|Voigtlander Vito B|
Vito B (BL lower down)This is a very nice camera from the 1950s (1956 for this camera). It is well designed and well made – no plastic (at least not visibly) and the pressings and millings are neatly finished. It is a pleasure to look at and to hold.
The film advance lever falls nicely to the thumb in use but travels well to the front of the camera which is a bit awkward in use. There is also an accessory shoe on top which is designed for a rangefinder as much as for a flash gun. There is a PC (for Prontor Compur) socket on the underside of the lens for a flash gun – the camera can synchronise for bulb flash (M) and electronic flash (X). The flash synchronising lever is also used to set the shutter delay timer (V for Vorlaufwerk). The shutter is cocked by advancing the film – an improvement over the Vito II which had a manual cocking lever on the shutter housing. It is also an improvement over the later Vito Automatic I where the shutter release also cocked the shutter during the first part of its travel.
The pictures that this camera produces are good even by modern standards.
Vito BLThe Vito BL is based on the Vito B mark II - that is, the version with the larger viewfinder. There are two changes. One is the addition of a light meter to the camera. The second is these of an EV enabled shutter (I am given to understand that some Vito B cameras also had EV enabled shutters but I have never seen one). The shutter is a Prontor SVS - the same as the Vito B above.
The light meter uses a selenium cell which does not need a battery to work. Selenium light metre's get an undeservedly bad press predicated on their losing sensitivity over time. While this is theoretically correct, I have yet to see a selenium meter that was not still accurate, even with meters that are over 55 years old.
With the design of the meter, film speed (ISO) is set by turning a knurled knob on the back of the top plate. This moves a series of numbers into view. Each series is identified by a letter - each letter represents a different ASA/ISO rating. B is 12 DIN/12 ASA, C is 15 DIN/25 ASA, D is 18 DIN/50 ASA, E is 21 DIN/100ASA, F is 24 DIN/200 ASA and G is 27 DIN/400 ASA. For those who are not aware, films speeds double with 3 added to the DIN rating. 24 DIN is twice as fast as 21 DIN. With ASA/ISO, double the film speed has double the ASA rating. 400 ASA is twice as fast as 200 ASA.
|Meter set to F - 24 DIN or 200 ASA/ISO|
|Knurled meter knob below meter|
In every other aspect, this Vito BL is the same as a Vito B.
|EV set to 11 - 1/60 second and f/5.6|
|EV set to 11 - 1/200 second and f/3.5|
|EV set to 11 - 1/4 second and f/22|
|Oddfellows Hall, Lincoln|
|Busker in Lincoln|
|Roof tops in Lincoln, Abbey ward.|