Of course . . . duh! . . . Shawn, if you wanted a 120 folder, you would have been over on the MF forum . . . don't know where my brain was parked when I started extolling the virtues of my little folder. Now I do need to find where I put that Vitessa if I am to redeem mysel!
"Oh, Lord, won't you buy me
a Super Silette,
My friends all got Alpas,
So I need a new lens."
Last edited by B&Jdude; 09-12-2008 at 11:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Lousy musician - lousy speller!
The Vitessa's have great lenses, but the advance mechanism and RF mechanism is poorly engineered. The RF mechanism is adjusted using three set screws that hold the mirror against a fourth one. The adjustment must be made with the top off, but must be checked putting the top back on. The viewfinder optics are in the camera top, and you just can't see through the VF without the top on. If I used mine more often, I'd cut the spare top plate up to allow for adjustment and viewing at the same time.
The Vitessa T is a big, heavy camera that has a superb lens. Probably designed to compete with the Retina IIIS, the Kodak has parallax corrected/bright frame lines for 35/50/85/135 lenses.
My mother in law picked up an Agfa Super Silette at a yard sale for me. Honestly it seems like a peice of junk. Real flimsy.
I'm using the Vito C. Haven't seen the results yet.
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I too read the book you mentioned last year... Resulting some purchasing from german e-bay, namely a contessa lke and two vitomatics. (The other Vitomatic - IIb - had suffered a shock during transport and the lens was useless)
The other Vitomatic II was as new - cost me 9.90€. The postage was more than that.
Both cameras Zeiss and Voigtländer have Tessar type lenses (Skopar in V.) which are amazingly sharp. I would forget the Lanthar-lensed versions. Ultron is too expensive. Selenium exposure meters work with accuracy - even in cold (have used them while cross-country skiing.) and the vitomatic rangefinder is life-size and very convenient to use even with eye glasses.
I really recommend a good Vitomatic. The build quality is superb. I'd forget the Vitos without rangefinders and exposure meters. Not so convenient in use.
I think half the fun is taking these old cameras out into the modern world and watching people take a second look. I regularly take out my Retina IIIS http://www.cameraquest.com/ret3s.htm - hewn from solid metal in a brown leather half case it just looks like a great piece of kit.
Apart from the weight of the thing, it's no compromise though. I usually have the 28mm on it and the shots I get are some of the sharpest.
Mine functions perfectly and looks almost like new. Its so quiet sometimes I am not even sure if the shutter has fired - but it always has! I bought it from ebay Germany a year or so back with 3 lenses and a few other bits n pieces including a contemporary leather compartment case. From the thumb mark wear on the case it has obviously been well used, and I like to think was serviced from time to time as it just works so smoothly. With film in at the moment I have this IIIS, a retina IIIc, a Kiev 4 and a Zorki 4. The Kiev and the IIIS see the most action.
I have a Vitessa with the barn doors and boy do I know about the rangefinder adjustment issue.
I inherited mine from my dad and it had been dropped before it even had 10 rolls through it.
It has the Color Skopar and if I'm remembering correctly it is the slower 3.5 version.
The only damage was it knocked the rangefinder silly.
I'm sad because it sits in drawer unused. I researched trying to adjust the rangefinder but it seems there was a special tool that you used to adjust it with the top off.
If anyone can point me to someone who may be able to get it up and running that would be great.
The plunger action is truly a wild feature.
I currently own a Vito B with 3.5 lens and Pronto shutter, and Vito B with 3.5 lens and Prontor shutter (speeds from 1 to 1/300th), and a Vitomatic 1. I used to own a Vito BL and a Vito II. I also shoot with a Perkeo II. Obviously, I think the Color Skopar lenses are great. If you are not used to estimating distances, then get a rangefinder for use with scale focus Vitos or get a Vitomatic model with a rangefinder. The models with the albada finders offer a huge and bright view at the cost of much more weight. The Vito B with simple Pronto shutter is very light and small. The Vitomatics are small bricks, but beautifully crafted bricks.
Regarding the Super Silette being a flimsy piece of junk, that's an interesting comment.
Agfa served the middle of the market. They made good cameras for reasonable prices.
The first Super Silette is based on the folding camera but was a rigid-lens design. The later models were based loosely on the Optima cameras. The final models had coupled selenium meters. They also had front-mounted shutter releases, which are a bit of an acquired taste.
While I've never felt them to be on the same par as a Zeiss Ikon or a Leica, I've felt that they are decently made cameras.
Regarding the Vitessa rangefinder, I've taken the top deck and held it backward with the eyepiece held up against the viewfinder while trying to make the adjustment. A royal pain!
Voigtlander often did quirky things for no apparent reason.