Voigtländer Perkeo (6x6)

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There is also an earlier magazine plate camera, the Perkeo No. 140 by Krügener.

Perkeo is the name of several folding cameras made by Voigtländer.

Perkeo 3×4

The original Perkeo is a vertical folding camera for 3x4 cm pictures on 127 roll film, made by Voigtländer in 1932. It is self-erecting. As often with folding cameras, it was available with a range of lenses (all 5.5 cm; slightly longer than standard) and shutters:

  • f/4.5 Skopar in Embezet shutter
  • f/3.5 Skopar in Compur shutter
  • f/3.5 Heliar in Compur shutter

The camera has the same body-mounted focusing knob as the larger-format 1930s folding Prominent and Virtus, moving the whole lens and shutter unit on focusing rails. It is even apparently possible to set the focus before unfolding the camera.[1] The camera has the same chunky knurled control knobs as those other Voigtländer folders. The original model has a folding frame finder on the body. An updated model, from 1933[1] has a fixed telescopic finder, as well as the same elegant folding table-stand and braided wrist-strap as the Virtus and Prominent.

Perkeo 6x6 cm (2¼ inch square) models

Three folding cameras were made in the 1950s with the name Perkeo, for 6×6 cm (2¼-inch square) exposures on 120 or 620 film. They are vertical folders (that is, the front door opens sideways in relation to the body, not downward). The cameras all have a small telescopic viewfinder built into the plated metal top housing,[2] and a cold shoe.

Perkeo I

The Perkeo I, made from 1950,[1] was sold with a variety of lens options; a Vaskar f/4.5 75mm, Vaskar f/4.5 80mm or a Color-Skopar f/3.5 80mm lens. Several shutters were also available, from a Vario, a Pronto, a Prontor S, a Prontor SV, a Prontor SVS or Synchro Compur. Models produced from 1951 - 1952 did not have a double exposure feature.

Voigtländer Perkeo I specifications

  • Manufacturer: Voitländer
  • Country: Germany
  • Years Produced: 1952 - 1955
  • Body Type: Folding
  • Film Type: 120 or 620
  • Lens Type: Vaskar f/4.5 75 or 80mm, or Color-Skopar f/3.5 80mm
  • Shutter Type: Vario, Pronto, Prontor S, Prontor SV, Prontor SVS or Synchro Compur
  • Flash Type: Accessory Shoe

Perkeo II

The Perkeo II, also from 1952, [1] was only a slight upgrade. It has automatic frame-counting (in addition to the red window) and double-exposure prevention. The double exposure prevention mechanism keeps a tight frame spacing. This can also be utilized to expose 13 frames (rather than 12) on a 120 film. (Frame indication on film via red window can be disregarded as mechanic lock per frame is used instead).

Voigtländer Perkeo II specifications

  • Manufacturer: Voigtländer
  • Country: Germany
  • Years Produced: 1952 - 1955
  • Body Type: Folding
  • Film Type: 120 or 620
  • Lens Type: Color-Skopar f/3.5 80mm
  • Shutter Type alternatives: Prontor S, Prontor SVS, Compur-Rapid, Synchro-Compur
  • Flash Type: Accessory (cold) Shoe

Perkeo E or IIIe or III

The Perkeo E or III or IIIe was made in 1955. It is similar to the previous models of the Perkeo line, but has an uncoupled rangefinder built into the top housing, and the Voigtländer name on the front, not on the top and no frame counter. The reason behind the various names is unknown at this point, but in 1956 Schering AG sold the Voigtländer name to Carl Ziess AG. One could conclude that in 1956 Carl Ziess renamed the "E" model to the III or IIIE, or maybe the "E" model never got to the market before Carl Ziess renamed it. More research is needed before an official evidence backed claim can be made.

Voigtländer Perkeo E, III or IIIe specifications

  • Manufacturer: Voigtländer
  • Country: Germany
  • Years Produced: 1955 - 1957
  • Body Type: Folding
  • Film Type: 120 or 620
  • Lens Type: Vaskar f/4.5 80mm or Color-Skopar f/3.5 80mm
  • Shutter Type: Pronto, Prontor S , Prontor SV
  • Flash Type: Accessory Shoe

McKeown shows a prototype for a new model of the Perkeo E from 1955, which is a horizontal folder, and has an improved focusing mechanism and an uncoupled selenium meter. In a Voigtländer catalog from 1954-1955 there is a Perkeo Model advertised with a coupled rangefinder, however the text in the catalog does not specify what model this coupled rangefinder version is. The lens and shutter options on this coupled rangefinder model from the catalog are as follows: Color-Skopar f/3.5 80mm with Pronto SVS 300 with Sync.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p958.
  2. Compare to the viewfinder on a prototype Perkeo I sold in the November 2011 Westlicht Photographica Auction in Vienna.