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. 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 of the leather bellows is a valuable feature since not only does it allow the camera to focus to very close distances with the standard lens, it’s also allows the use of lenses with a longer focal length as well.
The serial number of the lens (548593) indicates that it was produced in 1929. It’s mounted in a quality dial set Compur shutter. This shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. All shutter speeds (T, B, 1 sec – 1/250th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster speeds are clean and snappy.
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 masterpiece 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 as cream… 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 on this camera is in exceptionally fine condition. The glass looks virtually like new. It’s clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color & B&W film.
This camera was designed to use vintage Voigtlander 6.5x9cm plate holders / film holders. If you’d like to use this camera with 120 film, roll-film backs are available and are easily found on eBay where they show up regularly. They were produced by Rada and Rollex-Patent as well as other companies. Also good to know is that the lens & shutter features a quick release system which makes removal quick and easy. This is convenient if you’d like to use this Heliar lens a modern field camera.
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, I recommend looking him up on the internet.
The camera comes complete with its original ground glass back with features a lovely leather shade which folds up within it. All in all, an exceptionally beautiful classic camera with an exceptionally fine Heliar lens and shutter.