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Voigtlander Brillant, 120 roll film, reflex view camera c1932

The Voigtlander Brillant is a simple pressed steel camera with light crackle paint finish that originates from the early 1930s. The camera gives 12 exposures in 6 x6cm format on 120 roll film Earliest examples feature a cheap self energizing shutter, but for a cheap camera it is quite refined, sporting a frame counter, waterhouse stops and a firm closure. Styled as a Twin Lens Reflex, though not strictly in the mould, as the top lens is for view only, being unable to focus independently. The real advantage of this camera over its competition of the time was the extremely bright.. in fact "brilliant", viewfinder when compared to the tiny waist level finders then in common use. This somewhat battered example joined the collection in July 2009, being donated by Mr. S. Hedley. This one was built for the Italian market and is marked accordingly. It was given a deep clean and returned to working order and cosmetically tidied up, so far as was feasible. Later and better models had a genuine TLR function with the view lens geared to the taking lens and the view being inspected on a ground glass screen as well as Compur shutters.
By 1937 the Brillant entered its second incarnation as a "Bakelite" camera, sharing little in common with its pressed metal ancestor.

Voigtlander is decidedly unusual in that the company predates the invention of photography by some 90 years, scientific instruments being its business initially in Vienna then Germany from the mid 1800s. Following the year after the first commercially available photographic processes were announced the company developed the first mathematically computed lens, the f/3.7 Petzval, named after the mathematician who did the tricky bit. With such heritage, Voigtlander cameras have tended to exhibit quality in both build and optics. Although it might be stretching it a bit to say that this basic Brillant is one such case.

Click on "this camera's pics" button, below, to see sample images.

Voigtlander Brilliant, 120 roll film, reflex view camera       c1932
Body No. None
Shutter, Voigtlander, speeds B, 25 & 50th
Lens, Voigtar 75mm f/7.7
Condition, 6F

Cover AW

 

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