Voigtlander Vito B

The Voigtlander Vito B (below) is a 35 mm compact camera dating from around 1954. It has a Color-Skopar f3.5 50 mm lens and a Prontor shutter that goes up to 1/300 second. Apart from that it is very simple indeed. The only other thing it has in fact is a viewfinder! There's no light meter, no range finder and no other fancy features at all. However, it is very small and does produce some very nice quality images. For the set of pictures below, a hand held light meter was used, but often with the Voigtlander Vito B, it is enough to guess at the exposure, particularly if black and white negative film is used, which does have a lot of exposure latitude.

The main event in the examples below was a local fair, complete with vintage car show, which fitted very well with the little Voigtlander Vito B. It was a very sunny day and so some of the shots are worse the wares for flair from the sun. In fact there is an optional lens shade for this camera and I may even have one somewhere, but on the day it was not available and I didn't always take the time that I should have done to shield the sun with my hand - a trick that I often employ when using SLRs.

Anyway, I find the Voigtlander Vito B very nice to use. Just remember to set the distance on the lens, which is easily overlooked when you are used to SLRs! Use the sunny 16 rule for exposure and off you go. It is small but actually it is also a bit of an awkward shape, with the lens protuding almost as far as the height of the camera. It is not as pocketable as a folding 6x6 for example, but it is not at all intimidating and I didn't get a second glance from most people as I wondered around snapping pictures. And it is almost silent in operation which could be very useful in certain situations, far less intruding than many a 35 mm camera.


July 2006

Buckinghamshire Show