Difference between revisions of "Voigtländer VSL"

From Camera-wiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search
Line 29: Line 29:
* [http://www.rolleiclub.com/rollei/sl35/models.htm The 35mm Rollei SLRs and Voigtländer VSL at the Rollei Club]
* [http://www.rolleiclub.com/rollei/sl35/models.htm The 35mm Rollei SLRs and Voigtländer VSL at the Rollei Club]
[[Category: 35mm SLR cameras]]
[[Category: 35mm SLR]]
[[Category: 42mm screw mount cameras]]
[[Category: 42mm screw mount]]
[[Category: Germany]]
[[Category: Voigtländer]]
[[Category: Voigtländer]]
[[Category: Rollei]]
[[Category: V]]
[[Category: V]]

Revision as of 18:30, 5 March 2006

The Voigtländer VSL is a series of 35mm SLR bodies manufactured by Rollei in the 1970s and 1980s under the brand name Voigtländer. The name belonged to Zeiss before the demise of Zeiss Ikon in 1972, then was taken over by Rollei.

Screw mount models

Rollei continued the production of the last 35mm SLR developed by Zeiss Ikon, the SL706 and named it Voigtländer VSL 1. It could accept 42mm screw lenses and is today called the VSL 1 (TM) to distinguish it from its follower. It existed in chrome and black. It was a quite straightforward SLR, with a fixed prism and a CdS through-the-lens meter. The exposure reading was possible at open aperture with those lenses specifically designed for it, or the previous generation of lenses designed for the Icarex and SL706.

The production was delocalized to Singapore. Only 500 VSL 1 bodies were built in Germany, all the later cameras were assembled in Singapore. The rumor says that the quality control in the Singapore plant was poor at the beginning, but that the situation improved with the years.

There was a name variant of the VSL 1 called the Ifbaflex M102, made for a French distributor with an Ifbagon 1.8/50 standard lens (a rebadged Planar 1.8/50). It only existed in chrome finish, and was built in Germany.

At about the same time, a prototype called the VSL 2 CX automatic was developed, based on the Chinon CE Memotron. It had automatic exposure and 42mm screw lenses. It only existed in very small quantities, and was never released on the marketplace. The only picture I know is here.

Bayonet mount models

The VSL 1 (TM) was a concurrent of Rollei's 35mm SLR, the Rolleiflex SL35 and SL350, which used the Rolleiflex SL35 lenses. This situation was absurd. It ended in 1976, when Rollei abandoned the development of the SL35 and SL350, and decided instead to concentrate on the VSL design. So they launched a variant of the VSL 1 with the SL35 bayonet mount. It was also named VSL 1, and is today called the VSL 1 (BM). It only existed in black, and all were made in Singapore. The Rolleiflex SL35M was the same body with modified cosmetics.

In 1976 was developed a version with aperture priority automation, called the VSL 2 automatic. The shutter speed selected by the meter was indicated in the finder by a needle. The VSL 2 automatic was sold together with the VSL 1 (BM). It only existed in black. Its Rollei equivalent was the Rolleiflex SL35ME.

Next generation

The next generation came at the end of 1977 with the VSL 3-E, the last Voigtländer body to be designed in Germany. It had an all-new electronic vertically running focal plane shutter, with flash sync at 1/125, and a SiO2 meter with aperture priority or manual exposure. The shutter speed was indicated by LEDs in the finder. It could also accept an external winder or motor drive. It was sold in chrome or black. Its Rollei equivalent was the Rolleiflex SL35E.

The Vitoflex E was the pre-release version of the VSL 3-E, with a shutter going to 1/2000. The name was changed before the release because it was too close to Visoflex patented by Leica. Some pictures are available here.

In 1981 Rollei went bankrupt. They had to close the Singapore plant, ceased the production of middle-range 35mm SLRs to concentrate on the high end Rolleiflex SL2000F, and stopped using the Voigtländer name.