The Voigtländer Vitomatic I is a 35mm viewfinder camera that was produced between 1957 and 1960. The lens is a 50mm Colors-Skopar 1:2.8. F-stops are 2.8 to 22. Shutter is a Prontor SLK-V with bulb, 1, 1/2nd, 1/4th, 1/8th, 1/15th, 1/350th, 1/60th, 1/125th, 1/250th and 1/300th sec. It has a selenium meter – it gives you a reading, you have to manually set the f-stop and shutter yourself.
The Vitomatic I is all metal and glass, and quite heavy. It has a wonderfully bright viewfinder window.
I found the Vitomatic on an online auction site, under “Vintage Camera – for display”. In the picture, the camera looked to be in immaculate condition, and it was only a forty minute ride from where I worked, for $45 CAD. It was just outside a small, artsy college town.
The area I live in, was settled in the 1700s. As I raced down the curving country road, it felt like I was going back in time. The road got worse and worse in quality, gradually moving from asphalt to hard but smooth dirt/clay road to deeply gutted dirt road. The farmhouses seemed to get older and older the further I got. Abandoned churches, falling down fences, random farm equipment from multiple technical eras littered the landscape,
When I arrived at the address for the house, I felt like I had stepped into an H.P Lovecraft novel. The old farmhouse looked like it had not been inhabited in fifty years. A large, dead tree with large, moss covered outstretched arms sat in the centre of the yard, and looked like it would come to life and strangle you once the sun fell. Resting on a corner of land that the bay wrapped around, a harsh cold wind hit me as the sun fell in the sky. It was one of those houses where the proper door and doorbell was contained with in a covered patio, which I was unsure of entering, because a very large German Shepard was standing there looking right at me.
I was seconds from leaving and finding a different hobby when the owner came bounding out with the camera. She said she had found it in an antique dresser she had purchased at an auction. “Are you going to use it for decoration?” She asked. Nope, I only buy camera that I am going to use. I then fled the scene, with a warning from the owner to “return the way you came, because the road the other way is not suitable for sedans”. Or the living, I assumed.
D’arcy’s welding. My hometown is a very industrial place, strewn with small shops related to manufacturing. In grade school I had a friend with last name D’arcy, I believe his family owns this shop. I really like the hand-drawn font on the building.
I take this photo with every camera I have. My home town has the largest oil refinery in Canada and a deep water year-round port, which means oil tankers are always sitting on the tracks. I just like the long view of the tankers fading towards the city with the church on the horizon.
The local landscape is full of peaceful rivers. I often kayak on this river. I like the pastel-like, dreamy effect that the lens gives.
I have a weakness for old fishing boats. Here lies the “Fundy Ghost”. Lobster and crab are the main local fisheries.
The Vitomatic is fun to use. It’s too heavy to take on hikes. I usually just have it in the car, ready to take pictures of random things. The large, bright viewfinder is a pleasure. The zone focussing is difficult for me. A worthwhile spend of $45.
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