Voigtlander Vitessa T lenses

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by wildwoodgallery, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Does anybody know where I can buy lenses for this camera? I have a Skoparel
    35mm f3.4 lens & a Color Skopar 50mm f2.8. I also have the attachment that
    goes on top of camera that you can set for the different lens. It takes
    beautiful photos.

    Also do the Voigtlander Vitessa T lenses fit on other rangefinders and do
    other rangefinder lenses fit on the Voigtlander Vitessa T?

    Thank you,
  2. The Braun Super Colorette II rangefinder uses the same lens mount. You can find kits from time to time on the German version of that popular internet auction site.
  3. I purchased mine from Ebay. Make sure they have the T on the end of the lense name because others fit on the Prominent. I haven't seen any lately on Ebay.
  4. I don't know where but McKeown says that also made a 35mm f3.4, a 100mm f4.8, and a 135, f 4.0.

    Wierd, I never heard of thes before you asked.

  5. Chances are that I have the largest collection anywhere of Voigtlander Vitessa-T 35mm German rangefinder cameras, with 74 camera bodies; plus Color-Skopar 1:2.8/50mm (normal) lenses for all the bodies; plus a large number of Skoparet 1:3.4/35mm (wide angle) lenses, Dynaret 1:4.8/100mm (portrait) lenses, Super-Dynaret 1:4/135mm telephoto lenses, Turnit rangefinders, scores of Voigtlander brown leather eveready and lens cases, all kinds of 49.5mm filters, bag loads of the special colorless lens caps and aluminum "bottle cap" lens rear covers, numerous original pink color original instruction books...

    ... Plus some lenses and other items few people even know existed for these cameras. These include

    -- 2 Steinheil (Munchem) Culmigon 1:45/35mm lenses;
    -- 2 Schneider-Kreuznach Braun-Tele-Arton 1:4/85mm lens;
    -- 1 Rodenstock-Rotelar 1.4/135mm lens

    And there are still other special lenses that fit the Vitessa-T that I know about and are listed in the original Synchro-Compur repair and parts manual.

    How I acquired all these is a long story, partially going back to 1971, when I borrowed the first one, fell in love with it, and bought it from its owner.

    The rangefinder camera bodes with their Synchro-Compur leaf shutters, Compur and other lenses, and ancillary equipment, represent some of the finest in postwar German camera design and optics.

    Inasmuch as I am going through all these cameras one at a time, especially for cleaning out dessicated 50-year old lubricant that keeps shutters from firing properly, and fixing other problems as I find them -- such as in the complex film advance and shutter cocking linkages and their associated interlocks -- I may start up some sort of discussion group focused totally on the Vitessa-T.

    I'm also thinking of writing a manual dealing with servicing just this one make and model of camera, now that I've more or less figured out how to do that without inadvertantly destroying anything irreplaceable.

    It took me some years, but I located repair manuals for the Vitessa-T, both in German and with English translations, mostly made from original Voigtlander blueprints.

    1) Sticking shutters are easy to cure. After dismounting the lens and removing the slide-off camera bottom, swab the shutter blades on both sides with a small brush dipped in clean naptha such as you can buy in any hardware store. Then start working the vertical kombi-plunger and shutter firing button. Do this repeatedly until the shutter blades open and close. Then consistently go through all the shutter speeds B-500 while swabbing and working the plunger and firing button. Let the naptha evaporate (don't do this in a closed room) then use a very clean piece of lint-free cotton cloth at the end of something none-metallic, such as one of those coffee-mixing sticks you get at any Starbucks, Barnes & Noble or whatever, to gently polish the shutter blades. Never touch these with your fingers because of the salts in your sweat (even if you aren't sweating, your skin still exudes chemicals). If you put the camera up to your ear when you release the shutter, you can actually hear the timing escapement gears doing their work.

    Don't take the shutter assembly apart and mess with it unless you really know what you are doing.

    Re-lubrication. There are only a couple of places in the shutter mechanism that need this, and only the thinnest of oils and in the smallest amount. That's the star and pallet wheels in the shutter mechanism arranged around the shutter blades. Don't get any lubricant or anything else on the shutter blades.

    2) Exposure meter. The selenium cell meters that come with the Vitessa-T supposedly were good for only a limited number of years. But I have only a few V-Ts with dead or dying meters. Even that might be fixable. The top of the camera can be unbolted and swung loose from the camera body. Inside the top is the little selenium wafer held in place by a couple of bent clips. I'm told that swabbing the selenium cell occasionally with acetone cleans of any ammumulated surface crud that could be a factor in causing meter fade-out. If push comes to shove, new selenium cells can be cut to size, potted with the right microwires, and installed in your camera top. Magnetronics in the UK supplies can custom cut the right size cells. Then the meter's galvanometer may need recalibration.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI
  6. Arnold, if you ever start that Vitessa T group - please let me know. I recently got my first Vitessa T, and absolutely LOVE it. I'm still shooting my first roll, the weather these last few weeks have been horrendous for 'getting outdoors' to take pictures. This weekend will be beautiful though, and I will be outside to take advantage of it, camera in hand.
  7. Wow...this is an old thread. I'm pulling it up so that I may ask Roger....have you ever formed the group that you mentioned here? I would be very interested in joining such a group.
    I recently acquired a nice, minty Vitessa T and pretty soon, it and the lens will be off to Essex for a CLA. I'd like to be able to use it but want to be sure that it is up to snuff, first. Meanwhile, I'm checking eBay for a cap for the 50mm and need to find a manual too. Does anyone know if there is an aftermarket speed case made for this camera.
    Anyways, you might notice that I am new to the site. In fact, it was the Vitessa that brought me here....lol! I'm actually an Nikonian but there is something about this little gem of a camera that is inspiring me to want to use it. Makes me feel as though I'm getting ready to take a ride in a time machine?
    Thanks and see ya around. Cameraniac
  8. I meant to say Arnold (Arnold Harris) in the previous post. Sorry for the mistake. Not sure where "Roger" came from?
  9. Has Arnold Harris disappeared? I have several Vitessa T's but would like to ask something more about lenses that fit the Vitessa T. I bought my first Vitessa T directly from the distributor Gevaert company (afterwards Agfa-Gevaert) in 1958. I sold it in the early 60ies but acquired other ones in the last 3 years. Lenses especially the Color-Skopar 50/2.8 have beautiful quality.
  10. I would also like to get some information about repairing the Vitessa T. Mine could use an RF cleaning...
  11. Call me crazy on this one : I am trying to port a Scheider Kreuznach, 28mm Retina Curtagon, as well as a Schneider Kreuznach 50mm Retina Xenon to a Voigtlander Vitessa T :

    I have the optical blocks of the lenses, as well as the focusing helicoids ( lens bodies ) for Retina IIIs, and i plan to make frankenlenses for the vitessa T, by exchanging the rear mount plate of the lens, with Vitessa T lens spares that I have... is this feasible ??? I mean... flange to film distance is the same, rangedinder cam in the lens, and pin in the camera are in the same place, only thing to set, is the diaphragm actuator...

    I really would like a super wide in my Vitessa T... or a fast normal...

    What do you folks think ??
  12. Good Luck.. IF everything is as you say... ..you should succeed. I know the desire for a wide angle lens...
  13. I had read the Retina and Voigtlander lenses have near the same mount
    A little filing is needed to make it fit
    Which one I do not remember
  14. To be honest, I should check the internet, but I thought the Retina mounts had the aperture adjustment on the shutter body. On the Voigtlander Synchro Compur mount, the aperture adjustment is on the interchangeable lens. Take what I just wrote as hearsay.
  15. Too late to edit my above comment- but the 3 Voigtlander lenses intended for the Vitessa T 35mm rangefinder were different than those for the Bessamatic SLR.

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