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An Old Voigtlander Vitessa L Came My Way
Old 01-24-2017   #1
Colorado CJ
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An Old Voigtlander Vitessa L Came My Way

Since I'm getting real interested in old rangefinders (its a disease), I picked up another one.

This time an old Voigtlander Vitessa L with Ultron 50mm F2 lens. When I received it, took it out of the box and heard a rattle. When I looked through the eyepiece, I couldn't see the rangefinder spot.... You guessed it, the rangefinder mirror was what was rattling around inside the top of the camera.

Since I got this camera for $100.00, I didn't really want to send it back. So, I took half a day to take the camera apart and reglue the rangefinder. Most of the time was spent readjusting the rangefinder spot after the glue dried, MAN what a pain!

Anyway, the next day I took it outside and shot a short roll through it to see how well I repaired it. I used some cheap expired Fugicolor 100 that I picked up for $0.75 a roll. I developed the roll in some 1 1/2 year old C-41 chemicals I had lying around in glass bottles.

I'm happy with the result.

Voigtlander Vitessa L with Ultron 50mm F2 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Here's some scans of the negative. These aren't anything special, just some snaps around the house. Also, the meter works on this Vitessa, so all the images were calculated with the Vitessa's onboard meter.

Voigtlander Vitessa L Ultron Test Roll 2 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitessa L Ultron Test Roll 1 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitessa L Ultron Test Roll 3 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitessa L Ultron Test Roll 4 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

It looks like patience paid off. The rangefinder on this camera was very difficult to align. I can't tell you how many times I had the top of the camera on and off to get the rangefinder aligned. the mirror and prisms are build on top of the camera, but the eyepiece is built in the removable top. So, to align the spot you have to constantly take off and reinstall the top plate, as well as the focus wheel.

I can tell you one thing though, I think I am going to enjoy this camera. That Ultron lens might prove to be something special.
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Old 01-24-2017   #2
Crazy Fedya
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You did a great job aligning rangefinder. As far as lens goes, it's a frickin' Ultron! I have 3 different models of Vitessas, all of them with Ultron lenses, and one more Ultron, mounted on a Prominent.
It is a wonderful piece of optics, said to rival 50/2 Summicron.
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Old 01-24-2017   #3
Crazy Fedya
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I also like colors that vintage Voigtlander lenses produce. Very distinct!
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Old 01-25-2017   #5
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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You did well with the repairs. Have to be happy with those shots! The Ultron is a superb lens.

Being a later model the combi plunger probably has the removable button on the end which unscrews, I suspect. Early types had an integral button and corresponding larger opening, through which the end could be withdrawn when necessary. If you ever need to remove the top cover again, take care to use a piece of rubber inner tube or something similar around the plunger to lock the shaft as you unscrew the knob. They don't appreciate being locked against the internal mechanism at all--someone broke one of mine by doing precisely this. There are some good threads here on the topic of working on the Vitessas if it should ever be an issue again. Early types are quite different optically, under the cover, compared to later types. Personally I don't find them too bad to work on, but then, I've always found Voigtlaenders to be not too bad, for the most part, perhaps because the ones I am interested in were so beautifully made with good materials.
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Old 01-25-2017   #6
mpaniagua
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Did you happen to take pictures of the dissasembly, repair and assembly? Would be nice if you could share your experience of the process with the forum.

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Marcelo
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