In Love With an Antique Cutie: Voigtlander Vitomatic II


I was so lucky to have gotten this famous branded Germany rangefinder camera in a boots market with a highly affordable price while I was travelling in the Canterbury. It brings excellent definition, high brilliance and maximum resolution of images during the whole trip in Switzerland. I am so delighted and in love with this boy!

This is from West Germany – the most famous and legendary area manufacturing the best camera and lens in the world. Voigtlander has long been a good brand for making cameras and lens starting from the last three centuries. As a companion of famous Germany brand Leica and Zeiss Ikon, it insists to pursue the best quality until now.

This camera is a low to middle class offering of Voigtlander in 1959, and still has supreme quality in the present time.

Lens: Voigtlander Colour-Skopar
Shutter: Prontor SLK-V from “B” to 1/300s
Aperture: F22 to F2.8
Effective Distance: From 3 feet to infinity
Coupled match needle light meter and indicating circle, bright and large 1:1 viewfinder window and yellow-dotted rangerfinder

The streamlined design makes it handful to grasp though its size is relatively small. However, it is not light-weight at all. With nearly 900g, much heavier than a normal Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with lens. It is quite a burden for thin travelers in which much energy have to spend for carrying walking through place by place.

How to use:

Before taking a photo, you have to look at the match needle, through which it shows the light condition detected by the light meter. By turning the aperture and shutter ring can the needle be matched with the indicating circle to get an image with the right exposure.

1.Adjust the aperture in order to get your ideal depth of image. f2.8 to 5.6 for near objects and f11 to 22 for distant one.

2.Adjust the shutter speed, according to the surrounding light source, to. For examples, 1/300s for bright sunlight, 1/60s for cloudy day and 1/30s for indoor tungsten light.

3.Adjust the distance scale on the lens, with the help of rangefinder.

Here are some photos taken using Kodak Portra 160 in Luzern, Switzerland:

Captures brilliant colours with a retro tone
On grainy walls
The lake, with ripples
With the Chapel Bridge

It is a pity that the rangefinder of my camera is not working anymore, so I have to adjust the distance scales due to my estimate of the distance between the object and me. , I will most likely take scenic pictures at infinity but it’s still great at all time.

It is funny to use a camera that is fully manual, operating without any batteries yet with light meter. Shooting a superb manufacturing artwork from the 1959s, it makes me reminisce the beautiful times in which great cameras were born.

The images by this camera are in a cool and clean tone, with everything correctly detected and presented. It may be the standard of Germany lens has long been insisting for, which always impresses me a lot!

written by cloudishballon on 2012-05-28 #gear #35mm #rangefinder #review #colour #old-camera #negative-film #luzern #switzerland #kodak-portra-160 #voigtlander #voigtlander-vitomatic-ii #lake-luzern


  1. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    bella la foto col Leone morente, il simbolo di Lucerna!

  2. cloudishballon
    cloudishballon ·

    Thank you very much! Hope you enjoy that

  3. cloudishballon
    cloudishballon ·

    (In English): beautiful picture with the dying Lion, the symbol of Lucerne!

  4. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I was in Luzern 6 years ago and loved it. I can not wait to return. Nice Article!

  5. cloudishballon
    cloudishballon ·

    Thank you! It is a nice place that worth returning, I wish that I can live in Luzern when I retire.

  6. baibira
    baibira ·

    Hello! My name is Barbara, and I just buy a Vitomatic II voigtlander. I have no knowledge about photography, I am completely amateur. Any help on how I would use it perfectly. I have many questions about your camera rings.
    1) opening the second ring? Talk to fit, I adjust it according to the arrow on the third ring? (The third ring counting from the lens to the camera)
    2) The shutter speed is adjusted by the third ring? To adjust the arrow that had coincided with the opening adjustment would move. I do it too?
    3) the distance scale would be the first ring? I need to match the two images on top of each other so that this perectamente adjusted?
    They also need help to regulate the handles.
    I hope I have been as clear as possible. Any help is welcome. Sorry for my poor English, the translator help me since I only use Spanish. Thank you!!

  7. jonnysound
    jonnysound ·

    Got one today for £10 focus ring is stiff, im going to take it apart to oil and clean it. Can't wait to try it.

  8. tastyredhotburrito
    tastyredhotburrito ·

    Super sharp camera lens with great colors and contrast. I enjoy using mine, was given to me by a coworker. Your photos here are quite dynamic and prove this is a worthy camera.

  9. yogicflyer
    yogicflyer ·

    Just started using my Dad's Vitomatic II and really enjoying it. He used it for colour slides which he used to project onto the living room wall. Stunningly sharp!

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