classic voigtlander rangefinders. which one?
OK, I know the Prominent and Vitessa are nice cameras. But a bit on the high side pricewise.
What about all the other vitos, etc?
I like Voigtlander and I like a wellbuilt rangefinder. So which one should I buy next?
I don't know which one you should buy next. It depends on if you intend using it or if its just going to sit in a collection.
For use I'd recommend the Vito CLR, I have one and it is a superb user camera.
For collecting, anything that looks shiny.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
I have a Vito II with a Color Skopar lens. A gem of a camera very small and great contrasty lens to boot.
Looking is a gift, but seeing is power.
hehe, collect the shiny ones and use a CLR or Vito II. gotcha.
which is the better lens, Lanthar or Skopar? and can I expect a working meter on the CLR? thanks
Last edited by Kevin Roach; 11-09-2006 at 09:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Skopar is usually regarded as better, but there's not a lot in it.
Originally Posted by Kevin Roach
Working meter - I have a Vito CLR with a working meter, selenium meters seem to last a lot longer if they are kept covered up, so a camera that has been kept in its natty little case (most were) is a better bet than one that has been on display on a shelf.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Vitomatics were the next level down from the Prominent and Vitessa range, and are excellent cameras. The prontor shutters usually need a CLA for the slow speeds (true also for the Vitos), but these cameras are so solid they will last a long time. IMHO they are much better built, and designed, than the Vito series, but the "CLR" Vitos are similar in features with coupled lightmeter and rangefinder (comparing to the Vitomatic II, as the Vitomatic I lacked the rangefinder). As posted above, the selenium meters are still usable, but might require calibration, especially for artificial light. The later vitomatics used CdS meters, but the batteries are hard to find and the cameras are highly collectable (thus expensive). If you want a slight upgrade on lens speed, try and find a Vitomatic II with the 50/f2 Ultron (same lens as the Vitessa) -but these are usually pricey. I'd avoid the Dynamatics. Although these are wonderful cameras when working, the full automatic features usually find some way to get out of whack. I regularly use a Vitomatic II as well as a (working!) Dynamatic II, both with the color Skopar lenses.
The Vito IIa is a design "improvement" over the Vito II. It uses a top deck similar to the original Vito B. Like the Vito II, it has a coated Color Skopar lens and usually a Prontor shutter.
Some of the Vito II cameras have a Compur shutter, although you're far more likely to encounter one with a Pronto(r).
The Vito III is very similar to the Prominent -- essentially it is a lighter weight folding version of the Prominent. However, these are not bargains and often sell for more than the Prominent. These usually have the excellent Ultron lens. I can't remember if Voigtlander put a Septon onto the Vito III.
I had a Vito CLR and now have a Vitomatic IIb. Both are rangefinder cameras with selenium meters. The CLR is a slightly larger model and very usable. The IIb is smaller -- it's essentialy a second model Vito B (the one with the van albada viewfinder) that has added a meter and rangefinder. As a result, the IIb is much noticeably heavier than the B.
There is a small translucent dial on the top of the right deck that collects light so the meter needle can be seen inside the viewfinder. It's a nice little camera with many tricks and a coated Color Skopar lens.
Both the CLR and the IIb have a front-mounted shutter release, which Ivor Mantanle calls correctly "an acquired taste." In the end, you generally tolerate it.
The IIb has a rewind lever, rather than knob rewind. I don't remember if the CLR, which also has a Color Skopar lens (at least the one I owned had one), has knob rewind.
I have a short writeup of the Vito III, as well as a couple other Voigtlander cameras on my site. The Prominent is my least favorite.
Last edited by elekm; 11-11-2006 at 08:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The Vito CLR has really ugly bokeh and is very unsharp wide-open. Stopped down, it's not great, but it works. I have the Lanthar model tough, can't say anything about the Skopar, which is rumoured to be better.
I picked up a Vito II. It's not even a rangefinder but it sure is a sweet little camera. I noticed most voigtlanders are in pretty good shape. People must have taken care of them, showed some pride in their equipment. This one looks new. And it cost me 10 bucks!!
I'm going for a vitomatic or CLR next.
If your camera was acquired secondhand and has always delivered poor performance, I would think this indicates damage of some kind (lens misalignment caused by dropping the camera?).
Originally Posted by davor