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Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb (Ultron) Aquired
Old 01-02-2020   #1
avidmaster
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Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb (Ultron) Aquired

A recent add to my collection. In excellent condition. I was happy to find the selenium meter functioning properly after a good, careful cleaning of the front viewfinder/meter housing. The 50mm Ultron is wonderful. The ergonomics of the shutter release location is still under consideration. More than once, I found myself pressing a non-existent button on the top of the camera. I will post pics from a roll of Ektar 100 that I shot after I process it later this week. For Christmas I received a 16" x 16" Havox portable studio which accounts for the photography.

Thanks for looking!

Mike

Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

Voigtlander Vitomatic IIIb by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr
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Old 01-02-2020   #2
hilltime
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I have the same model in like Mint condition, meter still very accurate, and the Ultron is one of the best IMHO. Love this camera and it's wonderful styling.
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Old 01-02-2020   #3
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I know what you mean. I really appreciate the fine style. And the heft. A well built camera.
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“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson
RIT Photo House '80-'84

Voigtlander:
120mm Folders: Bessa I, Bessa II, Bessa 66, Perkeo II
35mm Folders: Vito III, Vito Compur, Vito II, Vito IIa, Vitessa "C", Vitessa L
35mm RF w/lenses: Vitessa T, Prominent I (50mm Ultron), Prominent II (50mm Nokton), Bessa L, Bessa R
35mm RF fixed: Vito B, Vito BL, Vito BR, Vitomatic Ia, Vitomatic IIa, Vitomatic IIIb (50mm Ultron)
35mm RF compact Vito C (Balda)
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Old 01-09-2020   #4
Solinar
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Definitely overbuilt and to my eye at least, it is one of the more attractive mid-sixties 60'ies fixed-lens 35mm cameras out of Germany. It's an acquire taste, but Voigtlander was into chrome during those days, in addition to clever ways to reinvent the wheel.

I'll assume that you'll be using the camera with the bottom half of its leather case. Try using your middle finger to actuate the shutter release.

What do you think of that viewfinder? Not only is it two solid glass prisms that are cemented together to form a beam splitter - but Voigtlander had to grind a portion of the front corner - and - a bottom portion of this massive beam-splitter, in order to cement two additional glass optics - which are used to view the light meter and the selected shutter speed. A third optical prism is cemented to the right side of the beam splitter to transmit the rangefinder to the center. A Japanese manufacturer would used a semi-silvered mirror for a beam-splitter and mirror for the RF image. Then called it good enough.

I will let some else speak up regarding the Ultron.
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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus a Voigtlander Vito II and Vito BR
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
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Old 01-09-2020   #5
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Unusually long focus throw for slow but accurate focus.
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Old 01-09-2020   #6
ranger9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar View Post
A Japanese manufacturer would used a semi-silvered mirror for a beam-splitter and mirror for the RF image. Then called it good enough.
A Japanese manufacturer would have put in a projected-frame RF/VF with parallax compensation...
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Old 01-09-2020   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger9 View Post
A Japanese manufacturer would have put in a projected-frame RF/VF with parallax compensation...
True, by 1964 most fixed-lens 35mm camera from Japan had projected frame lines which moved as you focused the lens. Unfortunately, this feature, along with depth of field scales were dropped on most of the smaller bodied fixed-lens RF's by the middle of the 1970'ies, (which is why I prefer the beasties from the 1965 to 70 era). My point above was the Japanese would not go through cost or the trouble of grinding and cementing all the solid glass optics that make up a Vitomatic viewfinder. They had their own prerogatives. The Japanese manufacturers were competing with each other.

Back to the Voigtlander: I believe that the Vitomatic IIIb was first released in 1964 - but the basic build was very close to the Vitomatic II of 1958 - which had the first version of the 1:1 mag ratio, van Albada viewfinder optic that I described above. - The basic chassis below the top cover began life in 1956 as the Vito II b.

If you haven't used one, the only thing that is automatic on the Vitomatic is they are fitted with a coupled light meter. I've always have had a an apprieciation for Voigtlander's optics and as a glasses wearer, the 1:1 ration viewfinder is a major plus.

I'll give Voigtlander credit for at least tweeking the Vitomatic with a slightly updated variants every couple of years , but by 1965 it was a dated design versus a Canonet S-1 or a Hi-Matic 7, (both of which included auto exposure modes).
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35mm Gear Bessa R, Leica II, - IIIg, - M2
Just for fun 35mm Gear a Kodak Retina IIa, a Rollei 35 S, plus a Voigtlander Vito II and Vito BR
Modern Medium Format Fuji GW 690III
Vintage MF Folders a Voigtländer Perkeo II and Bessa II, 2 of them - a ZI Mess Ikonta 524/2 - plus an Agfa Super Isolette & a Record III
Digital a D300 and a D700 with some primes - still going over a decade later

"Who spilled the Dektol on the bathroom carpet?"
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Old 01-16-2020   #8
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I recently finished a roll of Ektar 100 with the Vitomatic and I enjoyed the experience. As an eyeglass wearer, I thought that the viewfinder was bright and clear and the camera was easy to compose. The mechanics and optics of the whole unit are a bit staggering but I appreciated the ability to set exposure without removing my eye. It was somewhat reminiscent of my Prominent II viewfinder which was a gift compared to the Prom I.

Mike
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Michael Kaplan
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson
RIT Photo House '80-'84

Voigtlander:
120mm Folders: Bessa I, Bessa II, Bessa 66, Perkeo II
35mm Folders: Vito III, Vito Compur, Vito II, Vito IIa, Vitessa "C", Vitessa L
35mm RF w/lenses: Vitessa T, Prominent I (50mm Ultron), Prominent II (50mm Nokton), Bessa L, Bessa R
35mm RF fixed: Vito B, Vito BL, Vito BR, Vitomatic Ia, Vitomatic IIa, Vitomatic IIIb (50mm Ultron)
35mm RF compact Vito C (Balda)
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