1935 Voigtlander Inos II 6.5x11 Folder, with Heliar lens! CLA’d, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is the rare giant Inos II camera which was designed to produce a large 6.5x11 negative on 116 roll-film. Sought after by collectors because of their design and impressive size; and users who are eager to convert them into panorama cameras, this camera is quite difficult to find. It features a lovely 1930’s Science Fiction, Flash Gordon look. It’s covered with very attractive knobs and buttons and a complex looking depth of field chart. An especially nice touch are the three knobs which look like the electrical insulators from a 1930’s Frankenstein film. These ribbed knobs lift up and lock, allowing easy access to the film spools. The two pierced dials used to focus the camera and advance the film are nice too. They have a fine gripable texture while at the same time providing the camera with a unique look. It's a look that was rather fashionable at a time when Zeppelins and aircraft design were at the cutting edge of technology and that technology was obsessed with losing weight and mass with lightening holes and grooves. Like the closely related prewar Voigtlander Prominent, one of the wheels is for advancing the film and the other, interestingly enough, is for focusing.
This leads us right into the Inos’s strongest point. In a period when most folding cameras focused the image by using “front cell focusing” in which the first lens element is screwed in and out, the Inos took a different approach. Its lens and shutter moved back and forth as a unit. This improved optical performance quite a bit, especially when working up close. As a result, in the 1930’s when many medium format cameras could only close focus to 2 meters, the Inos beat them all by focusing down to just under a meter. But not satisfied with that, Voigtlander also arranged things in such a way that you can even focus the camera when it is closed. The focus can be preset whenever desired and when the camera is opened, the lens automatically slides out of the body to the correct focus, allowing you as a photographer to concentrate on finding the right composition and the decisive moment. Used properly, a shot could be taken within seconds of unfolding the Inos, combining its relatively compact size with speed.
This camera was in my personal collection and I was hanging onto it with the intent of turning into a panorama camera by converting it to accept 120 film. (Which results in an approximately to 6x12 format.) I’ve done this successfully on other cameras however to be honest I have too many cameras and too little time to shoot everything I have. So I’ve decided it’s time to pass it onto someone else.
This camera is in excellent condition. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. Additionally it’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The quality Compur shutter works as it should. The slow speeds buzz along very smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. All speeds (T, B & 1 sec - 1/250th) are appropriate.
It’s fitted with a rare Voigtlander f4.8/11.8 cm (118mm) Heliar lens. (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 a top-quality lens of its day. For decades it was a benchmark of sharpness, but its greatness is not simply defined by high resolution. What 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 a 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 superb Heliar lens (serial no. 870816) is exceptionally clean and looks virtually like new. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing very lovely photos with modern color & B&W film.
All in all it’s a lovely gem of a camera. A perfect addition to your collection and a perfect companion in the hunt for that perfect photo. You know the one… the one with the Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing you had a classic camera with you.
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