Near mint! 1945 Voigtlander “Klein Bessa” 66. CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
This is an exceptionally fine Voigtlander 6x6 medium format camera which was produced in Braunschweig Germany circa 1945. The camera was called the ‘Klein-Bessa’ and was designed as a companion for the larger 6x9 Bessa. ‘Klein’ means small in German and with small in mind, Voigtlander designed the smallest 6x6 possible. It’s so small that it just slightly wider than the roll of 120 film that fits into it. (And that’s largely due to the wind knob.) It illustrates that the designers did their best to make sure everything was as compact as possible.
This version is popular with European collectors and photographers and it’s easy to see why. It is certainly one of the nicest, smallest and best handling 6x6 cameras ever built. I especially like the sculpted lines of the lens door, the scripted “V” for Voigtlander, the way the shutter release lever comes protrudes automatically whenever the camera’s opened, the fine ergonomics and the lovely thick Moroccan leather.
Folded up it slides easily into a pocket. Unfolded it takes 12 beautiful 6x6 exposures on a 120 roll film. When it comes to photography, bigger is better and this camera will produce a negative that’s more than four times larger than the average 35mm snapshot. It’s a negative that will provide fine grain, great tonal values and lovely colors.
This Bessa 66 is in superb condition. It’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Everything works well and should continue to do so for many years to come. The leather bellows are completely light tight. The top of the line Compur-Rapid shutter works well and all speeds (B, 1 Sec – 1/500th) speeds are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along nicely and the fast speeds are clean and snappy.
The lens’s serial number (280,4224) indicates that it was produced circa late 1945. It’s a sharp f3.5/7.5cm (75mm) Voigtlander Skopar (an excellent four element lens very similar to in design and performance to the Zeiss Tessar). The glass is exceptionally clean and clear. There are no scratches, no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and black & white film.
All in all, a very enjoyable classic little camera. Load it with your favorite film and take it with you on the hunt for that perfect photo. You know the one… the one with the Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing had a medium format camera with you.