Excellent! 1929 Voigtlander Bergheil Camera with HELIAR LENS! Freshly serviced CLA’d
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a Voigtlander Bergheil 6.5x9cm camera in exceptionally fine condition. It was built in prewar Germany as a top quality, double extension camera. It was carefully constructed of metal and covered with real Moroccan leather. The double extension feature is a valuable feature since not only does it allow the camera to focus at very close distances with the standard lens, it also means that various longer lenses can be used as well. An interesting historical fact is that the Voigtlander Bergheil was Brassai’s favorite camera. This photographer used a Bergheil extensively to record images of Paris in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. If you’re not familiar with Brassai’s work, I recommend looking him up on the internet.
The serial number of the lens and shutter indicate that this camera was produced in circa 1929. It’s equipped with a dial set Compur shutter. This shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. All shutter speeds (T, B, 1 sec – 1/200th) work well and all speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster speeds are clean and snappy. I should mention that it’s missing the front wire frame finder, however most users prefer to use the ground glass for focus and composition.
This model was produced with a quick release lever (just above the shutter) that allows the entire lens & shutter assembly to be quickly and easily removed. It functions in much the same way as removing a lens from an SLR, simply depress the lever and turn the lens a ¼ turn. The advantage is that the Heliar lens & shutter can be easily removed for use on another camera if desired.
The lens on this camera is the famous Voigtlander Heliar 4.5/ 12cm (120mm) . (This is slightly longer than the 105mm lens which is usually found on these cameras.) The Heliar lens, a superb design with five elements in three groups, 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. Open up the lens or narrow the depth of field by getting closer and the focus rolls on and off silky smooth… 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 lovely photos with modern color & B&W film.
It comes complete with an original removable back which feature a ground glass with folding leather shade, an original film pack holder, and a vintage 6x9 “Rollex-Patent” 120 roll-film back.
All in all, a fine classic camera with a very fine lens. The perfect companion for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the perfect Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing that you had a classic medium format camera with you...