Vintage camera collection – Voigtlander Vito Automatic

This is the second Voigtlander camera I’ve bought in the last couple of months. I bought a Voigtlander Vito B for £5 a few weeks ago, but I didn’t splash out as much on this camera – it cost me 99 pence!

This is a 1960’s viewfinder camera with a selenium cell which controls the camera’s aperture, making a fully automatic ‘point and shoot’ model. There is a neat ‘green dot’ exposure system which shows up in the camera viewfinder. If the dot is green it’s ok to shoot – if it is red there isn’t enough light so you need to switch to flash instead. Unfortunately in my camera the viewfinder is completely misted over so I can’t see either the ‘green/red dot’ or in fact the subject of the picture! Still – it was only 99p.

The exposure system is novel. The camera shoots at only one shutter speed and that is set by the speed of the film fitted to the camera. A 12 DIN (12 ISO) film will set the camera to shoot at 1/30 sec and a 24 DIN (200 ISO) will set the shutter speed to 1/500 sec. Once this is set, the aperture is controlled via the selenium cell, with the indication in the viewfinder as mentioned above. In the camera handbook it warns about using the correct speed film for the type of photography you are attempting – ie a fast film to capture action. It really makes you realise how fortunate we are today with digital sensors and adjustable white balance after the shot it taken!

The Vito Automatic is similar to the Vito B in the quality of the engineering, but as well as the automatic exposure there are a few other differences to that model. For example, the film advance lever will cock the shutter irrespective of whether there is a film in the camera or not. The film chamber is the more normal door on the back rather than the trap door on the bottom of the camera which the vito B has. Also the lens fitted to this camera is a Lanthar 50mm f/2.8 which is not of the same quality as the Color Skopar 50mm fitted the the Vito B and I would guess this is a more ‘mass market’ camera that my other voigtlander.

  • Voigtlander Vito Automatic 35mm viewfinder camera
  • 50mm f/2.8 Lanthar lens
  • Single shutter speed 1/30 – 1/500 controlled by film speed
  • f/2.8 – f/22 aperture range
  • Cable release socket thread in shutter button
  • DIN 12 to 24/12 to 200 ISO
  • Flash sync socket
  • Count down frame counter
  • Pop-up rewind knob
  • Film type reminder on rewind
  • Cold shoe accessory bracket
  • Distance markers on the focus ring for portrait, group and landscape.
  • Ser No: 5882063
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6 thoughts on “Vintage camera collection – Voigtlander Vito Automatic

  1. An interesting post – I didn’t know about the ASA/DIN (yep – I’m old school) setting determining the shutter speed. As you have hinted at, something that’s really nice about these Voigtlanders is the way you can see how one camera has evolved into another.

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