1935 Voigtlander Virtus 6x4.5 Folder, CLAd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is the hard to find Voigtlander Virtus medium format folder. It uses 120 roll film and is certainly one of the most unusual 6x4.5 cameras you’ll ever see. Only produced for a few years in prewar Germany not many were sold and few have survived the rigors of a world war and all the ensuing decades. The lens serial number on this Virtus indicates it was produced in Germany in 1934.
Personally I’m fond of 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. 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, especially when working up close.
The entire camera has been carefully serviced. 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 viewfinder has also been cleaned to give you a nice clean view. The bellows are in excellent condition and light tight.
The patina of this 85 years old camera shows that it’s been used quite a bit but it’s obvious that the lens was handled with care. There are no scratches or cleaning marks and it’s exceptionally clean and clear. The lens a 3.5/7,5cm (75mm) Skopar lens (a four-element lens similar in design and performance as the Zeiss Tessar). And it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a very interesting and unusual camera for your collection.