5 frames with...

5 Frames With A Voigtlander CLR Rangefinder Camera – By Julian Higgs

Voightlander Vito CLR

Antique and Collectable shops have, until recently, not been places I have frequented. However, I have noticed a few old cameras in some, so in a quest to find a gem or two I have started to pop in on the off chance to see what I can find. After my success with the Olympus Trip 35 and my “new” Olympus 35RC I had caught the rangefinder bug. In one I found a Rollei LED, but they wanted too much for it, the FED4 I shot and sold came from a charity shop for £10.00, so I knew they were out there.

Then one day, on the way back from dropping my wife’s car off for a service, we wandered into Mannuccis Antiques Emporium in Dunstable. I didn’t hold out any hope of finding a classic Leica but thought I might find something interesting…

I struck lucky.

Not only were there a couple of cameras there, but they had what has turned out to be a lovely Voigtlnder CLR rangefinder. A quick barter on the marked price bought me the camera for £20.00! Bargain! With it’s match needle meter and 50 mm f2.8 Color-Skopar lens, it looked beautiful in the glass case. On inspection, I found the rangefinder patch a little dim, and the shutter release is in the wrong place for me, but I thought it was worth a go, even if for the Voigtlander name alone.

For its first outing I loaded it with Fuji Superia 200 colour film. I took it to a local classic car rally where my band was playing, and in between sets I went wandering with the camera.

The resulting images were truly amazing; sharp, well exposed, and such beautiful colours.

Have a look and let me know if you agree.

Trunk and Branch

The vein like structure running through the leaves of the tree

Chevy Pick Up rear quarter

The rear quarter of the beautifully patinated Chevy Pick Up


Sally, owner of the amazing Chevy pick up truck

Floral Tribute

A Floral Tribute left on a bench on Brighton seafront

Dolls Heads

Vintage Shop Chic

Cheers for now!

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  • Reply
    July 31, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    You bartered the price before holding the camera? The courage of youth!
    I love the “5 frames” short stories!

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Well, yes and no. I had it in my hands and played with it a bit. It all seemed to work so thought what the hell. 😂

  • Reply
    Scott Edwards
    July 31, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    VERY crisp… love the shot of Sally and the rear of the truck. They scream vintage.

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks. They do have that look. Love this camera. And NO BATERIES!!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Useful useable cameras are still out there. And they’re enjoyable. Good find. Will you continue to use it?

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Jim, I will, and am, currently loaded with Ilford HP5+ as I have not shot any B&W in it yet. This may be the first of my home developed and printed films. I used to do all my own, but just getting back into my own darkroom, nearly finished.

  • Reply
    Nigel Haycock
    August 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Well done on a nice find. I’m a big Voigtländer fan and have several so always interested in seeing other people with them; your Vito CLR seems to be in great condition.

    One small accuracy point which you may want to correct to enable more potential search hits; there is no ‘h’ in Voigtländer 🙂

    Enjoy your camera

    • Reply
      August 1, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks Nigel, and thanks for the correction! 🙂 Fudge fingers.

      • Reply
        Nigel Haycock
        August 1, 2018 at 8:24 pm

        It;s easily done, I recently posted about my Superb and titled it Voigtlander Suberb! 😀

  • Reply
    August 2, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Nice camera, typical beautiful chrome finish and mechanical workmanship. Does the selenium light meter in your camera still work?

    • Reply
      August 2, 2018 at 7:18 am

      It’s become one of my favourites, yes. It has its quirks like the shutter release position and the wind on is so quiet I still think it’s not working! The meter is working perfectly it seems, used it for every shot and not one bad exposure. 👍🏻😎

      • Reply
        Nigel Haycock
        August 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        I know what you mean about the wind-on. My Vitoret LR is the same; silky smooth and light

  • Reply
    Tobias Eriksson
    August 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for sharing your excitement! The old Voigtlanders have great lenses in general. And the ones with rangefinder focusing are just real bargains. The CLR, Vitoret DR and Vito BR etc. So are the zone focus ones but they slow down the process of focusing.

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