Voigtlander Vito II

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by alvin_lim|5, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. I just got myself a Voigtlander Vito II and have to admit that I am pretty new
    to using these cameras. I am wondering how do I work around the ISO speed of
    film on these cameras?

    Meaning that how would my aperture and shutter speed be affected by the ISO
    speed on this camera? I am used to setting the ISO on my cameras so was pretty
    perplexed when I realised that I could not set the ISO.
  2. You gotta be kidding! Don't you understand anything about exposing film? It ain't rocket science. Why do you think that there are shutter speeds and aperture settngs on the camera? Go to a used book store any buy a book on how to use a manual camera.
  3. I apologize for my outburst. If you don't ask questions you'll never learn. But you should have asked this before buying your VITO II.<P>Anyhow, there should be a table of speeds/apertures which came with your film. And you DO need to buy and read a good book to learn about these things.
  4. the camera is completely manual, so it doesn't need to know the ISO... you do :)

    Easiest way to start is just using "Sunny-16" rule. That means set the shutter speed to 1/ISO and f16 for daytime sunny conditions. For C-41 you don't have to be that close so 1/300th and f16 will be fine for 400 speed films. You drop either your shutter speed or aperture 2 stops for cloudy conditions (1/200th and f11) and 4 stops for full shade (1/100th and f8). For guess focusing you want to keep your lens stopped down so you have more depth of field.

    Do a search on "Sunny-16" and you will find a table somewhere to cut out and keep in your pocket when you get started. You'll be surprised, but Sunny-16 is generally more reliable than a modern SLR with TTL metering since light is more constant than your subject is.

    For indoors there are tables as well. For reasonably bright living room at night, the Vito set at f3.5 and 1/25th wouldn't be a bad guess... The Kodak Master Photography Guide goes for about $5 and is just a blast to use for this kind of stuff. You won't regret buying one.

    Have fun!

    Beautiful little camera, don't you think?
  5. PS The alternative is use a hand held meter. I like my little Sekonic Twinmate II meter, but honestly almost never use it... guessing is just more fun (with cameras like the Vito II) and plenty accurate for print film once you get good at it.

    Jeez Bill, relax! :)

    A man picks up a beautiful little camera and doesn't know how to use it (because no one but old timer photogs or the enthiasts know how to use it)... so he has to learn...

    Alvin, it may seem a little daunting at first, but you'll get manually setting your camera just fine... even guess focusing gets to be fun once you realize that the depth of field saves with your lens set to small apertures. Just relax, you'll get plenty of good photos.
  6. Hey Alvin, congrats on a beautiful 'new' camera! Be forewarned that the more you handle it, the more you'll fall in love with the feel and operation of it. Mark's suggestion of a hand held meter is a great one. At times I have an AF slr or dslr along for the ride (oh, the sacrilege!) and they often get used as the hand held meter when I don't feel like my guesses will be accurate enough. The tip about keeping the lens stopped down to a small aperture is pretty important with this camera in my opinion as Mark also stated above, as this will lead to sharper pictures provided you have a fast enough shutter speed to avoid hand/camera motion. It's a cool camera, isn't it? Have fun with it, and post some shots!
  7. Hello Alvin, on the classic cameras that come with built in meters, one usually would set the ISO so the meter can calibrate and measure light in relation to it. If there should be an ISO dial on meterless classic cameras, it purely serves as a reminder should you forget what film you loaded it with. As discussed recently a lot of us here load several cameras at once, so sometimes we forget what film the camera was loaded with. Your Vito II is purely manual and meterless so there is no need to set any iso settings. I would advise to take Mark's suggestions on a handheld meter, or a shoe mounted meter if your Vito II comes with flash shoe on the top housing. You can set the ISO on the meter, take a reading on what you want to photograph and transfer that reading(shutter speed and aperture values) to your Vito II. Have fun.
  8. Many classic cameras come without a light meter, and if they have one in many cases you still have to do the camera settings according to meter readings.

    The VitoII is a meter-less camera. If you never realized the influence of film speed, aperture setting and speed setting I would recommend a walk to the next public library and look for the most basic book on photography.

    Unfortunately most, if not all, film packages come without exposure instructions today. Many years ago there was a comprehensive leaflet or at least instructions printed on the inside of the box.
  9. Alvin, if you take the time and learn how to control exposure on your fully manual camera, you may get some seriously solid satisfaction. Plus, everything you learn will also apply to more automated cameras.

    Bill, I've been shooting film for over 50 years (Baby Brownie back then). Your reaction is similar to mine when the Internet generation meets pre-silicon technology. I'm often amazed at the generational differences when Gen-X meets low tech. It's a struggle, but the younger folks expect technology and connectivity as their birthright, and they focus on getting things done. I may take pleasure in a long slow photo shoot with an old Crown Graphic, but the Internet Generation wants to see the picture *now*.

    It's simply a reality. Your excellent advice to read a book may very well fall on deaf ears, because the modern workplace (and play space) is thriving on "just-in-time learning". They just handed me a Blackberry last week, and I was appalled to discover that there was no user manual -- just a "quick start" pamphlet.

    I remember in 1971, when our headquarters (US Army)unexpectantly sent us an Instamatic. It took four of us a couple of hours to understand how the thing worked.
  10. I dig a good outburst now and then.
  11. with a meterless fully manual camera such as your VITO,
    taking indoor flash pictures is very simple. as long as the camera either has a Hot Shoe or a pc contact.

    Most electronic flash units have one or more AUTO settings.
    All you do is set the lens according to the dial on the flash unit ( dependent on the iso/asa oopening the film.)

    the flash sets the proper exposure.

    for example ISO 200 film might require the lens to be set at f/8.
    then all you do is focus or set distance by the scale on the lens,
    leave the shutter at 1/50 or 1/60 or even faster, and fire away.

    say it's a birthday party, it is possible, once the camera is set all you do is wind the film and fire. Unless you try for close-ups

    sometimes too many " automatic features" get in the way.
    the VITO will produce pictures that are as sharp and clear as a
    $100.00 p & s cameras. it will not tend to break down or die because of the lack of a $10.00 battery.

    Because films today are better and EF units have the auto setting, your pictures will be better than the ones taken when the camera was new. Color print film is very forgiving and you will be pleased with the results.
  12. Good explanation here: The Ultimate Exposure computer http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

    (to give away the ending, the Ultimate exposure computer is your eyes and your brain)
  13. Steve Gandy, www.cameraquest.com, sells the Cosina "Voightlander" clip-on meter for $174.00. Fits on the accessory shoe and looks fairly straightforward in operation. I am contemplating getting one, although I have several hand-held meters, because I think I will probably use my meterless cameras more. (Getting lazy in my old age.)
  14. Thanks guys for all the comments and suggestions; they have really been very insightful and enriching. Really appreciate it. And I am really loving the camera. I think it is high time that I went back to basics. Thanks once again.

    And don't worry Bill, I do know about ISO and how it works. Just needed to be sure that I did not over complicate anything.
  15. Today a friend dropped by with a box of yardsale treasures. I started digging through it and guess what I found? Yes, a Voigtlander Vito II, with the Color-Skopar lens!!!!!!!! With a perfect leather case and the camera is in pristine condition. My friend gave $1.00 for it and NOW it's mine!!!! A late Christmas gift.

    I had never heard of the camera but upon inspection, I went nuts. First of all is the origin, second was when I finally got the front open and saw the lens and third was when I figured out how to load the film and use the shutter button. Figuring out the "snap, wind and snap" process took me a few minutes.

    I'm a little old lady from Texas who is a professional rodeo photographer and has arthritis from carrying a NikonF4 for 20 plus years. I've always wanted a smaller camera (not digital) that I can carry in a pocket and get good images with.

    Thank you all so much for contributing to the information that I obviously needed. Most appreciated is the link to download the instruction book.

    I used to love Kodak 160P???? It was a slow film that produced a really sexy and dreamy look. Anything out there like that now?

    If I can get my courage up, I'll post a rodeo photograph and you can see what a big change this will be for me. I doubt that I'll try much action with it.

    Thanks again!!!!
  16. One more thing...

    The photograph that I uploaded was scanned from a work print. And yes, I've heard many a person say that about their finished piece at a workshop when he thought the instructor was looking at it and shaking their head!!

    I don't scan a finished print of anything. Those are stored and protected.

    That was taken at about 7:00 a.m. in the "short go" at a rodeo in New Mexico.

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