My new old Vitessa A: first impressions

nico

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Hello,
I finally bought (through Ebolay) a Vitessa A2 with ultron 50/2. The camera is in very good cosmetic conditions and everything works smoothly. Also the optics are in pristine conditions. I'm very happy for a nice purchase.
If someone is interested in technical details here a couple of useful links to well done reviews
http://www.cameraquest.com/voitvitl.htm
http://corsopolaris.net/supercameras/vitessa/vitessaeng.html

I already gave it a try shooting a couple of rolls, one with a cheap colour film and one using Ilford Delta 400.
The first thing to say about this camera is about its aesthetic, it's, for my taste, a wonderful piece of design: I think it's a beautiful camera (it also elegantly suits my coats ;)).
Then, even though I'm not an exepert i'd say it's very well built, it's heavy like a brick and has very solid feel in my hands.
The ergonomics are a little peculiar but are very easy to get used to: the shutter speeds are on the lens and the focusing ring is on the back of the camera and sometimes this makes a little slow to focus from a far subject to a near one.
The only real issue is the viewfinder which is a little dim (at least compared to the very good one of my BessaR), the rangefinder patch is quite contrasty for its age but is quite tiny so sometimes it may make focusing slow.

What really surprised me is the lens rendition, sharp and contrasty with a good tones rendition. I'm going to post some photos right after scanning them.

Here attached some photos of the camera.
Ciao
 

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I'm EXTREMELY jealous.. I've wanted a Vitessa for years. The Vitessa and the Pen F are my two "someday when I have cash" camera's. I'm just too worried about getting a dud off evil bay.. and the ones that come from a reputable place just cost too much for me to justify it. I see them go for around a hundred bucks all the time, but as much as I want one I just doubt I'll get a good copy that cheep and dont want to spend $300-$400 on one I know will work. The camera looks gorgeous.. I cant wait to see some shots from it.
 
Disaster_Area said:
... I've wanted a Vitessa for years. The Vitessa and the Pen F are my two "someday when I have cash" camera's. I'm just too worried about getting a dud off evil bay...


For the same reason of you it took me more than one year before finding this one!
Here three test shots, just scanned and adjusted only the levels. No sharpening mask.
Ciao
 

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Very Quirky Camera. I've read that you should not advance the film when the camera is at closest focus. The advance mechanism can jam on the focus mechanism. After opening up my Vitessa N, I can believe it.

I also have a Vitessa T. Built as well, not quite as nice and compact as it does not fold. It does take interchangeable lenses and has a "more normal" focus ring.
 
Brian Sweeney said:
... I've read that you should not advance the film when the camera is at closest focus. The advance mechanism can jam on the focus mechanism...

Brian,
thanks a lot for the tip, I didn't know it.


Brian Sweeney said:
I also have a Vitessa T. Built as well, not quite as nice and compact as it does not fold. It does take interchangeable lenses and has a "more normal" focus ring.

Good point about compactness, that's another reason why I bought it: a quite compact camera with a fast 50 mm lens I can bring everyday with me.
 
The Plunger is the film advance, and controls the barn doors.

It goes down to advance the film and cock the shutter, springs back up again.
 
Steve Bellayr said:
Thanks for the info. Can it be locked in a down position when the camera is not in use?

Of course, after closing the barn doors pushing gently on the lens ring it's possible to pull down the plunger locking it.
I scanned some more images and posted them here on my photoblog.
 
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Thanks Whitecat,
these old cameras are real attractive for their design, I must confess I didn't buy a vitessa T (which is cheaper and most versatile with a set of three lenses) just because its design is not so "elegant" as the vitessa A. But what really surprise (and I remeber some amazing photos you took with old Voigtlander cameras) is the tones rendition and sharpness of these old lenses.
 
sinetsin said:
hehe!! At last!;)
what a beautiful camera!! Congrats for the purchase!!;)


yes Lluis,
"at least" ... it took me more than one year to find a good one!
I'm sure you won't have gas my friend :) since I saw what you recently got. ;)
ciao
 
Some of my favorite shots were taken by older lenses. They just have a sense of tone not found in modern optics. I got a Nettar for 30 dollars and the lens has a creamy, dreamlike quality to it. I took a picture inside a store and magnified it over and over and I can see the tile floor in the background ever so sharp.
 
I cannot say the Vitessa is cheap as the Nettar , but the shot, posted on my blog, of the windows amazed mebecause at higher resolution I can still see the creases (hope it's the right word) of the black clothes hanging out drying. I wasn't expecting such a sharp lens.
 
nico said:
yes Lluis,
"at least" ... it took me more than one year to find a good one!
I'm sure you won't have gas my friend :) since I saw what you recently got. ;)
ciao

hehehe...Nico, Gas is always there!!!:bang:
...but now is peace time (looking for two auctions on ebay only:angel:)
Enjoy the weekend with your new toy!!
 
Beautiful acquisition. Agreed on the Contessa 35, as well. I don't have a Voigtlander anything, but they are lovely cameras.

For we bespectacled shooters- these cameras are detrimental to the right lens. I have a pair of old glasses I use just for shooting these cameras... until I come up with a clever way to cover the viewfinder metal.

Happy shooting!
 
Madrigal said:
Beautiful acquisition. Agreed on the Contessa 35, as well. I don't have a Voigtlander anything, but they are lovely cameras.
For we bespectacled shooters- these cameras are detrimental to the right lens. I have a pair of old glasses I use just for shooting these cameras... until I come up with a clever way to cover the viewfinder metal.
Happy shooting!

Thanks a lot Madrigal,
actually I do not wear eye glasses but I need to get used to the tiny vitessa's finder anyway; I mostly miss the frames inside the viewfinder.


sinetsin said:
Gas is always there!!!
...but now is peace time (looking for two auctions on ebay only)


Lluis,
out of curiosity, what are you looking for?

Ciao
 
Saw the earlier photo yo posted here, and was wondering if you had a new axe. From the one you posted, I would say you have a gem. Congratulations on the purchase. Enjoy the use.
 
Madrigal - Hardware store will have O-rings and Super Glue. I h?e also had luck with segments of shronk tubing for eyepieces that protrud with lips. The right size O-ring will fit outside the viewfinder and keep the metal away from the plastic specs.
 
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