1936 Voigtlander Bessa Rangefinder with HELIAR LENS! 6x9, Freshly Serviced, CLA'd.
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is a 1936 Voigtlander Bessa Rangefinder camera, produced in time and a place when the world looked very different than it does today. It features a coupled rangefinder which makes focusing quick and easy. The camera also has an additional advantage that it can close focus down to one meter. This ability to get in close with its 105mm lens makes it convenient for tighter portrait work. The reason the Bessa can get this close is because its lens and shutter move together as a unit when focusing. Another nice feature is that if desired, you can also pre-focus the camera without opening it by simply using the distance scale located around the focus knob.
This camera uses 120 roll-film to produce 6x9 negatives. This camera is also capable of producing 6x4.5 negatives if you have a suitable reduction mask in your collection. (Mask is not included.)
The Bessa was an excellent prewar designs. It folds open and closed quickly and easily thanks to its excellent ergonomics and features a shutter release lever which folds automatically out from the lens door. This shutter release is very smooth and requires very little pressure. This really adds to the joy of shooting and helps reduce camera shake at slow shutter speeds. Because of its excellent performance, WWII war correspondents on various sides of the conflict often used the Bessa Rangefinder. They were in high demand and in short supply. These photographers often reached for the Bessa when they needed to produce larger, higher quality photos than a Contax or Leica could manage on the film stocks of the era. As a result many of these cameras were worn out, damaged or lost during the hostilities.
This camera has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The top of the line Compur-Rapid shutter works well and all speeds (T,B & 1 sec- 1/400th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. The real leather bellows are in excellent condition and are completely light tight.
The lens is the highly desirable f3.5/105mm Heliar lens. (A legendary design with five elements in three groups.) What collectors and photographers love about this lens is the beautiful rendition and the look of the background focus. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. Simple said this lens has a very lovely bokeh. Open up the lens or narrow the depth of field by getting closer and the focus rolls on and off quite smoothly. This lens even has the original folding filter holder which is very fragile and often missing on most cameras.
This Heliar lens is in exceptionally fine condition and looks virtually new. It’s clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a wonderful classic camera. Perfect for a photographer with historical interest who enjoys working with a vintage camera.