This camera used to belong to my Great Uncle Albert from Alsace in north east France, who had been a very keen photographer since his childhood.
Throughout his life he always bought the best quality and technology he could, everything from the Hifi to the Mercedes he drove were kept in immaculate condition and expected to last.
The Voigtlander (Voigtlaender) Vitoret L is by no means an expensive camera. It comes from the 60s a time when the Berlin wall Still stood strong.
Voigtlander has beautiful family legacy of quality film cameras, and the Vitoret’s extremely hot modern cousin the Bessa R4m, is one that I have lusted after for a while!
Still having the original “hipster brown” leather Camera case is testament to my Great uncles care for his cameras, it looks pretty cool too.
Here she is! Small but perfectly formed at around 15cm across she fits into your luggage and pockets with ease.
Being an all metal body the camera has a nice weight and feel in the palm of your hand.
While holding it you may think the shutter release button is the white thing at the top but strangely its the oblong button to the left of the lens. You slide it down and it gives a satisfying almost silent ‘click’ perfect for getting natural pictures while people aren’t paying attention.
The almost fly eye rectangle, is the built in light meter and it has a cold shoe at the top which means you mount the flash at the top and then run a sync cable down to the circular sync connector to the left of the lens. Being a leaf shutter as opposed to a curtain shutter means the flash can be synced at all speeds!
What about the white thing at the top I hear you cry? It is an ambient light collector which sits above the external light meter reading.
The back is clean and simple with only the view finder with built in meter on the left, and film advance leaver to the right. The film advance lever is all metal and feels very fine on your thumb. As you advance it is smooth and precise, and certainly has that ‘VW Golf’ door feel when it comes back synonymous with German Engineering.
The viewfinder has the composition frame that you can see, and an inbuilt exposure needle as well. It doesn’t follow focus with the lens so you have to go by the focus distances marked on the lens.
The lens moves smoothly with a weighted feel and has all of the controls relating to exposure calculation on it. The aperture and shutter rings are smooth too and don’t click like more modern lenses.
Film speed is determined by pressing in a button on the shutter speed ring and selecting the appropriate ASA number. DIN in also features on the other side too.
All in all this camera is a joy to use and I regularly take it out with me. Having the female sync means I can couple it to my studio flash and make great portraits too. But do you know what really makes it for me?
It’s the fact this belonged to someone who was there for a big part of my life. Being able to continue the camera’s life feels good, and knowing it was once dropped on to the lens filter means I know that my Great uncle used this camera a lot and had more attention on the photographs than maintaining a pristine object.
It would be great to see your ‘vintage’ film cameras, get in touch and I’ll feature it here if you like!
Name: Voigtlander Vitoret L
Age: Around 50 years old 1960s
Type: Rangefinder film camera
Lens: 50mm f2.8 fixed
Medium: 35mm Colour or B&W film
Shutter: Prontor 300 LK leaf shutter, four speeds: 1/30-60-125-1/300 +B
Full camera geek specs click here
A few more image details of the camera: