|The original Vito B.|
The Vito B is an attractive and compact 35mm viewfinder introduced in 1954 by Voigtländer. It has the fine Color-Skopar 50mm f/3.5 or f/2.8 lens (a four element Tessar-type) in a 4-speed Pronto or 8-speed Prontor shutter.
The Vito B was equipped with either a 4-speed Pronto (B, 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/100th, and 1/200th sec) or 8-speed (B, 1, 1/2, 1/5th, 1/10th, 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/100th, and 1/300th sec) Prontor SVS shutter, the 4-speed shutter being discontinued in 1959. The shutter is cocked by the film engaging a sprocket wheel, preventing double exposure, and so will not cock if there is not a film present; this has led some to mistakenly diagnose the shutter of a working Vito B as broken.
The self-timer mechanism can be engaged by moving the synchronising lever to the V (green) position; however, given the age of the camera and the weak governing spring, using this feature is discouraged, as it can cause the camera to stop working.
Nine times out of ten, a non working self timer is due to muck, not springs. There is a watch mechanism that controls the self timer, but, unlike a watch, it is not effectively sealed. Nearly all cameras with Prontor or Compur mechanisms need regular cleaning if they are used regularly. Even the shutter timing mechanism is clockwork and it only takes a speck of dust to jam it. People then start ripping them apart, usually from the wrong end and end up with a pile of non working bits. (Guess how I know). (Added by Laurie Pettitt)
Aesthetics and ergonomics
The Vito B's body is compact and rounded, a look characterised as "cute". It has some nice features including a hinged baseplate for easy loading (which also releases the back) and a milled film counter that counts down rather than up.
The Vito B body existed in two versions, the first one had a small viewfinder and low profile top plate. The later version, brought out in 1959 had a larger bright-frame viewfinder; while brighter and more useful than the original Vito B's viewfinder, some enthusiasts feel that this spoiled the appearance of the camera.
Given the age of these cameras, for "annoying, crappy and unreliable", read innovative, effective and interesting. Mine works beautifully!(added by Laurie Pettitt)
The Vito BR is an uncommon variant with a coupled rangefinder.
|Vito B, large finder. (Image rights)||Vito BL. (Image rights)|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Denton, Voigtlander Vito B.
- ↑ Voigtlander Vito Cameras - Vito B.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 South 2001.
- ↑ Elek 2008.
- ↑ Keith South, Voigtlander Vito B, skopar f/2.8, 35mm camera c1954.
- ↑ Simonsen, Vito section at Retrography.com
- Matt Denton, Voigtlander Vito B.
- Mike Elek (2008), Voigtlander Vito B.
- Keith South (2001), Voigtlander Vito B survey. Living Image Camera Museum.
- Keith South, Voigtlander Vito B, 35mm camera c1954.
- Simon Simonsen, Vito section at Retrography.com
- Vito B, Vito BL, Vito B user manual: German and French on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand
- Vito section at Retrography.com by Simon Simonsen, Denmark