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03-02-2017, 09:53 AM   #1
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Some fun with my olde Voigtlander CL

I discovered a few weeks ago that I had stored my lovely old Voigtlander CL camera with some film in it. It looks like a 1950-60s rangefinder, but it's not. But it's far from a fixed or even zone-focus box camera. Its permanently mounted f2.8 50mm Lanthar lens (the base lens for this model) closes down to f22, with no detents at whole or half stops -- meaning it has an infinite number of intermediate settings. How could you possibly need those? The better to line up the match-needle light meter on the upper right top deck of the camera. Shutter speeds from 1/15th of a second to 1/500th (plus Bulb) are available. And the meter can be set for ISOs from 10 to 800. You're thinking it probably uses a meter battery no longer available, but no. No batteries whatsoever. The meter is powered by a selenium cell array on the right front side (still working perfectly in my copy). Here's a webpage with more info on the model: Voigtl

I thought I had taken some number of pictures on the loaded roll, maybe because I wasn't reading the frame counter correctly, but I got nearly a full twenty-four on the remaining film. The few forgettable exposures were when this usual SLR user forgot to estimate and set the focus distance a few times, since the viewfinder is always in focus and doesn't remind one to do that. The film turned out to be a roll of Fujicolor 200. I'm guessing that I loaded it in the camera 1-2 years ago, when the film may have either been new of not very expired. All of the exposures made use of the built-in meter, which seemed accurate enough when compared to an external meter before I set off to take these pictures.


These shots are all taken around the little town of Avon, Illinois:














I LIKE that tiny starburst between the tree trunks in the last shot. I don't know if it is an artifact of the branch configuration or of the Lanthar 50mm's aperture blades. I'll have to see if I can get that to happen again.



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Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 03-02-2017 at 02:17 PM.
03-02-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
I LIKE that tiny starburst between the tree trunks in the last shot. I don't know if it is an artifact of the branch configuration or of the Lanthar 50mm's aperture blades. I'll have to see if I can get that to happen again.
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I'm pretty sure that's aperture induced. Look to shoot at f/11 or higher and also look at the lens - is the aperture 5 bladed? It should be given the 10 point starburst shown.
03-02-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
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Very cool, aren't those old rangefinders fun? I have an old Petri Racer I take out from time to time.

Great, sharp shots you're getting from that camera!
03-02-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I'm pretty sure that's aperture induced. Look to shoot at f/11 or higher and also look at the lens - is the aperture 5 bladed? It should be given the 10 point starburst shown.
I didn't record the aperture, but I could have easily been at f/11 or better.

---------- Post added 03-02-17 at 03:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
Very cool, aren't those old rangefinders fun? I have an old Petri Racer I take out from time to time.

Great, sharp shots you're getting from that camera!
People say that the Skopar lens, also available on this model, is better, but I certainly don't see much to complain about with this lens. When I got it, the camera was still in its original leather case, which had kept it very clean.

While the CL looks like a rangefinder, I'll repeat, it is not one. If it had a little yellow rangefinder window in the viewfinder, I wouldn't have forgotten to focus the couple of shots I flubbed!

I think I'll shoot black-and-white film in it the next time.

03-02-2017, 06:14 PM   #5
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I'm from Illinois and spent many hours driving through the northern part of the state. Somehow I could sense the photos were from Illinois without even reading the text.
03-02-2017, 07:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BlakeShellman Quote
I'm from Illinois and spent many hours driving through the northern part of the state. Somehow I could sense the photos were from Illinois without even reading the text.
I live in the northern half of the state, though for a time I lived along the northern state line, north of Rockford. I suppose things like the form of the road signs is one of those things that varies slightly from state to state, but might be recognizable to someone who had been away for a time.
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