
    3. Search far and wide for a seperate rangefinder.
    4. Make sure to use it in strong sunlight so you can stop down and...
    5. Just make a wild guess (I've done this quite often with the Voigtländer).

    For the mechanics - just drop a few drops of lighter fluid down the mechanics to remove internal dust.

    PS: On the right side of the P on your keyboard there should be a "¨" button (somewhere left of the "return" key).
    If you press "¨" and then the letter such as a or o you get the German/Swedish letters used in Voigtländer.

    In Swedish, not sure about German, the ä is more similar to the e sound than the a.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013
  8. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Thank-you Top-Cat, for your detailed post; much appreciated! And thank-you Dave, for the filter info!

    Yes, my camera is definitely a Perkeo 1. Regarding the double exposure prevention, my understanding is that the Perkeo 1's from 1951-52 did not have it, but they did from 1953-55. So your camera must be one of the earlier ones? I don't really know if it uses the very same system as the Perkeo 2, but I have been assured that mine is in perfect working order. (fingers crossed!)

    While I await the arrival of my camera, I have been hunting onlne for a nice shoe-mount rangefinder, but they are quite expensive, and almost all that I have seen appear to be in less than ideal condition. So I think I will just manage without, as I have been doing with my other cameras. So it will be strictly old-school for me, right down to Sunny 16. Just the way I like things done!

    Thanks again,
    Glen
     
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Ha! I thought it would be nice to have the official Voigtländer rangefinder and started following them on ePrey. One of the first auctions I saw pictured the RF mounted on a camera, although it clearly said the auction did NOT include the camera, it looked as though bidders might have thought that way. I finally wound up with a unit by Watameter that was more reasonable in price, but now in truth, I almost always just estimate. If you start working with closeup ('Focar') lenses, or close in with wide open aperture, more accurate measurements might be useful, but otherwise one can learn to estimate pretty closely. Many of those folders have a mark for 'snapshot mode' on the focus scale. My Perkeo II has a little circle toward the infinity end (distant) and a triangle at about 11 feet (near). These serve as a zone focus mark, for which they recommend an aperture of f/8 or smaller so depth of field covers up some sins.

    The other obstacle with getting an accessory rangefinder is that both the camera and the RF may be marked in feet or in meters, depending on where they were initially sold. I suspect trying to mix them and mentally convert between meters and feet is likely no more accurate that estimating the distance directly.
     
  10. Morinaka

    Morinaka Member

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    Watameter rangefinders have always been my favourite ones, they have nice clear and bright windows and are really easy to take apart and clean, and they are really easy to adjust so they won't be inaccurate. I'm in the Uk and never paid more than £15 for one but i'm unsure if they made it to Canada or not, and they were made in both meters and feet.
     
  11. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    Flickr has a Voigtlander group. You might have a look.
     
  12. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

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    If you look around you might find a nice voightlander rangefinder. I found one from an apug member, it is in mint condition for it's age. I use it on my Franka's and Agfa Isolettes. Cost only $30.
     
  13. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Yippee, my lovely Voigtlander Perkeo 1 finally arrived in the mail! I am thrilled to discover that it is actually every bit as pristine as had been advertised. It truly appears as though it is brand new. Astonishingly compact for a medium format camera! I have just bought a mint Hugo Meyer pocket range finder, (still in its original box, with included instruction manual and warranty registration) to mount on the Perkeo, to avoid the guesswork of focal distance. And I just found an apparently unused Voigtlander yellow filter and lens hood, so now I'm all set to try out this beauty. Will post pics of it, and from it, soon.

    Glen

    PS: I have already joined the Voigtlander Flickr group. Thanks!
     
  14. ransel

    ransel Member

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    This is what I use for my zone focus cameras (Agfa Billy Record II, Bessa-L w/25mm Snapshot). Honestly, I had a Watameter range-finder mounted on the Agfa but found my little custom card fast and accurate. Sold the Watameter years ago.
     
  15. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    As promised, here are a few pictures of my newly acquired Voigtlander Perkeo 1. As I stated earlier, my biggest surprise was just how tiny this camera is, compared to my other MF folders. I'm including a group shot of my four folders, and also a pic with the Perkeo in my hand, to help demonstrate just how compact it is. (in case some of you may not be very familiar with this camera) In the group photo is (left to right) my 1953 Voigtlander Perkeo 1, 1951 Franka Solida 1, 1917 Kodak Autographic 1A, and 1951 Ensign Ranger.

    Now I am waiting for our weather to improve (along with my ever-misbehaving spine) so I can get back outside and give this little gem a workout! Thanks to all of you who have kindly offered advice and pointers; much appreciated. And ransel, that paper rangefinder looks interesting; I'll have to try that!

    Thanks,
    Glen

    [​IMG]


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    [​IMG]
     
  16. ransel

    ransel Member

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    What a lovely little camera Glen. Would like to see some pics done with it. Just finished up a roll of 400 speed color film in my Agfa Billy Record II today. Have to send it off for processing.

    I looked around your gallery. Great stuff. I lived in Argencia (sp) as a child back in 1962-1963. My dad was in the US Navy and stationed there.