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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.

Shutter

The Vito B was equipped with either a 4-speed Pronto (B, 1/25th, 1/50th, 1/100th, and 1/200th sec)[1] 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.[2] 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;[3] 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,[1] using this feature is discouraged, as it can cause the camera to stop working.[3]

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".[4] 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.[5]

Variants

The Vito BL was a variant with a Bewi selenium exposure meter ([6]), mainly made for export to the USA.

The Vito BR is an uncommon variant with a coupled rangefinder.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Denton, Voigtlander Vito B.
  2. Voigtlander Vito Cameras - Vito B.
  3. 3.0 3.1 South 2001.
  4. Elek 2008.
  5. Keith South, Voigtlander Vito B, skopar f/2.8, 35mm camera c1954.
  6. which one collector derides as "annoying, crappy and unreliable" Simonsen, Vito section at Retrography.com

Links

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