F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

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Voigtlander Vito Cameras - Vito IIa

by Stephanie Marriott

The Vito IIa was introduced in 1955. It was based on the Vito II but streamlined, as in the Vito B. The camera has a diecast body covered in black grained leather; the exposed metal is finished in black enamel and satin chrome. An accessory shoe is situated in the centre of the top plate; this position permits the use of a Kontur viewfinder. The folding front is released using a small button on the base plate; the front can then be opened and locked into position. Care must be taken during this operation, and when closing the camera, as the release button is on the top edge of the lens cover, on one end of a small metal bar which also carries the cable release socket. This bar folds away when the camera is closed, preventing accidental exposures while the camera is being carried. There are two ridged 'keys' at the front of the camera, below the lens, which must be depressed to allow the camera front to be folded. The baseboard provides a very effective protective cover for the lens, and this was used in the marketing for this camera which also drew attention to its slim, pocketable shape. The four-element, coated 50 mm. f/3.5 Color Skopar lens has a distance scale with "zone focus" marks; a triangle for subjects between 8 and 17 feet and a circle for subjects more than 17 feet away.

The wind-on knob of previous models is replaced by a single-stroke lever wind, for operation by the right hand. However, the shutter still requires tensioning as a separate operation. Shutters offered include the four-speed Pronto and the nine speed Prontor SVS. Later models fitted with the Prontor SVS have an exposure value scale. The rewind knob, which incorporates a film reminder, extends when the reversing lever is moved; this is a small control on the left hand side of the camera, below the rewind knob. The lens takes 29 mm. push-on filters. As with the earlier Vito cameras, the interlock can be disengaged to permit a partially exposed film to be re-loaded. By 1957, this camera was described as the only 35 mm. folding camera and it cost about £25.

Advertisement from 1957

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