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  1. #1
    camperbc's Avatar
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    Anyone have the Zoightlander Perkeo 1?

    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. #2
    Chrismat's Avatar
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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. #3

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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. #4

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    I own the one with a 75mm Vaskar. No complaints regarding the corner sharpness once stopped down to f8 or f11:


    Mederano Travelling Circus by Ilya.Bur, on Flickr

  5. #5
    camperbc's Avatar
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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. #6
    DWThomas's Avatar
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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. #7

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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 Top-Cat; 02-19-2013 at 05:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    camperbc's Avatar
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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. #9
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by camperbc View Post
    [...]

    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
    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. #10

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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.

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