Voigtlander Bergheil: What lens?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by aabitia, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    Hello,

    I was recently given a Voigtlander Bergheil camera kit, but it has no lens. Information seems scarce, but this camera has made we want to learn large format photography, so that's what I'm setting out to do. It does have the mounting ring on it to attach to a lens, thankfully, but I don't know what lens it would've come with originally...can anyone help? I don't necessarily need an original lens, though I would like that, but does anyone know what lens I should try for? From reading a book called "Using The View Camera" that I just bought, I'm guessing that I can go with a typical 150mm lens, but I don't know if newer lenses would fit on this camera...that is, I'm not sure if the normal lenses of today physically fit on cameras of yesteryear.

    Size: It came with about a dozen film holders, and the size of the film area is 10cm X 15cm. The previous owner, a retired photographer now gone, appears to have glued some thin card strips to one end of the film area, presumably to accommodate 4 X 5 film.

    Any help would be very much appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    The 10x15 Bergheil typically came with a 180mm f4.5 lens. Either a Heliar or a Skopar. I have a 150mm f4.5 Heliar from a 9x12 Bergheil, it's one of my favorite lenses. If you want something that will close up into the camera you need something small and likely vintage in a compur or compound shutter. An 18cm Tessar, Xenar, Heliar, Skopar, or Dagor would do the job nicely.
     
  3. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    Thank you Karl. Considering this Voigtlander has been somewhat modified to be 4 X 5 from the original 10 X 15, will a 180mm give the 35mm equivalent of 50mm, or would a 150mm be closer? Many thanks again. -Aaron
     
  4. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    Well, technically a 165 is closer to a standard lens for 4x5, though most people use a 150 or a 135.

    Hey, I grew up in SLO.
     
  5. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    they also offered a fine e-Tele Dynar (also Heliar design - or visa versa)....
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It's pretty hard to find lenses in Bergheil bayonet; I suspect they didn't sell very many accessory lenses, and most of the originals have stayed with their camera bodies. Searching eBay for "bergheil" will occasionally turn up something, and the high-end camera dealers like the LeicaShop sometimes have one (but the prices can be astronomical).

    To make matters worse, I don't think the bayonets are interchangeable between 9x12 and 10x15, and there are a lot more 9x12s out there. On the bright side, those Heliars can be insanely good lenses. (Mine is one of the sharpest lenses I've ever seen, but it was originally bought by my great-grandfather, who would have been the kind of guy to cherry-pick the best lens available rather than just taking what he got. I don't know how consistent they are.)

    If I were in your position, I'd ring SK Grimes and see if they can fab a bayonet mounting for the camera. If they can, you could have them do an adapter and be able to mount modern shutters. Finding an original shutter/lens for the 10x15 version is a worthwhile quest but will likely take a while, and you might as well be able to use the camera in the meantime.

    It looks like the Lumiere Shop and Wephota, both in Germany, have a couple of emulsions available in 10x15, but the gain in area over 4x5 is marginal.

    -NT
     
  7. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    Thanks all, great information. The prices for a lens from that era appear to be high indeed. So perhaps a newer lens is what I'll do. Nathan I do have the bayonet, just not the lens, so apart from the issue of actually mounting the bayonet to a newer lens, and the issue of perhaps not being able to close up the camera as Karl noted above, would a newer 180mm or 150mm give the same results as a period lens? Thanks again everyone.

    P.S. Karl, I grew up in SLO too, 1970s, Quintana elementary. Golden age.
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    If you have the bayonet, does that mean you also have the original shutter? That would make things a lot easier---there seem to be quite a few 15 cm Heliars in barrel out there, and hopefully you could just transplant the lens cells into the shutter. If you have just the bayonet mount and need to attach a shutter to it, I have no idea how that part works.

    -NT
     
  9. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    I have the bayonet, but no shutter or lens...I've read that the bayonet is the hardest part to find. I think I will buy one of the more plentiful, newer, less expensive lenses just to get started and try the camera out, to see if it all works. Thanks for the tip on the 10x15 film too, I did indeed find them on the Lumiere site.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I'd like to hear about what kind of success you have in mounting lenses/shutters to the bayonet. It's not something we hear about much here; if anyone has succeeded, I think they're too busy enjoying their cameras to come back and tell APUG about it. :smile:

    -NT
     
  11. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    Yes, I will document the solution I come up with and share that information here, definitely. Thanks again everyone.

    -Aaron
     
  12. edp

    edp Member

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    The bayonet simply fixes under the shutter retaining ring if it's like my 6x9 Bergheil.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Bergheil is listed in my 1929 BJP Almanac (it was also known as The Tourist), and there was a choice of 4 standard lenses f4.5 Skopar, f6.3 Collinear, f4.5 and f3.5 Heliar (that order is the extra price). These were all 165mm. However the cameras can be found with longer Heliars.

    The the Collinear was similar to a Dagor and could be used split to give 3 focal lengths. Voigtlander also sold them separately with different combinations of cells.

    If you want to use the camera one option while you're looking for an original lens would be to find a 165mm f4.4 or f6.3 CZJ Tessar, these are quite easy to find at reasonable prices.

    Ian
     
  14. aabitia

    aabitia Member

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    Edp, yes you are correct. Ian, thank you, that's the most specific info yet.

    -Aaron
     
  15. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Ian, do you have the information to know if the 9x12 and 10x15 Bergheils used the same shutter sizes, and/or what those sizes were? It shouldn't be too hard to find some of those lenses, especially the Skopar, in shutter at a decent price, but it might be kind of a crapshoot to try to get a shutter that fits the bayonet without an adapter.

    -NT
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The BJPA adverts don't say what sized shutters and the images are Dial-set Compur shutters which weren't standard compared to later rimset Compurs, so that'll be an issue as well,

    A 135mm or 150mm is standard for 9x12 cameras, I'd expect a Skopar to be similar to a Tessar where the 135mm & 150mm are both in rimset Compur #1's, but a 165mm f4.5 is in a larger shutter, usually a Compound.

    So it's likely to be a bit hit & miss.

    Ian
     
  17. John Flinn

    John Flinn Member

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    Voigtlander Bergheil Bayonets

    Bergheils are great cameras and what draw people to them are the great Heliar lenses and the option of changing lenses quickly with a bayonet type connection to the camera. Unfortunately the bayonets themselves are hard to come by. I solved this by having a local Cad-Cam shop make me a dozen or so copies of my Bergheil bayonet with different size holes for the #0, 1 and #2 Compur shutters. Now I have an assortment of lenses and shutters that I can click into my Bergheils in the same time it takes for any 35mm camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
  18. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    How expensive was that small production run? I've wondered about doing something similar but never got organized enough even to research the likely cost.

    -NT
     
  19. edp

    edp Member

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    If you sell them, people (i.e. me) will want them.
     
  20. John Flinn

    John Flinn Member

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    Bergheil Bayonets for extra lenses

    Sorry for the delay in replying to your question. It cost a total of $250 and three runs to get the specs tweeked so that my stainless steel bayonets would fit correctly on my 9x12 Bergheils. There is not much room for error. I still do some minor grinding after the laser cutting to get a perfect fit as I have found that there is a little variation among Bergheil cameras. If enough people are interested I can make some more runs. It is especially important to have the proper lock nut for the shutter so that it is smaller than the front hole in the camera. This is easy for the size 0 compurs or copal shutters but sometimes a little grinding is necessary on the outside of the lock nut for the size 1 or 2 Compurs. Voigtlander even made its own custom shutter lock nut for the #2 Compur so that it would fit through the hole. Those of you that own the older Heliars mounted in dial set #2 Compurs will know what I mean. I figure these bayonets could be offered at $35 each for the size 0, 1 and 2 shutters. For the 00 size I just use the Copal 0 to Copal 00 adapter sold at Steve Grimes. They go for about $35. I use this system for mounting tiny 65mm F6.8 Schneider Angulon onto my Bergheil. It works great with a little upward shift so that the carriage isn't in the frame. Having multiple lenses with the Bergheil really sets it apart from the other folders.

    John Flinn
     
  21. VisualDarkness

    VisualDarkness Member

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  22. inglis

    inglis Member

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    Depending on the lens you could add a Weitwinkel Focar lens to get a little more of a wide angle. Which lens do you have?
    I am also interested in these mounts!
     
  23. VisualDarkness

    VisualDarkness Member

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    I didn't realize that I got an answer until now! I got the Heliar 12cm F4.5.
    I've seen the Focarlinse 33 WW for sale (right one?) for quite a lot on Ebay and tried to find info about it but found zero, zilch, nada. Do you know more about it?
     
  24. inglis

    inglis Member

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    The Focar WW31 is for the Heliar 12cm 4.5 according to the catalog. It widens the 12cm to 10cm.
    There is one on the bay for under 15$