Voigtlander Vito B
Voigtlander’s (Pronounced Foichtlander(1)) roots go back to the mid-1850s as a pioneer optics maker in Germany, deep to the Daguerreotype fame. In the early past century, prewar models were the classic types, folders, TLR and stereo cameras. The post-war era brought a demand for cheaper, friendlier cameras, so the Vito model line was born. The first Vito models were the II and III, 1950 and 1951, both klapp styles. The Vito B followed in 1954, with a long list of variants in tow, similar or not, named Vito, Vitoflex, Vitomatic and Vitoret. After the brand’s demise, Vito point-and-shoot models were sold by Plusfoto and Ringfoto but had nothing to do with the classic, well-built original Vito cameras. Voigtlander’s last film models, the Bessa rangefinder cameras , were made by Cosina. Till date, Voigtlander still makes high-end lenses.
Voigtlander used the Vito name or prefix for several camera types, from viewfinders to rangefinders to SLR and entry-level modes, under Vitoret. The Vitomatic models were Vito class with a light meter. The Vito BL, with a light meter, and the BR, a rangefinder, closely followed the Vito B, with similar build and specs.
The Vito B had three versions, differing by lens and shutter combination, see the table below. A 1958 model had a large viewer, hence an overall taller body. It is marked with the same Vito B name, and is unofficially referred to as Vito B II.
The camera is small, well-designed and well-made. It is a pleasure to use once familiar with the specific quirks.
Good to know:
- The bottom cover is made of two sections. Turning the turnbuckle on the left opens the hinged part, and the back flips open.
- The shutter is cocked by the film perforation turning the cog on the film track. On empty, the winding lever will move, but the shutter will not fire.
- Pull the left-mounted protruding, serrated lever backward to rewind so the rewind knob will pop up.
- The frame counter is set by turning the serrated dial at the bottom.
- In the Prontor SVS model, the self-timer is marked by ‘V’ on the synch settings arm.
(1) The CH is pronounced like the Spanish J, Dutch G, Scottish CH or Hebrew ח.
|Value at camdex.ca||Vito B||Vito B II|
|AKA||Vito B II|
|Initial price||109||169||109||109 / 169|
|Weight||500 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||400 gr, Body with lens|
|Kit lens||3.5/50||2.8/50||3.5/50||2.8/50, 3.5/50|
|Lens make||Color Skopar|
|Shutter make||Pronto||Prontor SVS||Prontor SVS||Prontor SVS|
|Speeds||B, 25-200||B, 1-300||B, 25-200||B, 25-200|
|Service / repair links||See camerlog.com|
|More||From focal plane to eternity|