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  1. #1

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    Voigtländer Superb Heliar, missing element?

    I'm devastated right now, my new Superb seems to be a very expensive paper weight.
    I developed my first test roll and realized something was very wrong. There was absolutely no sharpness in any of the pics, not even the ones at infinity F8-F11, and blur looked really weird.


    After checking with tape I noticed that the focusing was extremely off, a lamp close to me was getting closer to focus at infinity but still a blur.

    Then I inspected the lens closer and realized that the Heliar seems to lack the rear group. Anybody who can confirm?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WP_20150224_19_15_31_Pro.jpg   WP_20150224_19_17_14_Pro.jpg   WP_20150224_19_46_56_Pro.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Yep, that does not look right. Just to be sure, turn it over and shine a flash light into the lens and look for the reflections of the light. There should be 5. I'm betting you only see 3. That's really too bad, as the Heliars on all the Voigtlanders are superb (sorry!). Hopefully you can send it back for a full refund. You could hunt up a rear element for it, but they are not exactly common.

  3. #3

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    I see six reflections, three on either side when from an angle. That sounds about right with six air to glass surfaces. The Heliar was what sold it to me, they are indeed superb! Half a Heliar? Not so much.

    Yeah, I contacted the seller and we'll see how this goes, an anti-climax after craving a Superb for so long. Hunting down a rear section for the Heliar would most likely mean another camera for the same price, it just don't make sense. If there was a broken one with a Heliar on Ebay or similar then maybe but I haven't seen one.

  4. #4

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    VD, you seem to have a focusing problem, not a lens problem. I have a heliar type 105/3.7 Ektar ready to hand and asked it whether its rear group (a cemented doublet) or its front cell (center group, a singlet, and front group, a cemented doublet) could form an image. No. Your lens forms an image.

    Check that the focusing screen is in the right place and oriented correctly (ground side facing the mirror) and that focus in the film plane coincides with focus on the ground glass. It is possible that the taking and viewing lenses are out of synchronization or that one of them has been replaced. Remember, they have to be a matched pair and having the same focal length engraved doesn't guarantee a match.

  5. #5

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    It's possible the focusing mechanism has been assembled incorrectly, too, I had one of these a long time ago so I don't recall the details but it's worth checking. The lens looks complete.

  6. #6

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    You may be right, I got no real idea but another guy told me that one group is missing in the last lens threads. Anybody who got a Superb with a Heliar?
    I shot test shots also at a small aperture around infinity just to take the screen out of the equation and that is just as blurry. I also also shot at 0.8m with both foreground and background but that's just complete blur too. Only really a really bad synchronization or a lens fault left as a possibility left as a possibility. As each frame of the film got razor sharp edges I doubt it's a processing or film advance thing.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    It's possible the focusing mechanism has been assembled incorrectly, too, I had one of these a long time ago so I don't recall the details but it's worth checking. The lens looks complete.
    That's a relief if that's the case. I'm was going to get a repairman to check it out tomorrow and was devastated after getting a feeling and an answer that it wasn't complete as that means I was out of luck.

    I may have to send the seller a very apologetic message.

  8. #8

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    I checked it again and you guys might be correct. My computerscreen 0.8m was looking decenently sharp on the "focusing screen" at about 0.1-0.15m away. Infinity is at about 0.35m.
    Last edited by VisualDarkness; 02-24-2015 at 05:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    VD, you seem to have a focusing problem, not a lens problem. I have a heliar type 105/3.7 Ektar ready to hand and asked it whether its rear group (a cemented doublet) or its front cell (center group, a singlet, and front group, a cemented doublet) could form an image. No. Your lens forms an image.
    I did the experiment with a Bergheil and a Heliar 105/3.5, and true, it just made a white blob no matter the distance or bellows extension.

  10. #10

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    I just came up with something interesting. When cleaning the camera I found it weird that when at close focus the lens/shutter side of the taking lens helicoid came out of the housing quite far. I guess it shouldn't be?

    As of now the inner helicoid is protruding out from the shutter housing by 3-4mm at 0.8m. If the focusing is synced about 1cm too far out it would explain why it is stuck in "macro"

    Edit. Checking video clips they all have the same look the focusing.
    Last edited by VisualDarkness; 02-24-2015 at 06:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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