Thursday, July 11, 2013

Voigtländer Vitoret L

The Vitoret L is the economy version of the Vito series of cameras.  Mainly the shutters and lenses were of a somewhat lower quality than those used in the Vito series.  That being said it seems that the definition of economy model has gone downhill in the last few decades.  The Vitoret L does not seem cheap or flimsy in the way that most economy products seem today. 

The L in the name stands for light meter.  The Vitoret L has a meter that is visible in the viewfinder and on the top of the camera.  To get the correct exposure you adjust the settings until the two indicators line up.  The one in my camera seems to work.  I used it to take the photo below.

Although I used a handheld meter for most of the pictures from this result it looks like the meter works well.  So when I use this camera next I will probably rely on the built-in meter more.  Its a fairly easy system to use.

The Vitoret L only has four shutter settings, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, and 1/300. The lens is a 50mm f/2.8 three element Color-Lanthar. Probably the nicest thing about the Vitoret is it's large bright viewfinder.  It is one of the best that I have seen in a camera of this type.  Focusing is by guessing the distance. There are symbols for person, group, and views on the focusing ring that are suggested for quick focusing.  There also is a depth of field scale. 

I am guessing that the Vitoret L originally sold for between $40 and $50. That is based on looking at prices for other cameras in the Vitoret series.  The L model was first made in 1966 and discontinued in 1968. The Vitoret line ran from 1961 to 1971.  Altogether the Vitoret series is estimated to have sold around 700,000 cameras.

The Vitoret series doesn't usually sell for a high price on Ebay. One Vitoret that seemed in excellent shape did go for $73, however most were much less.

I don't find myself inclined to rave about the Vitoret L.  It is a nice-looking well-made competent camera.  Definitely worth picking up if you like the the all-mechanical zone focusing cameras.