Rare Green Voigtlander 1934 Bergheil (DeLuxe) Camera with 120mm Heliar lens & leather case! Freshly serviced, CLA'd!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is a Voigtlander Bergheil 6x9 camera in exceptionally fine condition. It was built in Germany as a top quality, double extension camera. 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 could be easily used as well.
An interesting historical fact is that the Voigtlander Bergheil was Brassai’s favorite camera. This famous 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 indicates that it was produced in Germany in 1934. The camera comes complete with three plate film holders, a removal matt glass with a folding leather shade and a lovely brown leather case lined in purple velvet. I should mention that the matt glass is cracked but it is certainly usable. It can also be scale focused and there’s a distance scale next to the lens rail for that purpose.
The Bergheil was intended to be used with a variety of films. Many of our customers use it with 120 film but you’ll need a roll film back to do so. Film backs were produced by a variety of manufacturers for many years but “Rada” and "Rollex-Patent" are the most common and can regularly be found on eBay. That said, if you don’t have a roll-film back in your collection or you need one, we currently have one available in a separate listing. (It’s mint, new old stock in its original box complete with original instructions.)
This particular Bergheil is the rare luxury version, carefully constructed of metal and it is distinguished by its green leather covering which features a unique cross hatch embossing and of course the lovely green bellows. It’s equipped with a quality rim-set Compur shutter. This shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. All shutter speeds (T, B, 1 sec – 1/200th) 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 4.5/12cm (120mm). (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 6x9 Bergheil was normally fitted with a 10,5cm (105mm) Heliar lens but different focal lengths could be ordered if so desired. The camera in this listing was fitted with the optional 120mm Heliar lens which is fairly unusual. My guess would be that the original owner preferred a slightly longer lens for portrait work and the ability to create somewhat tighter compositions. In any case the Heliar lens is in exceptionally fine condition. It’s clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing very beautiful photos with modern color & B&W film.
All in all, an exceptionally lovely green Bergheil camera. Perfect for collectors, artists and photographers with a historical interest.