1934 Voigtlander Inos II 6x9 Folder, with Heliar lens! CLA’d, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a rather hard to find Voigtlander Inos II 6x9 medium format folder. It was built in circa 1934 and uses 120 roll film. It’s very popular with owners, users and collectors and few are willing to give them up and it’s easy to see why. It is certainly one of the prettiest and most unusual looking 6x9 cameras ever built. I absolutely love its 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, when most cameras in 1932 could only close focus to 2 meters, the Inos beat them all by focusing down to a meter. This is pretty impressive for a 105 mm lens and it does make a difference when shooting portraits. 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 compact size with speed.
This Inos II is in exceptionally fine condition and is easily one of the finest examples I’ve seen in many years. (Please see photos) The real leather covering is in great shape. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. Additionally this camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The quality Compur shutter works smoothly and all speeds (T,B & 1 sec - 1/250th) are appropriate.
The lens on this camera is the famous Voigtlander Heliar 4.5/ 10,5cm (105mm). (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 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. 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 is exceptionally clean. There is no fungus, separated elements or other problems. 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 wonderful gem of a camera and capable of producing big beautiful results. A perfect addition to your collection and a perfect companion in the hunt for that perfect shot. 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 medium format camera with you.
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