Voightlander Vito BL - what IS it?!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Don Simon, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, just posting because I've found a Voigtlander 'Vito BL' and, as the post title suggests, I'm very confused. From the settings on the lens I'm guessing that I will need to guess the range to the subject in order to take photos, and I'd love to work out how to use it simply by playing around with it and shooting a roll or two - except that I can't even press the shutter release button. When I first took the camera out of its case it worked fine, and now for some reason the shutter release button will not go down fully. It doesn't feel broken - more like intentionally locked, though I'm not sure what I did to lock it, or how to unlock it despite fiddling about with it until I started to go insane. Just wondering if there's any Voigtlander owners here? I've tried Googling it but as usual all I get is a bunch of links to Ebay and various other auction or price comparing sites... arrgh, I could swear there was a time back in the day when Google would actually find what you wanted... anyhoo, thanks in advance for any help :)

    Edit: Keine "H" im "Voigtlander". That's probably wrong too. Damn, my German sucks.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I've got a Voightlander Vito CD, which is pretty similar. Yes, you need to guess the distance to the target - I happen to be very good at this and it works surprisingly forgivingly even if you miss.

    The shutter button will only go halfway down in three possible situations AFAIK - one is that it isn't cocked... you have cranked the film winder? Two is that it's at the end of the film - pop the back to reset the counter (in the dark if it's loaded). Three is that it's set on bulb and you've somehow got it jammed there. I'd suggest readjusting the aperture and speed to 125 @ f8 to ensure that it's centered, opening the back (in the dark if it's part exposed) closing the back, cocking the shutter crank and trying again.

    Also, check the lock button which releases the aperture and shutter concentric rings and give it a wiggle.

    If that doesn't work, give me a shout or PM and I'll try and help.

    Rob
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Voigtlander 35mm cameras are notorious for not having their shutters work unless there is film inside. If you still want to check whether the shutter fires ok or not (without film in it) then open the back and with your thumb roll the sprocket wheel from left to right until you hear a click or it stops. Now you can trigger the shutter.

    Other than that, they're pretty sturdy cameras and should serve you well.

    More about it here:

    Click

    Good luck.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mitica, I discovered that little trick yesterday - more by accident than by anything else, since at the time I was attempting to partially disassemble and clean the camera. Unfortunately in doing this I managed to lose the spring from the film cocking lever. This annoys me a lot for a couple of reasons - one, it was a really really stupid thing to do - and two, the spring in question was actually just hooked to two parts of the same component. I'm not sure how to explain that, but what I mean is it did not connect two separate moving components, but was attached to two bits sticking out from the top of the film cocking lever which do not move independently and therefore have no reason I can see for requiring a spring. However without a spring to pull on one tiny part of the cocking level, it will not move the film on. Now I might be able to replace it with some thin wire if I can thread it round properly (since all this little mechanism seems to want is something to apply some king of tension to it) but can anyone think of a better solution? Sorry if none of this makes any sense; at some point I'll have to take a photo of the inside of the camera.
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it happens... I've done it many times while trying to fix cameras and it's very annoying.

    However, that being said, best bet would be a photo of the camera and the spring alone. You might want to include the dimensions of the spring, if it's broken I might have some spare for you (free of charge).

    I'll be waiting for the pictures.
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the offer, but I've managed to find the spring - the fun part was attempting to attach it again, which I eventually succeeded in doing (after the liberal use of just about every expletive known to man) using a very small pair of pliers and a ballpoint pen. From now on I will never, ever attempt to take anything vaguely mechanical apart for any reason, for fear this could happen again. Now that it's back together however it appears to be working (except for the built-in light meter - which I guess is unnecessary anyway since the earlier Voigtlanders don't have them, and I can use my Jessops lightmeter and my own limited knowledge of the theory anyway. It'll be good to see what results I get from this camera, though I've got some new lenses for my Pentax and an Olymus MjuII I want to try out first. I'm wondering whether the Voigtlander is better for B&W or colour though?
     
  7. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent! Good for you! :)

    The Skopars are great lenses, I have taken a lot of pics with an old Vitomatic and they are crisp, crisp, crisp! That would be for BW though, I never attempted to take colour. You might be surprised though.

    Enjoy your Voigtlander.
     
  8. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I love my Voightlander too! It's a great camera for the pub as once you've got the meter setting in your head for various areas, you can just twiddle to change speed/aperture without affecting exposure. Plus it's quite discrete and very very quiet as it has no mirror slap. No worries about batteries either!

    The lens is really good for B&W for some reason!

    Rob
     
  9. Dorado

    Dorado TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    I have just received a Voigtlander vito cls with the color skopar lens and prontor 500 LK shuter. The diafragm opens according to the f setting but the shutter open but does not close until film is advanced with the lever.
    Is this a common problem? Any idea about how to solve it?
    (I have taken thousends of pictures but I never unmounted any camera or lens)
    Thank you very much in advance
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, the shutter is gunked up and needs cleaning. A very complicated affair for the DIY, I would advise against it. Sorry for the bad news...
     
  11. Dorado

    Dorado TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much, Mitica
    Is there any place where it can be sent for repair?
    Thanks again
     
  12. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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