My First Bessa Photos

It’s always a bit of a gamble buying cameras from eBay, you’re never sure what hidden faults quirks the camera might have, especially if the camera from 1937.  I’ve recently bought another old Voigtlander folding camera, like the Baby Bessa but larger. This one takes 9cm by 6cm negatives (with an optional film plate to enable you to take 4.5cm by 6cm photos).

The first roll would tell me if the camera worked, if there were any light leaks in the bellows, and if the shutter speeds were anything like they were designed for.

Kingsland Bridge

Kingsland Bridge

As you can see, it all works fine! The one disadvantage with taking 9×6 photos, is you only get 8 shots on a roll.

Welsh Bridge

Welsh Bridge

Porthill Bridge, Boathouse

Porthill Bridge, Boathouse

These photos shot with Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros.

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Cute Baby Photos

No, I haven’t had a baby – it’s a camera.  A Voigtländer Baby Bessa 66*. You might be thinking it’s looking a bit corroded, that’s because it was made in 1938, and has been stored badly. The insides look pristine, though.

Voigtlander Baby Bessa, top view

Top view

It is otherwise in fairly good nick – the bellows are still light-tight, the shutter still works (although all speeds work at 1/150 second), and the lens is in fairly good condition with no scratches. The aperture looks really good.  The viewfinder has no glass or lens in it, just holes in two pieces of metal – it is meant to be like that. That’s how they did things before the war.

It had a roll of film in it when I got it, only 7 of the shots had been taken, but I’m not paying to get that developed (B&W medium format film is about £10 to get developed, that’s without printing!). I’m keeping it carefully until the day I finally get around to developing my own negatives, then this can be a test roll!

Voigtlander Baby Bessa, front view

Front View

I’ve already shot a roll of film with it – B&W – which I hope will be back by the end of the week. If it comes out ok, I’ll post some pictures. Or I might post them anyway.

*The 66 refers to the size of the negative – 6cm square. They also made a 46 which was 4.5cm x 6cm.