This is a hard to find find example of the early style Bergheil 9x12cm which was produced in Germany by Voigtländer from 1914 to 1927. It's folding mechanism, controls and veiwfinder are different compared to the later version which was introduced in 1927 and which remained in production until 1932. As with all Bergheil cameas, both versions were expensive top quality, double extension camera. Carefully constructed of metal and covered with real Moroccan leather, they featured fine controls that allowed a photographer to shift the lens very precisely. The double extension feature was also a valuable feature since not only allowed the camera to focus at very close distances with the standard lens, it also allowed various longer lenses to be be used as well.
The Bergheil was used by a number of famous photographers including Julius Brassai. The Bergheil was Brassai’s favorite camera and he used it extensively to record a famous series of images of Paris in the 1920’s and ‘30’s.
The photo below were taken with a beautiful 1925 9x12 Bergheil which we had the pleasure of having in our shop. It features a 4.5/135 Voitlander Heliar lens mounted in an early dial set Compur shutter. The owner hails from New York and as is often the case, he was kind enough to share his photos with us. Copyright 2016 Ray Vickers. All rights reserved.
Here’s a short quote from the photographer about the color photos:
“I took these the other morning with the Bergheil. The ones of the house and the sprinklers were taken just after sunrise. The Velvia is a bit hard to control because it has such a limited dynamic range. Thus to get the foliage in a good range, often the highlights get a bit blown out. I am still experimenting. The other two I just made to become accustomed to using the Bergheil and the Velvia. And also, all of them had the goal to again use the E-6 reversal film processing in Tetenal. I feel fairly comfortable with this now. I love what the Velvia does with colors."
And his comments on the B&W images:
"The two photos I did here this morning using the 1925 9x12 Bergheil with J. Lane dry plates. The photos were a bit underexposed, but with the help of photoshop I was able to enhance the information that was there. The ASA for the dry plates is 2, yes 2."