Produced from 1952 – 1958, the Prominent was Voigtländer’s answer to the Leitz Leica and Zeiss-Ikon Contax.  It was a “system” camera with a selection of high quality lenses and accessories available for the professional photographer.


The Vitessa was an innovative medium priced rangefinder with a folding bellows design with barn doors to conceal the lens and shutter when not in use.  Consistent with Voigtländer’s habit of not following established norms, the camera had a number of unique features such as a rear thumb wheel focus and a large metal plunger that both advanced the film and set the shutter before each exposure.


First released in 1933, the Voigtländer Superb was the company’s entry into the medium format Twin Lens Reflex market.  Designed to compete with Franke & Heidecke’s successful Rolleiflex line, the Super offered a number of unique innovations, such as automatic parallax correction, horizontal film transport, and a bottom mounted focus control arm.


The Bessamatic was Voigtländer’s first 35mm SLR and their answer to the Zeiss-Ikon Contaflex and the Kodak Retina Reflex.  Release in 1959, it followed it’s competition by 2 years, allowing Voigtländer to improve upon the design of it’s competition making a very capable and user friendly leaf shutter SLR.


The Brillant was a long lived “pseudo” TLR camera produced by Voigtländer from 1932 – 1951.  It often had basic shutters and lenses and a simple “brilliant” viewfinder in which the photographer saw an estimation of the image to be captured.  The camera was very popular all over the world, being exported to a number of countries.  The Soviet Lubitel 66 camera owes much of it’s design to this camera.

Featured Guides

These how-to guides were written in an attempt to help the novice collector start a collection, use it, and what to do when things go wrong.
The Outdoor Eight Rule – Metering without a Meter for Beginners
Whether you are new to shooting film or are a grizzled veteran, you've likely heard someone mention a fundamental rule of photography called "The Sunny 16 Rule". The Sunny 16...
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Breathing New Life into Old Cameras
I made my first old camera post in August 2014.  At that time, I had no idea where this hobby would take me.  I already had an interest in digital...
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What Is My Camera Worth?
As a member of the Vintage Camera Collectors group on Facebook, the most common "new member" post is from someone who in one way or another, has acquired an old...
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Mike’s Guide to Buying Old Cameras
As my collection of old cameras grows, I feel as though I have learned a few things along the way.  There are many sites on the 'net from people like...
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Welcome to my site.  My name is Mike Eckman and I’ve been running this site for a few years without any predefined direction for what kind of content would be here.  In late 2014, I had a “re-discovery” of film cameras which took off into directions I never could have imagined.  I grew a collection of film cameras made in nearly every decade of the 20th century and started reviewing them.  Although this site seemed to turn into a vintage photography blog, I am retaining the original intent of this site to be a personal blog.  I plan on continuing to make a variety of vintage camera reviews and other photography related articles, but the site will still be sprinkled with posts covering a variety of other topics.

This entire site is maintained entirely by me and hosted on a custom built Windows 2008 server in the basement of my home in Dyer, IN.  Every review and article was written by me using mostly cameras from my personal collection.  A small number of reviews were written about cameras that were loaned to me by other collectors.  I often source my factual information from other sites on the Internet and I do my best to provide credit wherever I can.  This site generates no ad revenue and what few costs are associated with running it are paid out of my own pocket.

Newest Posts

Everything from the latest vintage camera review, a Keppler's Vault blast from the past, or some other camera related article, it's all here in reverse chronological order.
Voigtländer Bessamatic Deluxe (1962)
This is a Voigtländer Bessamatic Deluxe made by Voigtländer AG Braunschweig between the years of 1962 and 1967.  It is a slightly improved model to the original Bessamatic from 1959 with the...
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Voigtländer Prominent (1952)
This is a Voigtländer Prominent 35mm rangefinder camera made by Voigtländer AG Braunschweig between the years 1952 and 1958.  At the time of it's release, it was Voigtländer's top of the line 35mm...
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The Land of the Cameras of the Dead
Aaaah, Halloween is here again!  Candy, costumes, trick-or-treaters, and for the third year in a row, another "Cameras of the Dead" post! This being my 5th Cameras of the Dead...
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KMZ Zenit-E (1965)
This is a Zenit-E 35mm SLR camera, made by Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod (KMZ) in the former Soviet Union between the years of 1965 and 1986.  The entire Zenit (Зенит) line was...
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GOMZ Smena-4 (1958)
This is a Smena (Смена) 4, a 35mm compact camera made by GOMZ in Leningrad, Russia and was produced between 1958 and 1960.  It was the 4th in the Smena...
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Keppler’s Vault 24: Russian Cameras Today
Last week's Keppler's Vault featured two different Russian Lens articles, so this week I thought I'd include a couple articles I've found that talk about 1950s and 60s Soviet cameras. ...
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Kiev-19 (1985)
This is a Kiev-19, a 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera made by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine between the years 1985 to 1994.  It was a replacement to the...
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Keppler’s Vault 23: Russian Lenses Reviewed
In the last couple of decades, Soviet era cameras and lenses have enjoyed a generally positive reputation, making lenses like the Jupiter-8 and Helios-44 sought after by people searching for cost-effective...
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Zorki 5 v1 (1958)
This is a Zorki 5 rangefinder camera made by Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod (KMZ) in Krasnogorsk during the years of 1958 - 1959.  This particular camera is an early and much less common...
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