HELIAR LENS! on a 1927 Voigtlander BERGHEIL Camera, Freshly serviced
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a Voigtlander Bergheil 9x12 camera in exceptionally fine condition. It was built in prewar Germany as a top quality, professional double extension camera, carefully constructed of metal and covered with real Moroccan leather. The long double extension feature is a valuable feature since not only does it allow the camera to focus at very close distances with the standard lens, it also means that various longer lenses can be mounted and used on as well. An interesting historical note is that the Bergheil was Brassai’s favorite camera and he used it extensively to produce stunning photos of Paris in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. If you’re not familiar with Brassai I recommend looking up his work on the internet.
The lens and shutter on this camera are in exceptionally fine condition. The shutter is a dial set Compur. The shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. All shutter speeds (T, B, 1 sec – 1/200th) work well and all speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster speeds are clean and snappy.
The lens on this camera is the famous Voigtlander Heliar. (A superb design with five elements in three groups.) The Heliar lens is well known, well loved and is recognized as a master piece of design. It was an absolute top quality lens of its day. For decades it was the benchmark of sharpness. But its greatness is not simply defined by high resolution. What fine art photographers and artists love about this lens is the beautiful rendition in the fore and back ground. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. Simply said, this lens has an absolutely gorgeous bokeh. Open up the lens or narrow the depth of field by getting closer and the focus rolls on and off silky smooth as cream… Soft out of focus foreground moves lovingly into sharp focus on your subject matter and then off again into gently blurred background. There are few lenses that do it as nicely as this. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, well then you’re in for a treat….
The f4.5/15cm (150mm) Heliar lens on this camera is very clean and it looks virtually like new. The glass is clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of beautiful results with modern color & B&W film.
The camera comes complete with a matt glass back. It doesn’t come with sheet film holders but these can be found on eBay, as well as 120 rollfilm adapters by “Rada” and “Rollex-Patent”.
All in all, a fine classic camera with an exceptionally fine lens and shutter. Mount this lovely lens on your favorite field camera if you’re so inclinded. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the perfect Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing that you had a classic medium format camera with you...