The year was 2000, I got on the bus early…as usual. I preferred time to myself after being caged with a bunch of 7th grade lions. Clutched in my hand was my mothers pentax 35mm camera from the 1970′s. As usual I made my way to the back of the bus. I reached my hand over and triggered the shutter…that day it seemed to click unusually loud. Days later I hand developed the film and printed in the lab that we had at Masconomet. Weeks later my teacher approached me and asked that I submit to the Boston Globe for the Art Awards. To my amazement I got an honorable mention and was presented in front of a few thousand people. This is the photograph that made me become a photographer. This was the moment I truly realized my dreams, my passion, my life in an instant. Whats your moment?
When I picked up this camera the first thing I noticed is the West German craftsmanship that existed in the late 1950s and 60s. The Bessamatic is noticeably heavier than most SLR’s of its time, but feels just right. The camera is extremely easy to operate, especially with the built-in selenium light meter that requires no batteries. I have been testing this camera for about six months only using the built in light meter & the results are very accurate.
The Bessamatic is a 35mm SLR camera may by Voigtlander in the 1960s. They are the oldest camera company in the world. In 1959, a competitor, Zeiss, bought them outright. The camera uses a leaf shutter and has a sync speed with flash of 1/500. The most common lens is the color skopar f2.8 50mm. The intimate soft focus images have the most beautiful bokeh. Dreamy soft focus can been achieved when shooting around f2.8 or f5.6 and you are very close to the subject.
This camera is an all around workhorse. The Bessamatic is great for shooting landscapes. I have spent hours walking around some of America’s most beautiful areas, New England & California, holding this beauty. I’m always stunned with the quality that comes back. After testing landscapes that require hyper focal sharpness, this camera and lens combination operates best at f5.6.
Cool Vintage Cameras have this Voigtländer Bessamatic in stock that is in mint condition, professionally tested, and comes with a leather case & neck strap. This camera is very rare and will go fast. If you are interested please check out our listing on at Etsy. We also carry a wide range of vintage cameras and accessories that suits all your needs.