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  1. #1

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    Voigtlander Bergheil: What lens?

    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. #2

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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. #3

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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. #4

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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. #5
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    they also offered a fine e-Tele Dynar (also Heliar design - or visa versa)....

  6. #6

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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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7

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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. #8

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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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #9

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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. #10

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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. :-)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

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