- Produced c 1954 Voigtlander braunshweig, Germany
- Film type 135
- Picture size 35mm
- Weight 14.6 oz (413.9g)
- Lens coated Color-Skopar 50mm f3.5
- Filter size
- Focal range 3′ to infinity
- Shutter Prontor-S
- Shutter speeds T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300
- Viewfinder simple
- Exposure meter none
I’m trying to think of another word besides ‘gem’ to describe how I feel about this lovable little folder… Still trying…give me a moment…
The Voigtlander Vito II’s merit is no secret, I can tell by how quickly they get snapped up every time they come around, and by the steady prices even the lower-end ones command. All sport the semilegendary Color-Skopar lens regardless of their other features (shutter, accessory shoe, etc.)
The features or lack thereof of this particular example place it right around 1954. Prontor-S shutter, right before they switched to a Prontor-SV that could also do bulb sync (M) on their lower-end line (vs Compur-Rapid, which I stopped waiting to find at a reasonable price). Available accessory shoe that clipped on, before one was addded fixed to the top of the camera. As was the shutter release, which prior to this door-mounted button was a door-mounted lever. Right after this model also came the fixed-front Vito B, another desirable compact 35mm from Voigtlander that also holds its value well. That one isn’t as consistent; some had lower-quality 3-element Lanthar lenses and rumor has it that the shutters aren’t as reliable (though I’ll wager that people simply don’t know you have to have film in it to advance the shutter, as with this one).
Interesting features: manual frame counter setting, this was apparently to ease the ability to switch film mid-roll. You lift a little lever on the upper back of the camera to allow the thumbwheel to turn freely and reset the counter. Do this each time you start a new roll, and to rewind the film you’ll need to lift it as well.
The camera opens with a bottom button; to close it you must push two levers in the door simultaneously. I find it a little fiddly sometimes to get it shut, but note that it can be easily shut with the shutter cocked unlike with some folders, where the linkage can be damaged if you do that (such as the Moskva).
Just required a minor cleaning, particularly of the viewfinder glass and the front lens element… Windex to the rescue again.
Tips & Tricks
It’s a scale focus camera but they made zone focusing easy for you – when at f5.6 or smaller, you can set to the triangle on the distance scale for objects in the 8-15 foot range, or the circle for objects in the range of 15 feet to infinity. Otherwise you can learn to estimate distance (not too difficult with a little practice) or use an accessory rangefinder. Some Vito II models have an accessory shoe to make it easier to use such a device.