Lomopedia: Voigtlander Vito C/Balda C35


It can be confusing trying to remember all the cameras that catch your attention. As it is, you have to take note of the manufacturer, series, and a whole lot of other things to keep your compendium stocked with all the camera geekery. But if unique cameras fascinate you, you will surely find this Lomopedia entry delightful.

Voigtlander Vito C Deluxe (1960) © Alfred via Flickr

The Voigtlander Vito C is a name given to two camera models that are entirely different from one another. You read that right, there are two Voigtlander Vito Cs. They are both 35 mm cameras, relatively small in size, and can be great carry cameras if you fancy shooting incognito.

Let's start with the older version of the Vito C that was manufactured from 1960-1966. This iteration of the Vito C replaced the Vito B camera series and is made mostly out of steel. It has leatherette covers on the front which bisects the facade of the camera, giving emphasis on the Lanthar 50 mm f/2.8 or Color-Scopar 50 mm f/2.8 lens (depending on the model.) It came in two versions: the standard and the deluxe model.

Both versions have basically the same functions and controls save for some minor cosmetic differences. The standard model has a recessed accessory shoe while the deluxe version had a protruding accessory shoe and a leather-wrapped lens barrel. The deluxe version also had an embossed Voigtlander name in front of the camera while the standard version had an engraved one.

The older Voigtlander Vito C was a mechanical viewfinder camera without a light meter or rangefinder (this might confuse people especially since it certainly looks like a rangefinder camera.) Users can shoot the Vito C with or without a film loaded so the shutter can be checked if it's working quite conveniently. Another quirky feature of this vintage camera is that its shutter release can be found in front of the camera instead of in the usual position at the top plate.

Balda-made Voigtlander Vito C and Balda CA35 with flash © DaseinDesign and Alfred via Flickr

Now, onto the other Voigtlander Vito C that was manufactured by Balda. The Balda-made Voigtlander Cs looked quite similar to Minox models and it has quite an interesting backstory. Balda sold their Vito C cameras using the Voigtlander name when they were under the Rollei brand. And since Rollei owned Minox at the time and Balda also made parts for Minox cameras, the Vito C is sort of a mash-up made from different camera parts.

The Balda-made Vito C was introduced to the market in 1980 and is a far cry from its older Voigtlander-made counterpart. While it was still a 35 mm shooter, it was made of black plastic which is a stark contrast to the Voigtlander Vito C which was made of stainless steel. Like with other Minox cameras, the Balda-made Vito C used a clam-shell style lens cover that opens to reveal the Skopar f/2.8 38 mm lens inside. It can also be paired with a Balda flash to complete the look.

The newer Vito C models were automatic cameras that made for easy and relaxed shooting. The point-and-shoot characteristic of the newer Vito C made it a good choice for newcomers to the film photography hobby. Its Skopar lens is also regarded by some as a decent optic that can churn out clean and crisp images.

Sample Photo Gallery

Credits: nicx

Technical Specifications:

Voigtlander Vito C
Film: 35 mm cartridge film
Size of Picture: 24 x 36 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/30 – 1/250 – B
Shutter: Pronto shutter 1/250
Lens: Lanthar 2.8/50 mm
Aperture: f/2.8-f/22
Flash: hotshoe

Balda-made Voigtlander Vito C
Film: 35 mm cartridge film
Size of Picture: 24 x 36 mm
Shutter: electronic shutter, 1s at f/2.8 to 1/500 at f/16
Lens: Skopar f/2.8 38 mm, 4 elements in 3 groups
Focus Range: 0.9 m minimum focus
Flash: special flash connection
Weight: 147 g
Others: cable release socket, low-light warning and distance setting in finder, with cocked shutter indicator
Other names: Balda CA35, Revue 35XE

All information used in this article was sourced from 135compact, Voigtlander pages, 35mmc, and Camerapedia.

written by cheeo on 2023-01-13 #gear #lomopedia #gear #point-and-shoot #35-mm #lomopedia #voigtlander-vito-c #balda-c35

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