Cart 0

1928 Voigtlander Bergheil with Heliar lens

This is a Bergheil 6.5x9cm camera which was produced in Germany by Voigtländer from 1927 to 1932 as a top quality, double extension camera. Carefully constructed of metal and covered with real Moroccan leather, it 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 6.5x9 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.

These photo were taken with a 6.5x9 Bergheil which we had the pleasure of having in our shop. It features a 4.5/105 Voitlander Heliar lens mounted in a 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.

 These photos were taken with the aid of a 6x9 Rollex-Patent film back which allows the use of 120 roll-film.


The color photos were produced using 120 Lomo 400 color film roll film which was developed utilizing the chemicals from the Digibase C41 Color development kit. Although the Bergheil’s Heliar lens is capable of producing very sharp images, it can also create soft, buttery smooth images as well. This is achieved by adjusting the camera to create a very shallow depth of field.

Here’s a short quote from the photographer:

“I am quite satisfied with the results of the color development method.  The colors are extremely accurate.  I have not done any enhancement in Photoshop, except to crop them a bit.  The film shows no trace of grain.  The focus in some may seem a bit strange, but I was experimenting with a very shallow depth of field, shooting with the aperture wide open and focusing in the ground glass on only bits of the image.  In some of the photos, I was trying to enhance a 3D effect of depth.  As images, they are just ok, but I think the color rendition is promising for shooting color film and developing at home.”