Cart 0
SUPERB! 1931 Voigtlander BERGHEIL Camera with HELIAR LENS! Freshly serviced CLA’d - Voigtlander- Petrakla Classic Cameras


SUPERB! 1931 Voigtlander BERGHEIL Camera with HELIAR LENS! Freshly serviced CLA’d

$ 425.00 USD

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, 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 it extensively to record images of Paris in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. If you’re not familiar with Brassai’s lovely, compelling work, I recommend looking him up on the internet.

This camera was produced with a ,strong>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 added advantage for us today, is that the Heliar lens & shutter can be easily removed for use on another camera if desired.

. It’s equipped with an early rim set Compur shutter. The cosmetics of the shutter is of a slightly higher quality than later versions and features a finely patterned main case and a decorated nickel rim. This shutter has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. All shutter speeds (T, B, 1 sec – 1/250th) work well and all speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster speeds are clean and snappy

It comes complete with a matt glass back, a brown leather case and three film original Voigtlander film holders.

(The film holders are not shown in the photos. BTW, to use them simply slide out the matt glass back and insert a film holder.) Naturally this camera can be also be used with a 6x9 120 roll film back. These backs are relatively easy to find on eBay. There were are many different vintage brands but “Rollex Patent” & “Rada” are the certainly most common. (Some users prefer to adapt a modern film back by simply cementing them to a board of suitable thickness. This board then slides into the camera in the same way that the original film holders would.)


The lens on this camera is the famous Voigtlander Heliar 4.5/ 105mm. (A superb design with five elements in three groups.) The serial number indicates that it was produced in circa 1931. The Heliar lens 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 the 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 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 very lovely photos with modern color & B&W film.

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...


Share this Product

More from this Category