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Voigtlander Vito Cameras - Vito B

by Stephanie Marriott

This model was introduced in 1954 and it was the first of the rigid fronted models. It has a die-cast body covered in leather with a hinged back and hinged section of the baseplate for easy film loading. The exposed metal parts are satin chrome, except the lens mountings, which are bright. The top plate incorporates a lever wind and pop-up rewind knob which carries a film-speed reminder. A partly exposed film can be reloaded by lifting the rewind knob, which disengages the double-exposure interlock. There is a milled wheel near the base-plate which permits the frame counter to be set. Note that the frame counter shows the number of unexposed frames. The film track was redesigned for the Vito B to ensure flatness and scratch-free transport. The hinged baseplate was designed for easy loading. The camera is also fitted with an accessory shoe, a cable release socket (in the centre of the shutter release) and delayed action release.

There are a number of variants of the Vito B, some representing options offered by Voigtlander and others brought about by improvements to the camera specification.

The first Vito B was fitted with an f/3.5 Color Skopar 50 mm. lens in either a Pronto 4-speed shutter or a Prontor SVS 8-speed shutter. The camera had an optical finder. In 1954, the camera with f/3.5 lens and 4-speed Pronto shutter cost about £20 and the 8-speed Prontor SVS version cost about £24.

In 1959 the Pronto version appears to have been discontinued and a new top of the range camera introduced, with an f/2.8 Color Skopar lens in 9-speed Prontor SVS, and with a brightline viewfinder. In 1959 this version cost about £26, while the f/3.5 version was about £21.

Later Prontor SVS models have an exposure value scale. The shutter speed ring has green figures to indicate speeds which are not available automatically; for these speeds the shutter should be set to "B".

The distance scale has zone focus symbols for fast focusing; it is recommended that the lens be stopped down to at least f/5.6 when these are used. The camera has been designed so that all scales are visible from above. The lens has a 32 mm. push-on filter mount. By April 1956, advertisements were assuring customers that although the supply situation had been "difficult", by ordering immediately it would be possible to ensure the camera arrived in time for the coming season. In 1960, in Britain, only the model with the f/2.8 lens in Prontor SVS shutter was offered, at about £26, and by 1961, the camera appears to have been discontinued.

1957 advertisement for the Vito B

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