Flipped Lens Voigtländer Vito CD

Some wonderful friends gave me a wonderful ~1963 Voigtländer Vito CD (“we thought you might like that” – yes I do!). Not something I would have bought myself but it’s a very pleasant little camera. The surprising thing is that everything on it just works – the self-timer, the exposure counter (counts from 36 backwards), even the light-meter.

The light-meter is uncoupled – it just gives you a number, and then you have to change aperture and/or exposure time until a pointer at the side of the lens points at the same number. It’s very quick and easy in practice. And there’s a nifty mechanical feature where that exposure setting is locked-in (with a button release). So once you’ve set the aperture+time correctly, the camera will still allow you to change both, but only for combinations that give the same overall exposure. It’s much more difficult to explain than it is in real life, and it works extremely well.

But what to do (creatively) with a camera where everything works? Break it, of course – slightly – by putting in the rear lens element backwards. I always wanted to try that after seeing how some people flip the lenses on box cameras but I’ve never had a camera where that would be easily possible. On the Vito it’s very easy, the rear element basically falls out once you have the front element out.

Tbh I didn’t expect it to have such a strong effect but it’s super cool. Will try that with color film next. It’s much stronger wide open, but there’s still funky things going on at f/8 even.

All on Fomapan 100, scanned negatives.

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