1934 Voigtlander Virtus 6x4.5 Folder, CLAd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a very lovely and very hard to find Voigtlander Virtus medium format folder. The lens serial number indicates it was produced in Germany towards the end of 1934 and it is a sought after model that’s popular with collectors and users alike. Few are willing to give them up and it’s easy to see why. It uses 120 roll film and is certainly one of the most unusual 6x4.5 cameras you’ll ever find.
I love its 1930’s Science Fiction, Flash Gordon look. It’s covered with knobs and buttons and a complex looking depth of field chart. An especially nice touch are the two pierced dials used to focus the camera and advance the film. They have a fine gripable texture while at the same time providing the camera with a unique look. A look that was rather fashionable at a time of when Zeppelins and aircraft design was at the cutting edge of technology and obsessed with loosing weight and mass with lightening holes.
One of the wheels is for advancing the film and the other, interestingly enough, is for focusing. This leads us right into the Vitus’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, this camera 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.
It also features a parallax corrected viewfinder to help you frame you compositions accurately. (The internal optics of the viewfinder, move up or down ever so slightly when you focus.) The viewfinder has been cleaned inside and out and gives a clean, clear view.
This hard to find 84 years old camera is in excellent condition. I should also point out that the two (to the left and right of the depth of field chart) which keep the camera back closed and locked are present and in good condition. These clips are often broken or missing and it’s a good indicator that this camera was used with care.
The Compur shutter works well and all speeds (1 sec – 1/250th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along nicely and the fast ones are clean and snappy.
The 3.5/7,5cm (75mm) Skopar lens (a four element lens similar in design and performance as the Zeiss Tessar) is exceptionally clean. There are no scratches or cleaning marks. It’s clean and clear and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a very lovely and very rare camera for your collection.