Near Mint! 1951 Voigtlander 6x9 Bessa II with Heliar lens & original leather case. Freshly Serviced, CLA'd.
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is an exceptionally fine example of a Bessa II 6x9 Rangefinder camera which was produced in Germany in circa 1951. It’s sought after by collectors and photographers alike because of their fine design, lovely handling and exceptional performance. The Bessa II was the final and best iteration of Voigtlander’s classic 6x9 rangefinder camera. It was finely finished in satin chrome, real leather and black lacquer trim. It has a built-in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about the distance or the focus. It’s a lovely camera that easily slips into an unused corner of your camera bag or a backpack and yet folds out to take beautiful 6x9cm exposures on a 120 roll-film. Photos alive with all the lovely colors, rich tonal rendering and details that medium format can provide. When it comes to film, bigger is better and this camera will produce a negative that is about 6 times larger than the average 35mm snapshot.
It comes complete with a lovely original brown leather camera case.
If you’ve been collecting cameras for any length of time, you’ll probably know that the Bessa II is widely regarded as one of the very best classic 6x9 medium format cameras. The other is the Super Ikonta. I’ve used both and I can confirm that both of them are a joy to work with. This freshly serviced camera is in near mint condition and I believe it would be rather difficult to find a finer example.
This Bessa II has been carefully Cleaned, Lubricated and Adjusted by us. The top-of-the-line Synchro-Compur works well and all speeds (B, 1 sec- 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. This shutter has an X flash sync. that’s been tested and works with a normal electronic flash. Your flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (This is of course a convenient feature for flash fill.) The built-in rangefinder is clean, works smoothly, accurately and it’s easy to use. The bellows are in great condition and completely light tight.
The lens is a superb, coated 3.5/105mm Heliar lens, a legendary design featuring five lens elements in three groups. The lens looks like new. It’s clean and clear. No scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos with modern color & B&W film.
The Heliar lens is recognized as a masterpiece of design. 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 background. It’s something the Japanese refer to as 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….
All in all, a very fine camera. I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. 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 Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing that you had a medium-format camera with you.