Near Mint! 1934 Voigtlander Inos II 6x9 with Heliar lens and mask, CLA’d, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a hard-to-find Voigtlander Inos II 6x9 medium format folder which uses 120 roll film. Very popular with owners, users and collectors and few are willing to give them up and it’s easy to see why. It features a 1930’s science fiction, Flash Gordon kind of design. It’s covered with very attractive knobs and buttons and a complex looking depth of field chart.
An especially nice touch are the three knobs which look like the electrical insulators from a 1930’s Frankenstein film. These ribbed knobs lift up and lock, allowing easy access to the film spools. The two pierced dials used to focus the camera and advance the film are nice too. They have a fine gripable texture while at the same time providing the camera with a unique look. It's a look that was rather fashionable at a time when Zeppelins and aircraft design were at the cutting edge of technology and that technology was obsessed with losing weight and mass with lightening holes and grooves. Like the closely related prewar Voigtlander Prominent, one of the wheels is for advancing the film and the other, interestingly enough, is for focusing.
This leads us right into the Inos’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, the Inos 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. As a result, in the 1930’s when many 6x9 cameras could only close focus to 2 meters, the Inos beat them all by focusing down to a meter. This is pretty impressive for a 105 mm lens and it does make a difference when shooting portraits. But not satisfied with just that, Voigtlander also arranged things in such a way that you can even focus the camera when it is closed. The focus can be preset whenever desired and when the camera is opened, the lens automatically slides out of the body to the correct focus, allowing you as a photographer to concentrate on finding the right composition and the decisive moment. Used properly, a shot could be taken within seconds of unfolding the Inos, combining its relatively compact size with speed.
This Inos II is in exceptionally fine condition and comes from my personal collection. The real leather covering is in great shape. The bellows are supple and completely light tight. To top it all off, the quality Compur shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. It works smoothly and all speeds (T, B & 1 sec - 1/250th) are appropriate.
The lens is a highly desirable Voigtlander Heliar 4.5/ 10,5cm (105mm). A superb design with five elements in three groups. (This lens is identical to the one used on the legendary Voigtlander Bergheil camera.) The Heliar lens is a masterpiece of design. It was Voigtlanders best lens and it's universally regarded as one of the finest lenses of its era. What photographers and artists love about this lens is its beautiful rendition. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. Simply said, this lens has a gorgeous bokeh. Soft out of focus foreground moves lovingly into sharp focus on your subject matter and then rolls off softly into a smooth gentle background. Few lenses do it as nicely as a Heliar. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, well then you’re in for a treat.
This camera comes complete with its rare and quite difficult to find reduction mask. (With it you have have the choice of producing 6x9 or 6x4.5 format negatives with this camera.)
All in all it’s a wonderful gem of a camera capable of producing the same beautiful results as a Bergheil but in a smaller more convenient size. A perfect addition to your collection and a perfect companion in the hunt for that perfect shot. You know the one. The one with the Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing you’d brought a classic 6x9 camera with you.