Voigtlander Vito CLR - a good thing?

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eumenius

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Hello friends,

yesterday I've seen a very fresh-looking Vito CLR in our local photo store - without case and front cap, but perfect otherwise. A shutter is a bit sticky, but it should be easily curable. Cost is about $50, and the lens is Color-scopar 50/2.8 . I love this camera for its appearance and the fame of Voigtlander :smile:, but I can't find any pictures taken with it on the net :sad: So, waht is your opinion about it? Is it a good choice to carry in a pocket to shoot some accidental good colour? :smile:

Regards,
Zhenya
 

Andy K

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Some accidental good (?) colour, shot with my Voigtlander Vito CLR last month. Shot using a generic 100ASA colour film. All were taken on the offchance. Personally I like my Vito. It's quiet and great for handheld slow shutter speed shots. The meter is still accurate too, which is a bonus. I have the case and the incident metering cover for the light meter. For a lens cap I use a black film canister cap, which happens to be just the right size!
There are also a couple of bw shots from my Vito in my gallery, 'Castle Approach' and an untitled shot of my SLR set up by a wall.
 

rjs003

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My Voigtlander Vito is my constant companion when I'm out shooting or just walking for exercise. Small light weight and takes stunning pictures. $50. is a fairly good price--- can't remember what I paid for mine. Even if you have to pay $100 for a CLA the camera is well worth it.
 
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The Color-Skopar is a very fine lens, and models of the Vito C with rangefinder are relatively uncommon. It will be a lucky bonus if the built-in meter works as well, but for $50 you really can't lose!

Regards,

David
 
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eumenius

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Dear friends,
thank you very much for your advices!! Today I got the camera, and it's a real pleasure to have it in hands :smile: The shutter there is sticky, but I can CLA it very easily. I just love this camera :smile: The meter is perfectly accurate, the difference with my Sekonic is about 1/4 stop :smile:

Regards from Moscow,
Zhenya
 

Ole

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Zhenya - how do you get to the shutter?

I have a Vito B with very sticky shutter, a shutter repair manual, and no idea how to dismantle the camera to get access to the shutter ...
 

medform-norm

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Undressing De Vito

Ole said:
Zhenya - how do you get to the shutter?

I have a Vito B with very sticky shutter, a shutter repair manual, and no idea how to dismantle the camera to get access to the shutter ...

Hi Ole,
you'll have to carefully (and lovingly) undress your Vito to access the shutter. Remove bits of the leatherette on each side of the lens assembly - you will uncover three screws on each side. This is where your fun starts. From what we can remember, the complete lens element comes off. (Sorry for the lack of detail. It's been a while since our Vita B was open.) From there on, you should be able to find your way. There is another something with screws later on in the process, but it shouldn't be that hard. Good luck.
 
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eumenius

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Ole said:
Zhenya - how do you get to the shutter?
Hello Ole,
I didn't figure it out yet :smile: - but the whole thing shouldn't be too difficult, on my opinion. Color Skopar is a cell-focusing lens, so I first planned to loosen the screws on a distance ring, unscrewing the frontal element and going in the shutter itself. But that can be done ony when one has a collimator to dial the infinity back :smile: Perhaps this way is wrong, but I find it tastier than to peel away the precious leatherettes :smile: Maybe it can be done through a mouth? On Iskra or cameras alike I was not in need to take out the whole lens. I will talk about it all with my friend Vitaliy, an ingenious camera repairman - maybe he will just tell me what to do :smile: I will post it here, then.

BTW, the famous Voigtlander quality - when I removed a top plate of my Vito, I found a screw (connecting the lens with RF moving lens) undone and obstructing the path of film rewinder release lever!! Fortunately it did no harm there. I wonder how it unscrewed, the cap of this screw had visible amounts of fxing lacquer or something alike.

Zhenya
 

Ole

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Thanks Zhenya!

That's one reason why I like old folders - there's no problem getting to the shutter mechanism!
 

medform-norm

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priorities?

Perhaps this way is wrong, but I find it tastier than to peel away the precious leatherettes :smile:

Hi Zhenya,
I wouldn't say it is 'wrong', but I do wonder where your priorities ly? Leatherettes (IMHO) are bits of aesthetic wrapping that can be replaced (through Micro-Tools e.g.). In the case of the Vito, the Voigtlaender company has designed the camera intentionally in such a way that the screws are covered from dampness, sight (and amateur hands) by the leatherette. Maintaining the leatherette at all costs to me sounds like a doctor who wants to operate on a patient's organs without cutting the skin: lots of needless complications may arise, whereas the chance of succes decreases dramatically.

You say you like the Voigtlaender quality, but you don't want to adhere to the logic & consistency of their camera designs. To me, the true Voigtlaender quality resides within, not on the outside (although they are fine-looking things as well). (I have to make an exception for the Bessa II front standard - that wasn't the sturdiest thing in the world, but the camera is very elegantly constructed otherwise.)

Please don't get me wrong: I don't want to put you down or discredit your camera repair methods in any possible way. I'm just very puzzled to read that you care more for leatherette than for the intrinsic logic of the apparatus. Or is it just me who takes such a functionalistic approach to cameras?
 
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eumenius

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medform-norm said:
Please don't get me wrong: I don't want to put you down or discredit your camera repair methods in any possible way. I'm just very puzzled to read that you care more for leatherette than for the intrinsic logic of the apparatus. Or is it just me who takes such a functionalistic approach to cameras?

Hi medform,

you should take my words with a grain of... well... silver, if you please :smile: Don't you see a smile after my sentence about a precious leatherette, eh? Or it's just my Russian English, maybe? :smile: That's what I think about the outer side of camera repair - if one can keep it tidy, it's okay. When it breaks, just replace it. The intrinsic logics there should be between not too simple and not too complicated - I am sure the Russian FED-10 and FED Atlas (I repaired both before) were copied from Vito CLR, so I understand I have to get to these screws anyway.

Voigtlaender quality is truly excellent - if it were not, I wouldn't buy my Vito! But you see, even at their approach to QC they have flaws, as everyone has - I can't still understand why the screw inside got loose, even being glued to place :smile: So I hope to fix things soon, and post my pictures here :smile:

Regards,
Zhenya
 

medform-norm

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Hi Zhenya,

C'est le ton qui fait la musique - as they say - and that's just what's getting in the way of proper understanding on the www. The smileys are not quite as good as the music I was missing in your words.
But I can assure you the leatherette of the Vito generally can be unpeeled without damage - so no replacing necessary. Done it a couple of times to our Vito and it doesn't show.

BTW: How is your Vito CLR doing at the moment? Found out about the screw yet? These are the most intruiging things to solve in our new old cameras - the secrets of their past!

Cheers, medform-norm
 
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eumenius

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medform-norm said:
Hi Zhenya,

C'est le ton qui fait la musique - as they say - and that's just what's getting in the way of proper understanding on the www. The smileys are not quite as good as the music I was missing in your words.

Cheers, medform-norm

Hi medform-norm,

je crois que vouz etes vrai - le ton fait la musique, et cettes folies online sont tres difficile pour reproduction des vrai emotions :smile: To be sure, that's my Runglish - I've never had any opportunity to live in English-speaking country :sad:

My Vito is still on its shelf - the screws are there, so the whole lens unit removes as a whole. I think it's better to disassemble it well to clean the dust of ages and to put the appropriate lubricants where it's needed. It will probably last for another 30 years of good shooting with it :smile: I got an ultrasonic bath in my lab, so I am able to clean the delicate shutter parts in an instant without being afraid of damage something. BTW, do you have a Vito CLR too? What do you think about the quality of Color-Scopar, what biggest enlargement can be printed without a problem from the Vito negatives? I think the lens should be excellent, but I just want to know the opinion of people :smile:

Cheers from Moscow,
Zhenya
 

elekm

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Supposedly, the one thing you need to be mindful of with the Vito CLR is the cemented prism that forms the secondary image. Supposedly, these are somewhat fragile, and once the semi-transparent coating has deteriorated, it's gone for good.

On my own CLR, the prism is in good shape, though the secondary image is a bit dim.
 

medform-norm

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Vito CLR gone for good? No way!

elekm said:
Supposedly, the one thing you need to be mindful of with the Vito CLR is the cemented prism that forms the secondary image. Supposedly, these are somewhat fragile, and once the semi-transparent coating has deteriorated, it's gone for good.

On my own CLR, the prism is in good shape, though the secondary image is a bit dim.

The beam splitter is always THE problem in rangefinders. Although we have never taken a peep inside a Vito CLR (Sorry Zhenya, we don't own one, only a Vito B that is only good for parts, as the lens is as dead as the last owner, viz. my dear father)..., but we've dealt with other rangefinders, especially of the folder type (Bessa, Welta, Telka etc.), and I'd be surprised if those rangefinder prisms would differ much from the Vito CLR.

ANYHOW, what I wanted to say:
1. replacement beam splitters are still available from a store in the USA (Edmund Optics), but rather on the expensive side.
2. we have invented a quick&dirty solution for beam splitter repair. It goes like this: Find a roll of self-adhevise semi-translucent material in a car shop. The kind you stick on windows so no-one can look in, but you can still look outside. These rolls come in different qualities, be picky, don't take just anyone. (We happen to use 'Car Point window film" - 10% silver.) Cut a piece from this roll of foil the size of your glass and stick it on the side that was previously silverized. If this is done, lay the glass piece one day in the sunshine. The glue of the foil hardens in UV-light. Afterwards remount it in the rangefinder. You will find you have regained the ghost image needed for focussing. We use it on quite a few rangefinder camera's, and it's a working solution.

And I wish I could repair my computers as easy as that!

Greetz, medform-norm

Note for Zhenya,
My dad's Vito B had a color-skopar. I recently looked at the slides he took when the camera was still new (and my mom wasn't even in the picture yet, literally!), and I was quite taken with the quality of the images. I don't know anything about enlarging, though. Someone else here will.

Oh boy, are you lucky to have a lab that can clean your shutters for free! Perhaps you can set up a small sub-business, cleaning shutters for all us vintage camera lovers.

BTW, we are selling our Vitessa at the moment (on a Dutch website). It's a model III N, with a color-skopar 3.5 in a synchro-compur shutter. Camera has been recently cleaned, all times work fine except maybe for the 1 sec, which is more like 1,2 secs - a bit too slow. Rangefinder is dead on, self timer works like new. If you're interested, mail me for pics.
 

elekm

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The Vito CLR uses a different type of system in that it's not a mirror but rather two cemented prisms that also contain the van Albada system for the framelines. It is similar to a Zeiss Ikon in that once separation has occurred, the only replacement is a part from the original camera. However, unlike the Zeiss Ikon, the prism doesn't run the full width of the body.
 

medform-norm

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Well, now, you can learn something new here every day! Just wonderful.
 

endneu913

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Sorry for the thread revival!

I also own a Vito CLR... It seems the camera is in excellent condition, but i have not really used it much. To be honest i was very confused on how the light meter/ aperture setting worked. I know understand this part, but im still confused on focusing. Should i expect to see a change in the focusing area of the coupled rangefinder? There is the "double circle" element that i would expect to see "focus" itself... but it doesn't move. Sorry for my silly questions
 

Rol_Lei Nut

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The various Skopars have the reputation of being perhaps the best of the Tessar type lenses.

I've taken a couple of "classic" Voigtländers apart: They seem to be very well engineered and put together quite logically.
Working on them wasn't very difficult.
Having to take off leatherette is common to most cameras.
 
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