The Vito BL is based on the Vito B, with the
addition of a light-meter. The camera was introduced in 1956, at which
time it was fitted with a Bewi-Automat meter. This is operated by pressing
a button on the camera back and pointing the camera at the subject.
After about a second, a shutter-speed/aperture reading can be taken.
Later versions of the camera have an exposure value
scale and are fitted with the Bewi-Automat or a Light Scale Exposure
Meter which has a meter needle display. This display can be misleading,
as the reading is indicated by the end of the needle, which will rest
in one of the alternating black and white zones. The zone should be
followed back to the scale and the reading taken; black zones have
numbers and white zones can be inferred from the numbers on either
side. In the illustration in the 1957
advertisement, the reading is '10'. Although
part of the needle is over the '11', 11 is not the correct reading.
The meter has no provision for adjustment according to film speed,
and an engraved table is provided to convert the figure given to an
EV value which can be used to set the shutter and lens. This table
covers speeds 6 - 200 ASA.
In 1957, two versions of the camera
were available, one with the exposure value scale, which
was fitted with the f/2.8 Color-Skopar and 9-speed
Prontor SVS (cost c£36) and one with no exposure
value scale which offered a choice of f/3.5 or f/2.8
By 1958, a brightline finder had been
added to the list of options.
The camera has a die-cast alloy body
covered in leather; metal parts are finished in satin
chrome and black enamel. An incident light attachment can
be fitted to the honeycomb plastic meter front. The
camera has lever wind, delayed action, a cable release
thread in the shutter release and a frame counter which
shows the number of unused frames. As with other similar
models, the exposure value scale gives exposures which
are obtained using "B" in green. By 1959, the prices were
about £37 (with f2.8 lens), £33 (with f3.5 lens
and brightline finder) and £31 (with f3.5 lens and
no brightline finder). The camera appears to have been
discontinued in the early 1960s.
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