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Voigtlander Prominent to Vito III case conversion
Old 11-13-2019   #1
avidmaster
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Voigtlander Prominent to Vito III case conversion

Hello All,

For those of you Voigtlander Vito III fans and users who struggle with the inexplicable absence of strap lugs on this wonderful camera, I thought I would offer my simple Prominent to Vito III case conversion.

First, Vito III cases are, for some reason, very rare. The only offering on ebay is the $90 (plus $25 shipping from China) gorgeous Brofeta Italian Leather case. Now, I love my camera, but I couldn't see spending another $100+ on it. The other option was retrofitting strap lugs to the Vito. Also possible but there would always be the potential for causing damage, etc. to the body if not absolutely careful with hand drilling and fitting.

After studying the two camera cases from pictures online and being acutely aware that these two cameras basically share the same footprint and clearly the same top plate, I decided to "bite the bullet" and spend the $35.00 to purchase a Prominent case from an ebay seller. The case arrived in okay condition. Typical to this design is the worn or missing neck strap leather that wraps around the bottom of the case.

Hoping for the best, I slipped my Vito III into the case and it fit perfectly. The tripod mount matched and the opening for the fold out matched the square lens/shutter mount on the Prominent. The rest was simple a matter of simple modification that follows.

First, I removed the "never-ready" hood and snap that accommodated the 50mm Ultron f2 "kit" lens that was sold with the Prominent. I already knew that this would be a simple half-case. I drilled out the snap rivet and covered the hole with adhesive-backed craft felt. The bottom plates of the two cameras differ and obviously, I needed to open a hole in the bottom of the case to allow access to the lens folder open mechanism. (see picture)

Button_hole by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

back_felt by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

After another test, I realized that the folder door needed more clearance at the base of the case so that the mechanism would open fully and not bind. To alleviate this problem, I removed a small section of leather and covered the bare section with felt. In this photo, you can also see where I riveted a replacement neck strap to the leather already attached to the case.

rivet_detail_folderopen_side by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

folder_open_side2 by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

bottom section_front by Michael Kaplan, on Flickr

And that's it. A fairly simple conversion. Roughly an hour of time spend including riveting the new strap into place. I hope this is helpful. I know that Voigtlander's are coveted for the innovation, quirkiness and high-quality. Perhaps, this will allow Vito III users to use these fine cameras more frequently.

P.S. As of this time, there are about three or four Prominent leather case offerings on ebay in various states of quality.

Thanks!,

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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Old 11-23-2019   #2
shawn
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Nice work! I picked up a Prominent case for my VitoIII a couple of years ago but haven't gotten around to modifying it yet. This should push me to do it.

Thanks,

Shawn
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Old 12-06-2019   #3
avidmaster
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Shawn,

Great! I love my Vito III and I know that it's theoretically a "pocket" folder but I like to sling my cameras over my shoulder. The lack of strap lugs always bothered me.

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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