Bessamatic Deluxe 35mm SLR Camera


Voigtlander

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : 35mm Film Cameras : Auto Focus SLRs

1939  Worlds Fair...
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The "Bessie" features the same Synchro-Compur leaf shutter that has been in every lens of the Hasselblad medium-format 500 Series for decades as well as in many other high-dollar cameras. Its shutter speeds range from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec. with the "B" setting for time exposures and were synchronized for electronic flash at all speeds unlike the focal-plane shutter where the shutter speed cannot exceed 1/125 sec. on most SLR film cameras with the exception of a high-dollar few. The lens I had was a Voigtländer 50mm f2 whose optics were made by Carl Zeiss and its aperature setter ringed around the lens. The shutter speed setter ringed around the hole in front where the lens was mounted and both, along with the selenium exposure meter needle could be seen while looking through the eyepiece so that you could do sequence shots of all kinds plus set your shutter speed and aperature without ever having to take your preferred viewing eye away from the "Bessie's" eyepiece.-Information provided by Stephen Potter.

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1 Review  

Average Rating: 4 out of 5

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Stephen Potter 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM
Rating: 4 out of 5
My Voigtländer Bessamatic Deluxe 35mm SLR was my first (and best) SLR camera I ever owned in my life but was stolen from me in June, 1971 & I never got it back. I purchased it in 1964 from the Air Force European Exchange at Torrejón Air Base, Spain where I was stationed for 2 & 1/2 of the 4 years I served in the U.S. Air Force. That camera had the same strobe-synchronized-at-all-speeds Synchro-Compur leaf shutter (1 sec. to 1/500 sec. plus "B" setting) as what is in the lens of every Hasselblad leaf-shutter medium-format SLR & its lens was a 50mm ƒ2. As you looked through the pentaprism toward the top, you could see the shutter speed & aperature settings with a built-in automatic reciprocity feature as well as the selenium light meter needle so that you could do all your settings & take the picture without needing to take the camera away from your eye. There were 2 flash settings, "X" for strobe and "M" for flash bulbs. The Bessamatic's only real drawbacks were its average-light-reading selenium light meter on top of the lens & sensitive only in daylight and its absence of a rapid-return reflex mirror --- you had to advance the film to its next exposure to return the mirror to its viewing position. But in spite of said drawbacks, that camera performed magnificently and with 100% reliability for me at every venue I visited. I played tuba in the 16th Air Force Band (then at Torrejón Air Base) with which I traveled all over Spain & other parts of Europe marching in parades, playing concerts, dance gigs and even bullfights (in Spain & while in season) which afforded me the opportunity to take thousands of pictures. It was my greatest adventure of my entire life which I am glad I got to go on as a young (& single) man! But even today, 33 years after its theft from me, I still miss that camera!
6/30/2004 6:48:40 PM
 

1 Review