Topic: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Picked this up for £15 recently from an antique shop in a lovely bundle including fine leather case, yellow filter + hood, and a Johnson's Standard Exposure Calculator. Obviously a much-loved and used camera by its previous owner. Shutterspeeds were sticky below 1/25 but it came apart remarkably easily to squirt some lighter fluid in and get them running again (and amazingly, went back together almost as easily).

I love the engineering of it; when you press the opening button, not only do the bellows pop out but the little viewfinder pops open automatically and the shutter release lever emerges from the front plate too. Beautiful Skopar (Tessar-type) 105mm ƒ/3.5 lens that's uncoated but really clean, and seems very sharp across the frame. Shutter's not named but runs from 1 sec to 1/200 with B and T.

The pics aren't exactly Ansel standard but cut me a little slack - my first time loading 120 in a Paterson reel and developing it (I have done a fair bit of 135, but never got the nerve up for 120 before). FP4+ in Aculux 3, 20 deg C for 6½ minutes. I think I could be hooked on folders now though - got another 6x9 coming soon (a slightly older, 1930s I think, Beier Voran that's described as absolutely immaculate).

https://s2.yimg.com/sk/3692/12559486734_e43d20120a.jpg
Voigtlander Bessa kit by SteveFE, on Flickr

With a couple of other bellows beauties:
https://s1.yimg.com/sj/2877/12568958263_5f873e8208.jpg
Unashamed bellows porn by SteveFE, on Flickr

Hereford playing fields after the flooding:
https://s2.yimg.com/sk/3831/12662242984_f59839aaa9.jpg
DSC01639 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Small tree:
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7447/12661773945_ee2eefbd89.jpg
DSC01638 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Flooded tree:
https://v4s.yimg.com/sm/5531/12662245544_170cf0745f.jpg
DSC01635 by SteveFE, on Flickr

River Wye:
https://s2.yimg.com/sm/5539/12661779315_73e133f6e0.jpg
DSC01636 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Intentional double exposure, not too successful as it's too cluttered:
https://v4s.yimg.com/so/7436/12662241474_0290cde5d4.jpg
DSC01634 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Cypresses - just pretend I got the horizon straight :-)
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/12661894403_d55388351f.jpg
DSC01637 by SteveFE, on Flickr

My "scans" aren't too great - had to bodge up a makeshift lightbox to take pics of the negs with the NEX, but I didn't get the light distribution too good. I hope to improve on that. The negs are huge and beautiful though.

Last edited by SteveFE (2014-02-21 09:20:28)

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

I did many test with the Nex-3  in order to get the best scan of  6x6 and 6x9 films . Today , my best combination is the Leica R 35/2,8 + Macrotar VIb . I think that you have to test you own way with different lenses ...
Your second  B&W picture is the best but you have to be careful with dust and/or a  hard water .

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Thanks Peter. Yes, the finishing stage, squeegeeing the film and using photoflo or something so that it dries clean, is my weakness (I don't actually have a squeegee or photoflo yet, must get some before next film process day!).

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

I simply use a liquid for dishes and it works very well !

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

It went to the States with me and back, and took photos in Washington DC. Several were sadly a bit out of focus as I was trying to work it at wider apertures (and the exposure was OK but I still can't do distances to save my life, even with an accessory rangefinder), but these two at around ƒ/16 came out quite sharp:

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7416/13333195685_186333d801_z.jpg
DSC02650 by SteveFE, on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7365/13333351963_b1c6bc4bbe_z.jpg
DSC02649 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Nice pictures Steve !  How did Yankee react when you pulled out your big camera ?
The young blond lady is smiling as she looks at you , eccentric British boy , in the second picture ...

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Ohhhh ... the g'f is a Southerner, so best not use the Y word :-) The passerby was cool about the camera, said he didn't have a clue how these things work but if I set it up for him he'd take the photo.

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Mmh, I'm also looking for a way to digitalise my 120 film negs/slides without having to buy a MF scanner. But I'm not happy with the results yet.

Another related subject. I've got a Voigtländer Bessa Rangefinder (first model with built in rangefinder). When I cleaned up the lens a while ago I discovered that the whole lens could actually unscrew from the camera. It is a smallish screw mount I haven't seen before. Supposedly other 6x9 Bessa has the same thread one could actually change lens between the cameras. But I haven't been able to find anything mentioned about that, neither in litterature or on the web. Of course, they all have lenses somewhere around 105mm, but one could at least upgrade to a later coated and faster lens.... and what if the 6x6 and 4.5x6 Bessa's got the same thread...one could swap lens with one of them and get sort of wide angle on a 6x9 (if they cover the whole 6x9 picture). Crazy idea or what? Could you all scheck if your Bessa folde camera lenses unscrew?

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3757/11044750255_25688ed812_b.jpg

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3675/11044833456_a91e8e7a18_b.jpg

SLR: Konica AR system / Pentax 110, m37, m42, K, KA, F, FA, DFA, DA, 645, 67 system / Praktica BP system / Samsung NX system+adapters for the above and m39, FD, F, OM...lenses / TLR: Rolleicord 6x6 / RF: Voigtländer Bessa RF / Kiev/Contax system / Agfa Ambi Silette system / Yashica Electro 35 G / develop BW, scan 35mm, looking for a solution to scan my MF...

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

I believe the rangefinder Bessas used unit-focussing (the whole lens/shutter assembly moves on a focus rack on the bed as in large format cameras) as opposed to the front-cell focussing used with the non-rangefinder models like mine. I'm pretty sure it'd just be the front element that can unscrew on yours though, for cleaning etc - the shutter leaves are usually between two lensgroups, one at the front and one at the back, which is only accessible by unscrewing from inside the bellows.

Some of the large-format or plate Voigtlanders did have completely interchangeable lens-shutter units. I've got a Bergheil 9x12cm plate/sheet film camera with a 135mm Heliar that actually has an early bayonet mount and can be replaced by a 250mm tele lens if you're lucky enough to own one.

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Voigtlander Bessa (post-war, viewfinder version)

Douglas_of_Sweden wrote:

Mmh, I'm also looking for a way to digitalise my 120 film negs/slides without having to buy a MF scanner. But I'm not happy with the results yet...

One of the cheapest way to digitalise 120 film is the use of a flatbed scanner with a tranparency unit like the epson v550 or some older canon scanner.
Because of the large format the "really" resoultion of approximately 1500 thru 1800 dpi is good enough to get pretty good scans, but of course far away from beeing perfect.

Hanoi