Voightlander Prominent

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by geoff_radkoff, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. AB0EBD1E-AE08-4E69-94D3-BC706EC8E992.jpeg

    Here is a shot of a Prominent that is in my collection. This is a beautifully made camera that is still fully functional. It is, however, a total pia to use, with very clunky controls. The 50mm f1.4 Nokton lens is quite sharp and has fairly good contrast. Has anyone else here every used one?
     
  2. I agree with you, the Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.5 is such a lovely lens that is the only reason to get the Prominent body. I don't know who said it that often Voigtlander cameras need 3 hands to operate. Nowadays I use an adapter to shoot the Nokton on my Sony A7 mirrorless digital camera.

    Of the other classic Voigtlander cameras, I enjoy the following:

    • Vitessa barn door 35mm folder with coffee plunger, especially with the lovely Ultron 50/2 lens. Overall quite decent ergonomics and great optics.
    • Bessamatic leaf shutter 35mm SLR, with various lenses (e.g. Septon 50/2, Skopar 50/2.5, Super Dynarex 135/4). Good ergonomics and excellent optics
    • Vitomatic IIa, Skopar 50/2.8. Decent ergonomics and excellent optics.
     
    david_mcewan likes this.
  3. Great big, heavy, unwieldy and beautiful cameras, Geoff. I posted some stuff on them here:

    Bursting into Prominents
     
    david_mcewan likes this.
  4. Nice example. Thanks for sharing. I have a Vitessa L with the f2 Ultron that belonged to my dad. He bought it new during the mid-50's. Still works, although the meter is not accurate.
     
  5. Thanks, guys. Great thread Rick!
     
  6. Don't forget the Voigtlander Vito II from the 1950's. A compact folder that when use with some care, yields excellent 35mm results, b/w or color. Bill I have two!
     
  7. Clunky? In my experience, Voigtlanders don't clunk. I can pass on my address for all you Prominent haters to send your bodies too, if you really think they're that bad.
     
  8. It's interesting to read on this thread, and many others over the years, how many people there are who love the results from the Prominent but complain about the ergonomics. As a left-eyed shooter the ergonomics are great - unlike so many of the great mechanical SLRs which, for convenience, have long film advance levers that do not return completely and are likely to poke me in my right eye. Two cameras that come to mind are the Canon FT and FTB.

    I bought a 1957 Prominent in mint condition in 1961. In the following years I added the 35/3.5 and the 100mm f4.5., using a Turnit for the 35mm and 100mm and a Kontur for the 50mm Ultron. It was not until the mid 1990s that I put the Prominent aside as my main camera and switched to the Canon EOS system. For more than three decades I was rewarded with thousands of slides and prints: it never ever let me down.

    After reading this thread I took the Prominent out of its case. It is still like new. Slow shutter speeds are spot on, and I just love to hear the mechanical timer and quiet shutter.

    I have several Voigtlanders in my collection, the easiest to use being a lovely Vitomatic 11a with the ultron f2 lens - a fairly rare combination. But the sentimental favourite will always be the Prominent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  9. I think that my Prominent is a very nice camera. That being said, I wish that I had an adapter to use the 1.5 Nokton with my Nikon rangefinder bodies.
     
  10. You must like nice things. Is that a Thorens turntable? I have a TD-124...
     
  11. yes, a 1957 model, sounds great
     
  12. I remember Thorens. Are they still in business?
     
  13. yes they are
     
  14. I have a couple of old electronics catalogs: Allied from 1966 and Lafayette from 1965. Tons of what was then state of the art. I believe the Allied might have a Thorens turntable. I'll have to look. At this time solid state amps and receivers were beginning to replace tube amps. Tape decks mostly still had no preamp and IIRC, used NAB equalization via tape head inputs. By the time I got into components virtually all tape decks had preamps. My turntable, which did have an elliptical stylus, had a ground wire that had to be connected to avoid hum. Still have that turntable and a lesser expensive (but newer) one that has a conical stylus. My linear tracking turntable went south last spring.
     
  15. I had a Thorens TD150 for a long time. Right now a VPI with a SME V tone arm and a high output moving coil cartridge. Both preamp and power amp are tube.
     
  16. DCA6C103-1D1E-409F-9F7A-D262B4084964.jpeg My 1957 Thorens TD 124, 1965 Fisher 400 reciever, and 1978 Klipsch Heresy speakers in our living room
     
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  17. I like everything in this photo, including the chair and the cabinet :)
     
  18. The cabinet is from a black and white tv that we had when I was a kid.
     
  19. This is the missing link in the story of higher quality cameras of its time.
    There were lots of add-ons for it like the
    Voigtländer-Prominent-Reflex-1953-09-PP.jpg
    Popular Photography
     
  20. Yes, that reflex housing is a bridge, and a highly collectible one, at that. It would seem we Prominent people have similar lifestyle tastes!

    The Prominent at Home

    Akai Pnet.jpg
     
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