Bessamatic - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Bessamatic

1959

Voigtländer & Sohn

Braunschweig

West Germany

Image of Bessamatic

Lens:
f2.8, 50 mm Color-Skopar, automatic iris diaphragm to f22. Depth of field shown by two moving arms on the focusing ring. Bayonet mount. Serial no. 4830675 .

Shutter:
Synchro-Compur X, speeds 1 - 1/500, B. Delayed action. X, M flash synchronisation. Shutter within camera body.

Construction:
Metal body.

Format:
36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm film held in cassette.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through taking lens. Fixed roof pentaprism finder, split-image and microprism rangefinder focusing screen with Fresnel condenser.
Auto-stop on film advance. Film advance lever tensions the shutter. Film advance and shutter inter-linked for double and blank exposure prevention.
Coupled selenium exposure meter, match needle type. Film setting range: 12 - 36 DIN, 17 - 3200 ASA. Scale for over exposure 1.5 - 5. Needle visible in view-finder. Setting the needle against the index alters the aperture and shutter setting rings.
Exposure counter.

Serial Number:
69609 .

Notes:
Retailer's label: Kleiubolz. Koln.

With:

  • f3.4, 35 mm Skoparex, automatic iris diaphragm to f22. Depth-of-field arms. Focus to 1 metre. Lens cap, rear cap. Leather case. Introduced 1959. Serial no. 6432085.
  • f3.4, 90 mm Dynarex, automatic iris diaphragm to f22. Depth-of-field arms. Focus to 7 feet. Lens cap, rear cap. Leather case. Version without yellow spot. Introduced 1961. Serial no. 5401468.
  • f4, 135 mm Super Dynarex, automatic iris diaphragm to f22. Depth-of-field arms. Focus to 13 feet. Lens cap, rear cap. Leather case. Version with yellow spot. Introduced 1959. Serial no. 6202978.
  • f4, 200 mm Super Dynarex, automatic iris diaphragm to f22. Depth-of-field arms. Focus to 28 feet. Lens cap, rear cap. Introduced 1962. Serial no. 6513307.
  • 40.5 mm screw mount filters: Skylight, plastic case, cardboard box, leaflet; Orange, plastic case, cardboard box.
  • Lens hood for standard lens. Lens hood for 35 mm lens.
  • Focar close-up lenses, 40.5 mm screw mount: Focar A f1 m; Focar B f0.5 m; Focar C f0.3 m; Focar D f0.15 m, in plastic case, cardboard box.
  • PL Portrait lens for 135 mm Super-Dynarex. Focus 13 - 6.5 feet. In plastic case.
  • Right-angle finder. Clip-on accessory shoe.
  • Instructions. 'Everything at a Glance' Bessamatic Brochure. Ever-ready case. Box for camera.
  • Omnica outfit case. Marked Voigtländer for camera and three additional lenses and other accessories.

The Bessamatic was introduced in c. 1958. In specification it was similar to the Contaflex range from Zeiss and the Retina Reflex range from Kodak and aimed at the same market. The Bessamatic had a behind-the-lens Compur shutter allowing the lens to be fully removed, unlike the Contaflex.

The Bessamatic is a very easy camera to use with maybe the exception of the focusing grip on the lens. The later Ultramatic introduced automation to the range but was not so nice to use.

Bessamatic Models
  • Bessamatic c. 1958. Standard model with selenium cell metering.
  • Bessamatic De-Luxe 1962. Similar to the Bessamatic but with a small prism mounted outside the pentaprism housing which reflected the shutter and aperture settings into the view-finder.
  • Bessamatic m 1964. This was a budget version without a meter.
  • Bessamatic CS 1967. In this model the selenium meter was replaced by a through-the-lens (TTL) CdS version.

Lenses
  • f4 35 mm Skoparex.
  • f2 40 mm Skopagon.
  • f2.8 50 mm Color Lanthar.
  • f2.8 50 mm Color Skopar X.
  • f2 50 mm Septon.
  • f3.4 90 mm Dynarex.
  • f4.8 100 mm Dynarex.
  • f4 135 mm Super Dynarex.
  • f4 200 mm Super Dynarex.
  • f5.6 350 mm Super Dynarex.
  • f2.8 36 - 82 mm Zoomar.

Code Names:
90/089 - 35 mm lens. 90/144 - 135 mm lens. 355/45 - Right-angle finder. 310/41 - 50 mm lens hood. 310/42 - 35 mm lens hood. 343/41 - Focar A. 344/41 - Focar B. 345/41 - Focar C. 348/41 - Focar D. 325/41 - Sky filter. 347/41 - 135 close-up lens. 90/164 - Omnica case.

Further Information:
Blue-Book, 1960-1961.

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