|Voigtländer Vito B original small finder model image by Alfred Sigaro (Image rights)|
The Vito B is an attractive and compact 35mm viewfinder made by Voigtländer and produced between 1954-60. 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.
|Voigtländer Vito B outfit, original small finder model image by Patrick Stacey (Image rights)|
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 1957. 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.
|Voigtländer Vito B, late large finder model image by David Broglin (Image rights)|
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 (1954-57) had a small viewfinder and low profile top plate. The later version (1957-60) 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.
- Embossing on the top plate: Vito B
- Lens:Color-Skopar 50mm f/3.5 filter slip-on
- Aperture: f/3.5-f/22 setting: ring and scale on the lens, turns with the speed ring, according to Light Values 2-18, separate setting possible by a knob on the lens
- Focus range: 1-20m + inf
- Focusing: manual front element focusing, guess the distance
- Shutter: Prontor-SVS leaf shutter, speeds: 1-1/300 +B. The shutter is cocked by the film engaging sprocket wheel, preventing double exposure, so will not cock if there is not a film in the camera. This has led some to mistakenly diagnose the shutter of a working Vito B as broken.
- Setting : ring and scale on the lens, turns with the aperture ring, according to Light Values 2-18, separate setting possible by a knob on the lens
- Shutter release: on the top plate, w/cable release socket
- Cocking lever: long stroke, on the back of the camera
- Frame counter: manual reset by milled film counter reseting ring on the front of the bottom plate, counts down, counter window at the center front of the top plate
- Viewfinder: large 1/1 size crystal bright-frame viewfinder on tall housing
- Re-wind knob: on the left of the top plate, a pop-up knob by a small lever on left side of the camera
- Re-wind release: unlocks when the re-wind knob pops-up
- Flash PC socket: on the left of the lens flange
- Flash sync: X and M, sets by a lever on the left of the lens flange
- Self-timer: set the synchronising lever to the V (green)
- Back cover: hinged, a part of the bottom plate folds open to facilitate the exchange of the film cartridge as well as to open the camera's back door
- Tripod socket: 1/4"
- Strap knobs
- Body: metal; Weight: 610g
Other models of B series
- There are many variants with various lens/shutter combinations
- Tall housing with large 1:1 viewfinder or bright-line finder
- Exposuremeter: Bewi-Automat selenium exposure meter or
- Bertram (mainly for export)
- Color Skopar 2,8 & 3,5/50
- Prontor SVS
|Voigtländer Vito BL image by Alfred Sigaro (Image rights)|
- Large bright-line viewfinder finder and coupled rangefinder, a rare camera
- Color Skopar 2,8/50
- Prontor SLK
|Voigtländer Vito BR image by Alfred Sigaro (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.
- in UK Camera 
- in Voigtlander Collection 
- in Doppeld 
- 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.