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Vitomatic IIa Ultron - settings coupling problem
Old 05-20-2016   #1
zcetrt
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Vitomatic IIa Ultron - settings coupling problem

Hi to all.

I just got Vitomatic IIa with Ultron F/2 lens in splendid condition. However, coupling of the aperture and shutter settings is really weird. I can set aperture from F/2 to F/22 only with speeds 1/500, 1/250 and 1/125. With slower speeds, I can not fully open aperture and gradually reducing the range of F stop settings at 1s setting it can only be set to F/22. B shutter setting can not be set.

It seems to me like the aperture ring hits a strong barrier. It doesn't get stiff - seems it hits the limiter. And thus even the shutter speed ring can't be turn to B setting.

Does anybody know what could be a problem? Could someone put the camera wrongly together? Does anybody have a service manual? I tried to disassemble camera from the front but I didn't get deep enough - at some point screws gets hidden under the lens barrel.

I will appreciate your help!
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Old 05-20-2016   #2
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Not familiar with that particular model Voigtländer, but some period German cameras using EV coupling will be restricted in the range of speeds able to be selected as a result of the ASA speed used. Eg the first Contaflex Super. Try reducing the ASA number to reach lower EV combinations including Bulb, and raising it to use highest EV combinations. You might not have a problem. From your description it sounds possible.
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Old 05-20-2016   #3
johnf04
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Instruction manual:

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/voigtla..._vitomatic.htm
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Old 05-20-2016   #4
zcetrt
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Thank you both for your replies. Unfortunately, the film sensitivity selector is not the source of the problem - there is no influence on the behavior apart from the light meter position when changing it. I read the manual to make sure I'm not doing something wrong.

Any other ideas? It's a beautiful camera and I really want to give it a try
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Old 05-20-2016   #5
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Well in that case I reckon someone may have assembled it with the aperture/shutter coupling out of sync. It's easily done if you're not paying attention with some period Voigtlanders (Eg. Bessamatic) and unless you are diligent enough to go through all the combinations afterwards (and not everyone is, sadly) it will seem to work OK when back in one piece but not select all the speeds and f stops. I think you are going to have to dismantle it down to the setting rings, ensure you can select Eg Bulb manually and that the shutter itself is functioning OK, and then re-assemble correctly so it works...
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Old 05-21-2016   #6
zcetrt
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First news - I got in. With removed aperture ring the shutter can be set to B. Then I found a metal shave stuck at one of the shutter screws to which the aperture limiter hit and blocked movement.

After I removed the shave, I can use full setting with exception of F/2 at "B" speed... Is this normal? I can only set down to F/2.8 at "B". Everything besides this works fine. Coupling works as it should.

Thanks for your replies!
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Old 05-21-2016   #7
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Congratulations! Enjoy the camera.
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Old 05-22-2016   #8
jajong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcetrt View Post
First news - I got in. With removed aperture ring the shutter can be set to B. Then I found a metal shave stuck at one of the shutter screws to which the aperture limiter hit and blocked movement.

After I removed the shave, I can use full setting with exception of F/2 at "B" speed... Is this normal? I can only set down to F/2.8 at "B". Everything besides this works fine. Coupling works as it should.

Thanks for your replies!
Yes, that is normal, so no worries and happy shooting.
Cheers,
Jan
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Old 05-23-2016   #9
johnnyrod
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Why is it normal not to be able to use B at f2.0?
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Old 05-23-2016   #10
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I thought about this as well and came to the following conclusion.

I believe "B" can't be used with F/2 due to coupling mechanism implementation. The philosophy of the Vitomatic is "look - and turn". Light meter is coupled to the settings and indicator is visible in the viewfinder. You don't have to check the settings to shoot with correct exposure.
The aperture setting ring is actually connected to the shutter speed ring. When you hit F/2, turning the aperture ring turns the shutter speed ring. And the maximum controlled setting is 1s F/2. Here the aperture ring hits the limiter. One can still change the shutter speed ring to "B", but since "B" isn't a defined speed, it can't be used to guarantee correct exposure. And the coupling causes aperture to change to F/2.8 since the ring is, as mentioned, blocked at 1s F/2.

This is a small sacrifice caused by coupling implementation that works on all other settings.

And here are the photos of my Vitomatic IIa. I'm really glad I fixed it.



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Old 05-23-2016   #11
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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It's a pretty looking thing. Congratulations on getting it working. I've never used one but the 50mm Ultron fitted to my Vitessa is one of the very best lenses I own. I wonder what the owners manual says about using the bulb setting? It may inform whether f/2 being blocked out is normal or not.
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Old 05-24-2016   #12
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Still seems odd, if you were wanting to use B then you are presumably wanting all the light you can get - like a whole stop extra at f2. I know what you mean about the speed/aperture coupling, I have a Vitomatic II with f2.8 Skopar (so no viewfinder meter alas), which has the same system.
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Old 07-28-2016   #13
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I have this same camera, the IIa with the Ultron. Just had it serviced at Newton Ellis. They replaced the faulty selenium cell, cleaned, lubricated and calibrated it for £100 including VAT and delivery. I can only use f2.8 on B setting. Just so you know it is normal. Why? Can't answer that, but yours is not broke.

Love the camera. Now the meter is working, i'm going to run a film through it. Can't wait.

Paul
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