Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Jurgen Estanislao, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Jurgen Estanislao

    Jurgen Estanislao Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I own a Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa and I am in love with what it can do, not to mention that it's truly a German engineering marvel.

    In any case, I was wondering if any of you are familiar as to how I can clean the viewfinder? Honestly, it's still usable but through it I can't see the exposure meter due to some fog inside.

    I know that the whole viewfinder is cemented but is there a way to clean this up?

    Thanks!

    Jurgen
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Some of those viewfinders seem to be a one piece unit moulded into a block of white material which looks a bit like ceramic but isn't. The type I am thinking of are those with a large front element with a mirror coating like this: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/201/457522833_68690dc367.jpg

    The only way to clean it would be to cut it in half, clean it up then glue it together again.


    Steve.
     
  3. Jurgen Estanislao

    Jurgen Estanislao Member

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    Hey Steve,

    Yup you're right, it looks like a block of white material that resembles ceramic/plaster or paris. The image you shared is exactly the camera I have.

    Have you tried cutting this type of viewfinder in half? Or do you know someone who did? Any links to resources?

    Thanks!

    Jurgen
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have not tried cutting it. I do have one somewhere from a scrap camera. I will see if I can find it and if it is in better condition than yours then you are welcome to have it.


    Steve.
     
  5. Grytpype

    Grytpype Member

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    I have a Vitomatic II. This has a meter, but it is read from the top. It's not visible in the viewfinder like the IIa, so I don't know how the IIa viewfinder is arranged optically to show the meter.

    When I got this camera the rangefinder image was virtually invisible due to cloudiness on the movable lens behind the rangefinder window, caused by droplets of liquid (possibly from evaporation of lubricant?). This lens is not within the optical block, but it is not easily accessible without some fairly scary-looking dismantling of the rangefinder. I managed to get it clean by sliding in small pads of tissue with a little naphtha from the side.

    Have a look from the front through the rangefinder window, Jurgen. If it looks cloudy, maybe you have the same problem.

    Steve.
     
  6. Jurgen Estanislao

    Jurgen Estanislao Member

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    Oh sounds great! Thank you.
     
  7. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Though I once (briefly) had a Vitomatic IIa, I never took it apart.
    I did take other classic Voigtländer cameras apart (especially Bessamatics) and found it very easy to do (good engineering made it far easier than with most cameras): if you're confindent with your screwdriver skills, you could remove the viewfinder and see if you can reach any cleanable parts...
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Actually, the one I mentioned is from a II rather than a IIa..... and it's on its way to Jurgen now so perhaps he can tell us if it fits when he gets it. I hope it does.


    Steve.
     
  9. Jurgen Estanislao

    Jurgen Estanislao Member

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    Hey Steve,

    Thanks! Prior to me playing around it myself, I will try and ask my Leicaman to take a look first to be sure.

    Jurgen