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Voigtländer Prominent I & II

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See also the earlier Prominent (6×9cm folder).

Voigtländer Prominent II is a 35mm film interchangable lens rangefinder camera, manufactured by Voigtländer & Sohn AG, Braunschweig, in former West Germany and produced between 1958-60.

Prominent I is certainly the first of this type.[1]

Prominent II is one of the best mechanically and optically designed rangefinder with interchangable lens system camera, the first of this type and has a unique appearance.

The Prominent was introduced 1950 as a counterpart to the famous Leica and Contax cameras, and featured astonishing new technical details. It was the first range finder camera with leaf shutter and interchangeable lenses. Though producing the same picture quality, and although a lot less expensive than its counterparts, the Prominent never became popular with experts: it neither offered a great range of lenses nor did it have that special 'feeling' of a Leica or a Contax [2]

It had a very special and unique reflex-housing part and turnit finder as accessories. Prominent was the lowest-priced of the top German cameras and the most intelligent system. It afforded the highest scope with the least equipment, but did not convince buyers. Now it is almost forgotten. The public was not ready for such a product. It needed some knowledge of optics. Today we can state that its basic design is still ahead of general top products [3]

Prominent modelsEdit

Prominent I (1950-58)

Type 127Edit

With or without accessory shoe, Compur Rapid or Synchro Compur shutter, with quantity 23.000

Type 128Edit

With rapid lever advance, Compur Rapid/Synchro Compur, with quantity 47.000

Prominent II (1958-60)

Type 130Edit

Bright-finder, Synchro Compur shutter, with quantity 6.500

Prominent lensesEdit

  • Nokton 1:1,5/50
  • Ultron 1:2/50
  • Color Skopar 1:3,5/50
  • Skoparon 1:3,5/35
  • Dynaron 1:4,5/100
  • Super-Dynaron 1:4,5/150

Prominent II SpecificationsEdit

  • Engravings on the top plate: Voigtlander Prominent II
  • Lens: Voigtlander Ultron 50mm f/2 , interchangeable w/ 35-50-100-150mm lenses,
    • Prominent bayonet mount
    • Aperture: f/2 - f/16
    • Focus range: 3.5 - 60 feet (1-18m), +inf
  • Lens release: a latch on the lower front side of the lens, push and turn simultaneously to anti-clockwise,
    • Mounting: push the latch and simultaneously mount and turn the lens according to red dot on the body
  • Focusing: matching yellow rangefinder images in the viewfinder, by turning the knob on left of the top plate, the distance and DOF scale on the knob
  • Shutter: Synchro-Compur leaf shutter, speeds 1-1/500 +B,
  • Shutter release: on the top plate
  • Cable release socket: on the top plate, just back of the shutter release button
  • Cocking lever: also winds the film, long stroke lever on right of the top plate, it must stroke two times for cocking the shutter and winding one frame
  • Frame counter: coupled with winding lever, beneath it, advance type, manual setting
  • Viewfinder: coupled viewfinde-rangefinder, bright frame lines for parallax correction of 35,50,100 and 150mm lenses, the second largest frame is for 50mm),
    • Very bright sight, a special feature of the Voigtlander view- and rangefinder cameras
  • Film release button: only for re-loading of the partly exposed films, on the back of the top-plate, covered with the winding lever
  • Re-wind release button: just beside the winding knob and turns when winding
  • Re-wind: by a pop-up lever located on the focusing button
  • Re-winding indicator: small chrome part with red screw like middle, turns when re-winding, on the bottom plate
  • PC sync socket: on the right uppper side of the shutter, X & M sync: setting by a green lever on the shutter, all speeds
  • Others: Self-timer lever on the shutter; Cold-shoe; Strap lugs; Film memory indicator; Tripod socket 1/4 inch, w/ an adaptor screw for 3/8 inch
  • Backcover: hinged, opens by a latch on the left side of the camera
  • Body: metal; Weight 970g

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. According to UK Camera.com. The first 35mm leaf shutter camera with interchangeable lenses was the 1947 Akarette by Apparate & Kamerabau, but it has no rangefinder.
  2. From UK Cameras
  3. from Carl Weiss Braunsweig in in Novacon

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