Superb! 1950 Voigtlander 6x9 Bessa II with Color Heliar lens. Freshly serviced, CLA'd
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use!
Due to a number of requests, this week we have another desirable Bessa II 6x9 Rangefinder produced in Germany after WWII. It’s sought after by collectors and photographers alike because of their fine design, lovely handling and great performance. The Bessa II was the final and best iteration of Voigtlander’s classic 6x9 rangefinder camera. It was a high-end camera finely finished in satin chrome, real leather and black lacquer trim. The lens serial number on this example indicates that it was produced in 1950 . It has a built-in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about the distance or the focus. It’s a lovely camera that easily slips into an unused corner of your camera bag or a backpack and yet folds out to take beautiful 6x9cm exposures on a 120 roll film. Photos alive with all the lovely colors, rich tonal rendering and details that medium format can provide. When it comes to film, bigger is better and this camera will produce a negative that is about 6 times larger than the average 35mm snapshot.
If you’ve been collecting cameras for any length of time you’ll probably have read that the Bessa II is one of the best classic 6x9 medium format cameras. The other is the Super Ikonta. I’ve used both and I can confirm that both of them are a joy to work with.
This Bessa II is in excellent condition and to top it off, it’s been carefully Cleaned, Lubricated and Adjusted by us. The top of the line Synchro-Compur works well and all speeds (B, 1 sec- 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. I will mention that the self-timer doesn’t work, so if you’re interested in selfies I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. This shutter has an X flash sync. that’s been tested and works with a normal electronic flash. Your flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (This is of course a convenient feature for flash fill.) The built-in rangefinder is clean, works smoothly, accurately and it’s easy to use. The bellows are in great condition and completely light tight.
The lens is a superb, coated 3.5/105mm Heliar lens, a legendary design featuring five lens elements in three groups. It’s wonderfully clean and clear with only some light cleaning marks (visible only with a magnifier) and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos with modern color & B&W film.
The Heliar lens is recognized as a master piece of design. 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. 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….
All in all, a very fine camera. I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing that you had a medium format camera with you.