An Unofficial Cosina Voigtländer F.A.Q.

August 29th, 2009 - This FAQ has not been updated since 2003; if you're interested in taking over, please contact peat@peat.org.

Introduction

The Cosina Voigtländer (CV) system is a line of manual cameras and lenses, introduced to the world in 1999. Today, the system includes fives different camera bodies, (four rangefinders and an SLR), a large selection of accessories, and a wide range lenses ranging from an ultra wide 12mm, to a 180mm telephoto.

The CV system has steadily grown into a complete, flexible, and affordable set of tools for professional and amatuer photographers.

Oh no! Umlauts!
Peat Bakke / Michael Habermann

Voigtländer is pronounced fohgt len der — the "V" is pronounced like "F", the "OI" is pronounced like a drawled "O", and the "G" is pronounced like the "G" in "AUGMENT" or in the name "OGILVY".

Don't worry too much about it: Voigtländer users aren't too rabid about the nuances. A mispronunciation won't get you strung up as if you had pronounced Leica, "Leeka."

If you find the umlaut a pain to type, the proper way to write the name is "Voigtlaender." However, the vast majority of people write the name as "Voigtlander." You'll probably find all of the above in this FAQ.

The ä character can be produced in HTML with the code: ä

Unsorted Questions With Answers

Where can I buy CV gear?
Peat Bakke - October 18, 2003

Cosina Voigtländer products are stocked by many major camera stores in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Listed below are retailers who have been personally recommended by CVUG members:

CV On the Web
Peat Bakke - October 19, 2003
Who is "Kobayashi"?
Peat Bakke - October 22, 2003

Mr. Kobayashi (Kobayashi-san) is the President of Cosina. From what I've read, the development of the CV Bessa family of products was a personal mission for Mr. Kobayashi.

History

Peat Bakke - October 18, 2003

Voigtländer was founded in 1756 in Austria, and started producing cameras in 1840. The Schering Gruppe took over the company in 1924, and sold it to Zeiss Ikon in 1956. In 1970, the company was fully absorbed by Zeiss, who then sold the camera making rights to Rollei in 1974. After a few years of neglect, RingFoto acquired the complete brand in the 1980s, and has been using it for various products (point and shoot cameras, film, accessories) in their retail stores.

In the late 1990's Cosina licensed the Voigtländer brand for its new line of manual SLRs, rangefinders, and lenses. Although nothing remains of the original business, Cosina's Voigtländer products use some of the original designs, and are helping revitalize the rangefinder market with their low prices and new designs.

The CV Timeline
Peter Evans

2001/1/20 - Announcement of the LTM 90/3.5, in black or silver (58,000 yen and 55,000 yen respectively); and the 90mm viewfinder, in black or silver (22,800 yen): all available from 10 February.

2001/1/20 - Announcement of the "Angle finder for SWC", i.e. for the 38mm lens of the Hasselblad SWC; made to order only, 32,800 yen for the (black) finder and 7,000 for the 15mm attachment. Orders accepted until 31 March '01, delivery expected by June '01.

2001/2/20 - Announcement of the SC Skopar 21mm and 25mm lenses (75,000 and 70,000 yen respectively), 28/3.5 and 35/2.5 SC Skopar lenses (55,000 yen each), and 50mm S Skopar (55,000 yen). The two widest of these lenses come together with finders.

2001/3/15 - Announcement of the Bessa T, for 55,000 yen

2001/3/15 - Announcement of the trigger winder for the T, for sale from late May. In black, for 24,800 yen.

2001/3/15 - Announcement of the 21/4 and 28/1.9 LTM lenses, for sale from 20 April.

2001/5/15 - Announcement of the 75mm and 125mm SL lenses, and their respective hoods. (50,000 yen for the 75mm, plus 7,500 yen for its hood; 95,000 yen for the 125mm, including hood.)

2001/8/1 - Start of the customization service for the Bessa R and Bessa L. Customers would send in their R or L and choose among the replacements shown and described (in Japanese) on this page. (The modifications were from non-grip to grip, silver to black, plastic to metal, etc.) There was no statement that the service was limited to customers with Japanese addresses, but clearly this was the intention.

2001/8/20 - Announcement of the LH-1 hood, for the 21mm and 25mm LTM lenses.

2001/9/20 - Sale of L + 25mm set (both silver or both black), R+35P set (black lens, black or silver body)

2001/10/20 - Announcement of T101 set at 108,000 yen

2001/12/20 - Announcement of 40mm finder, at 19,500 yen, for sale from January '02

2002/2/15 - Announcement of R2, at 78,000 yen (black) and 85,000 yen (olive)

2002/2/20 - Announcement of 50/2.5 LTM, at 45,000 yen (silver) and 48,000 yen (black) with optional LH-2 shade at 4,500 yen, for sale from April

2002/2/20 - Announcement of 90mm SLR lens, at 55,000 yen, with optional LH-75 shade (also fits 75mm lens) for 7,500 yen, for sale from March

2002/4/20 - Announcement of 28/3.5 LTM lens, at 45,000 yen (silver) and 48,000 yen (black), with optional LH-1 shade (also fits 21mm and 25mm lenses) for 4,500 yen, for sale from May

2002/4/20 - Announcement of 40mm SL lens, at 45,000 yen, with optional LH-40 S and LH-40 D shades, each 4,500 yen, for sale from May

2002/4/20 - Announcement of 25mm viewfinder "M", in black or silver, 24,500 yen, for sale from May

2002/8/20 - Announcement of R in navy blue and olive, for 68,000 yen, and L in gray and olive, for 38,000 yen, for sale from September

2002/9/20 - Announcement of the R2S and R2C, for 98,000 yen each, for sale from 1 November

2003/1 (day not specified) - Announcement of S(C) Skopar 21mm for 75,000 yen; 25mm for 70,000 yen; 25mm for 55,000 yen; 35mm/2.5 for 55,000 yen; 50mm/2.5 for 55,000 yen; 50mm/1.5 for 75,000 yen; 85mm for 65,000 yen. The 50/1.5 for sale from April '03, the 85mm from March '03, and the five others not specified (I suppose near-immediately)

2003/1 - Announcement of the Prominent adapter in two versions for R2S (etc.) and R2C (etc.) for 19,800 yen

2003/3 - Announcement of the Nokton 35/1.2, in black, for 135,000 yen, with optional LH-3 hood for 12,000 yen (as well as its standard yet rather nifty hood) and M finder for 24,500 yen, for sale from 30 April

2003/5/20 - Announcement of the Bessaflex TM, for 50,000 yen and with optional accessory shoe for 3,500 yen and VC-10 case for 5,000 yen, for sale from the end of May

2003/5/30 - Announcement of the end of the Bessa L

2003, end of August - Availability of the 180mm lens, for 65,000 yen, with optional LH-75 S and LH-75 hoods, for 4,500 yen and 7,500 yen respectively. The announcement mentions that the more expensive hood is new, and adds, without explanation, that you should use the cheaper one for M42 mount.

Cosina Voigtländer User Group

The Cosina Voigtländer User Group (CVUG) is an informal group of several thousand photographers around the world. CVUG has a mailing list, and a photo sharing web site. Both are free of charge.

Mailing List

The Cosina Voigtländer User Group has a mailing list, graciously hosted by Stephen Gandy at http://www.cameraquest.com/CosVoigtUser.htm.

Photo Sharing

OakRoad has generously donated a web server for CV users to freely share their photographs. It can be found at http://www.pgallery.net/.

Other Resources

There are several Yahoo! Groups dedicated to Voigtlanders new and old, which can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com by searching for "voigtlander".

Cosina Voigtländer Cameras

Bessa L

The first camera released in the CV system. Production started January 1999, discontinued May 30th, 2003. Scale focus camera without view or rangefinder. Leica screw mount.

The gray and olive colored versions were released in 2002.

Film Speeds ISO 25 - 3200 in 1/3 stops.
No DX detection.
Light Meter EV 1 - 19 sensitivity
Center weighted vertical stripe
3 LEDs on body top (under, on, over)
Shutter 1s - 1/2000s in full stops, plus bulb.
1/125 flash sync, with PC socket.
Self timer.
Twin metal curtains on a vertical plane.
Finder none
Film Advance Manual, single stroke, non-ratcheting advance.
Manual rewind.
Shutter lock on advance lever.
Construction Magnesium alloy chassis.
Plastic top, bottom, and back plates.
Rubber gripping surfaces.
Mount Leica L, rangefinder coupled.
Not coupled to view finder brightlines.
0.7m minimum focusing distance.
Colors Black textured rubber on four different body
finishes: black, "chrome," gray, and olive.
Dimensions 135.5 x 78.5 x 33.5 mm
Weight 320 g (w/o batteries)
Misc. Standard "pin type" remote release.
Manual PDF (799 KB)

Bessa R

First rangefinder camera released in the CV system. Leica screw mount. Range finder. View finder with 50, 75, and 35/90 bright lines.

The navy blue and olive colored versions were released in 2002.

Mike Elek maintains a personal web page with lots of information about his experiences with the Bessa R at: http://www.host.fptoday.com/melek/bessa-r.html

A review from Photography Review can be found here.

Film Speeds ISO 25 - 3200 in 1/3 stops.
No DX detection.
Light Meter EV 1 - 19 sensitivity
Center weighted vertical stripe
3 LEDs in finder (under, on, over)
Shutter 1s - 1/2000s in full stops, plus bulb.
1/125 flash sync, with shoe and PC socket.
Self timer.
Twin metal curtains on a vertical plane.
Finder 0.68 magnification.
RF base length of 37mm (25.16 effective)
Range finder coupled with compatible lenses.
Parallax corrected, manual frame line selection.
35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 90mm frame lines.
87% coverage at 3 meters.
Film Advance Manual, single stroke, non-ratcheting advance.
Manual rewind.
Construction Magnesium alloy chassis.
Plastic top, back and base plates.
Rubber gripping surfaces.
Mount Leica L, rangefinder coupled.
Not coupled to view finder brightlines.
0.9m minimum focusing distance.
Colors Black textured rubber on four different body
finishes: black, "chrome," navy blue, and olive.
Dimensions 135.5 x 78.5 x 33.5 mm
Weight 395 g (w/o batteries)
Misc. Standard "pin type" remote release.
Accepts Nikon FM10 diopter lenses.

Bessa R2

The Bessa R2 is an update to the original R. Significant changes include an all metal body, a Leica M bayonette mount, and a more durable paint finish.

Film Speeds ISO 25 - 3200 in 1/3 stops.
No DX detection.
Light Meter EV 1 - 19 sensitivity
Center weighted vertical stripe
3 LEDs in finder (under, on, over)
Shutter 1s - 1/2000s in full stops, plus bulb.
1/125 flash sync, with shoe and PC socket.
No self timer.
Twin metal curtains on a vertical plane.
Finder 0.68 magnification.
RF base length of 37mm (25.16 effective)
Range finder coupled with compatible lenses.
Parallax corrected, manual frame line selection.
35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 90mm frame lines.
87% coverage at 3 meters.
Film Advance Manual, single stroke, ratcheting advance.
Manual rewind.
Trigger winder available.
Construction Magnesium alloy chassis, top, back and base plates.
Rubber gripping surfaces.
Mount Leica M, rangefinder coupled.
Not coupled to view finder brightlines.
0.7m minimum focusing distance.
Colors Black textured rubber on black body.
Black textured rubber on olive body, chrome highlights.
Scratch resistant splatter paint finish.
Dimensions 135.5 x 81 x 33.5 mm
Weight 425 g (w/o batteries)
Misc. Standard "pin type" remote release.
Accepts Nikon FM10 diopter lenses.
Manual PDF (740 KB)

Bessa R2S and R2C

The Bessa R2S and R2C are versions of the R2 which have been modified for compatibility with the Nikon S or old Contax lens mounts (respectively). In addition to the changed mount, they also have an added focussing wheel for your right forefinger, and 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm frame lines. The bodies are only available in black, are 0.5mm taller than the base R2, 43.5mm deep, and weigh 520 g.

The R2S and R2C have some compatibility issues with Zeiss and Nikkor lenses:

Images and information can be found at http://www.cosina.co.jp/r2sc/index.html.

Bessa T

This camera is the first Voigtlander compatible with the Leica M mount. It has a rangefinder, but no view finder!

To celebrate the 101st anniversary of the Heliar lens design, a special edition of the Bessa T was produced and sold as a set with the collapsible 50mm f/3.5 Heliar. 2000 sets were manufactured, with four different body colors: Grey, Black, Olive, and Navy Blue.

Film Speeds ISO 25 - 3200 in 1/3 stops.
No DX detection.
Light Meter EV 1 - 19 sensitivity
Center weighted vertical stripe
3 LEDs on top plate (under, on, over)
Shutter 1s - 1/2000s in full stops, plus bulb.
1/125 flash sync, with PC socket.
No self timer.
Twin metal curtains on a vertical plane.
Finder 1.50 magnification.
RF base length of 35.8mm (53.7mm effective)
Range finder coupled with compatible lenses.
Built in diopter adjustments.
Film Advance Manual, single stroke, ratcheting advance.
Manual rewind.
Trigger winder available.
Construction Magnesium alloy chassis.
Plastic top, back and base plates.
Rubber gripping surfaces.
Mount Leica M, rangefinder coupled.
0.9m minimum focusing distance.
Colors Black textured rubber on black body.
Black textured rubber on chrome body.
Dimensions 135.5 x 78.5 x 33.5 mm
Weight 385 g (w/o batteries)
Misc. Standard "pin type" remote release.
Shoe is not flash coupled

Bessaflex TM

Unlike the rest of the CV rangefinder cameras, the Bessaflex TM is a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) design. It's built around the same internal frame as the other Bessas, with the addition of an additional mirror box and pentaprism.

The Bessaflex mount is incompatible with the rangefinders, so Cosina has released a line of M42 mount SL lenses including 12mm, 15mm, 40mm, 75mm, 90mm, 125mm, and 180mm.

Film Speeds ISO 25 - 1600 in 1/3 stops.
No DX detection.
Light Meter EV 1 - 19 sensitivity
Center weighted TTL metering
3 LEDs in view finder (under, on, over)
Shutter 1s - 1/2000s in full stops, plus bulb.
1/125 flash sync, with PC socket only.
Accessory hot shoe available.
10 second timer.
Twin metal curtains on a vertical plane.
Finder SLR pentaprism type.
Split microprism focus.
95% frame coverage.
Film Advance Manual, single stroke, ratcheting advance.
Manual rewind.
Trigger winder available.
Construction Magnesium alloy chassis, top, back and base plates.
Rubber gripping surfaces.
Mount M42 screw mount.
Colors Black textured rubber on black body.
Dimensions 135.5 x 89 x 52.5 mm
Weight 485 g (w/o batteries)
Misc. Standard "pin type" remote release.
Accepts Nikon FM10 diopter lenses.

Rollei 35RF

The Rollei 35RF is essentially a Bessa R2 with a few minor modifications: a silver finish, different frame lines at 40, 50, and 80mm, and a significantly higher price tag.

Rollei sells three Zeiss lenses for the body, which should be 100% compatible with the R2: The Sonnar 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, and the Planar 80mm f/2.8.

Rollei also manufactures a film winder for the 35RF in a silver finish. Theoretically, the winder should be compatible with the R2, but we don't have confirmation yet.

More information can be found at Rollei's web site: http://www.rollei-usa.com/compact/35rf.htm

Camera Sets

CV has released several camera sets, which include a camera, lens, and sometimes a viewfinder:

Cosina Voigtländer Lenses

12mm f/5.6

Name Ultra-Wide Heliar Aspherical Ultra-Wide Heliar SL Aspherical
Mount LTM Nikon F
Aperture f/5.6 - 22
9 aperture blades
Filter Size 77 mm, via accessory adapter
(not included)
No filters.
Focus Range 0.3m (11.8") to infinity
Focus has click stops
Marked in meters
Not rangefinder coupled
Click stops at 0.5m, 1.0m
Focusing knob
Construction 8 groups of 10 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 121 degrees
Dimensions 50.5 mm (2") diameter
38.2 mm (1.5") long
63.5 mm diameter
16.2 mm long
Weight 192 g / 3.2 oz 200 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood and finder.
Lens, hood, and finder fit in VL-2 case
Requires mirror lock up
Comes with finder

15mm f/4.5

Name Super-Wide Heliar Aspherical Super-Wide Heliar SL Aspherical
Mount LTM Nikon F
Aperture f/4.5 - 22
10 blades
Filter Size (no filter mount)
Focus Range 0.3m (12") to infinity
Marked in meters only
Not rangefinder coupled
Click stops at 0.5m and 1.0m
Focusing knob
Construction 6 groups of 8 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 110 degrees
Dimensions 49.6mm (1.9") diameter
30.7mm (1.2") long
63.5 mm diameter
12.8 mm long
Weight 105 g / 0.23 lb 150.5 g
Notes Available in black or silver
Barrel extends into a hood
Comes with finder
Fits in VL-1 case
Requires mirror lock up
Comes with finder

21mm f/4

Name Color-Skopar SC-Skopar
Mount LTM SC
Aperture f/4 - 22
Filter Size 43mm
Focus Range 0.9m (2.95') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
0.9m (2.95') to infinity
Marked in meters only
Detachable focusing ring
Construction 6 groups of 8 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 90.9 degrees
Dimensions 56mm (2.2") diameter
45mm (1.8") long
55.8mm diameter
26.2mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 140 g / 5 oz
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood and finder.
Optional LH1 rectangular hood.
Finder, hood, and lens fit in VL-1 case.
Rectangular hood for LTM won't fit.

25mm f/4

Name Snapshot-Skopar SC-Skopar
Mount LTM SC
Aperture f/4 - 22
10 blades
Filter Size 39mm 43mm
Focus Range 0.7m (2.95') to infinity
Click stop focusing at 1m, 1.5m, and 3m
Marked in meters and feet
Not rangefinder coupled
Focusing tab on lens
0.9m to infinity
No click stop focusing
Marked in meters only
Rangefinder coupled
No focusing tab
Detachable focusing ring
Construction 5 groups of 7 elements
Metal barrel
Focusing tab
View Coverage 82 degrees
Dimensions 49.5mm (2.2") diameter
47mm (1.85") long
55.8mm diameter
28mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 80 g / 5 oz 141 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with finder and (very small) hood.
Optional LH-1 hood.
Lens, finder, hood all fit in VL-1 case.
Rectangular hood for LTM won't fit.

28mm f/3.5

Name Color-Skopar SC-Skopar
Mount LTM SC
Aperture f/3.5 - 22
Filter Size 39mm 43mm
Focus Range 0.7m (27.5") to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
0.9m to infinity
Marked in meters only
Construction 5 groups of 7 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 75 degrees
Dimensions 49.6mm (1.95") diameter
25.8mm (1.01") long
55.8mm diameter
28mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 163 g / 5.75 oz 138 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.
Optionally takes the LH-1 hood.

28mm f/1.9

Name Ultron ASPH
Mount LTM
Aperture f/1.9 - 22
Filter Size 46mm
Focus Range 2.3' to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 7 groups of 9 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 75 degrees
Dimensions 55.8mm (2.2") diameter
63.1mm (2.5") long with hood
Weight 265 g / 0.58 lb
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.

35mm f/2.5

Name Color-Skopar C-type
"Classic"
Color-Skopar P-type
"Pancake"
SC-Skopar
Mount LTM LTM SC
Aperture f/2.5 - 22 f/2.5 - 16 f/2.5 - 22
Filter Size 39mm 43mm 43mm
Focus Range 0.7m (2.9') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Focus tab on lens
0.9m to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Focus tab on lens
0.9m to infinity
Marked in meters only
No focus tab
Detachable focusing ring
Construction 5 groups of 7 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 63 degrees
Dimensions 49.5mm (2.1") diameter
31mm (1.2") long
55mm diameter
25mm long
55.8mm diameter
28mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 116 g / 0.29 lb 134 g 141 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with screw-in hood.
Available in black only.
Optional hood.
DISCONTINUED
Manual PDF (138 KB)

35mm f/1.7

The 35mm Ultron is a fairly large lens: the hood will intrude into the camera's built in viewfinder a little bit. (what about accessory finders?)

Name Ultron ASPH
Mount LTM
Aperture f/1.7 - 16
10 aperture blades
Filter Size 39mm
Focus Range 0.9m (3.0') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 6 groups of 8 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 63 degrees
Dimensions 55mm (2.2") diameter
47.7mm (1.8") long
Weight 203 g / 0.44 lb
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.

35mm f/1.2

Name Nokton ASPH
Mount M
Aperture f/1.2 - 22
12 aperture blades
Filter Size 52mm
Focus Range 0.7m (2.3') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 7 groups of 10 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 63 degrees
Dimensions 63mm (2.5") diameter
78 (3") long
Weight 490 g / 1.1 lb
Notes Available in black only.
Comes with hood.
Optional ventilated LH-3 hood.

50mm f/3.5

This is a high performance, collapsible lens which is only sold new in the limited edition Bessa T set. Only 2000 of these lenses were made.

Name Heliar
Mount LTM
Aperture f/3.5 - 22
Ten aperture blades
Filter Size 27mm
Focus Range 1m to infinity
Construction 3 groups of 5 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 46 degrees
Dimensions 47mm diameter
23.2mm / 42mm long (collapsed/extended)
Weight 150 g
Notes Available in silver only.
Comes with hood.

50mm f/2.5

Name Color-Skopar S-Skopar
Mount LTM S
Aperture f/2.5 - 22
Filter Size 39mm 43mm
Focus Range 0.75m (29.5") to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Focusing tab on lens
0.9m to infinity
Marked in meters only
No focusing tab on lens
Detachable focusing ring
Construction 6 groups of 7 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 46 degrees
Dimensions 49.6mm (1.95") diameter
33.6mm (1.3") long
55.8mm diameter
30.7mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 208 g / 7.3 oz 149 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with (tiny) hood.
Optional LH-2 rectangular hood.
LH-2 hood not compatible.

50mm f/1.5

The 50mm Nokton is a fairly large lens: Even without the hood or a filter, and even when focused at infinity, the lens will intrude into the 50mm framelines of the Bessa viewfinders.

Name Nokton ASPH S-Nokton ASPH
Mount LTM S
Aperture f/1.5 - 16
10 aperture blades
Filter Size 52mm
Focus Range 0.9m (3.0') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 6 groups of 8 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 46 degrees
Dimensions 60mm (2.3") diameter
54.5mm (2.2") long (inc. hood)
55.8mm diameter
30.7mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 243 g / 0.53 lb 227 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.

75mm f/2.5

Name Color-Heliar Color-Heliar SL
Mount LTM M42 (see note)
Aperture f/2.5 - 16
10 aperture blades
f/2.5 - 22
9 aperture blades
Filter Size 43mm 49mm
Focus Range 0.9m (3.3') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
0.7m to infinity
Marked in meters
Construction 5 groups of 6 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 32 degrees
Dimensions 55.5mm (2.2") diameter
64.5mm (2.5") long (inc. hood)
63.5mm diameter
40.2mm long
Weight 230 g / 0.5 lb 250 g
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.
Available in black with silver trim.
Also available in Canon FD, Nikon F, Minolta, Olympus OM, Pentax K, and Yashica/Contax mounts.

85mm f/3.5

Name APO Lanthar S-APO Lanthar
Mount M42 S
Aperture f/3.5 - 22
Filter Size 39mm
Focus Range 1m to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 5 groups of 6 elements
View Coverage 27 degrees (?
Dimensions 55.8mm diameter
83.9mm long (inc. hood)
Weight 262 g

90mm f/3.5

Name APO Lanthar APO Lanthar SL
Mount LTM M42
Aperture f/3.5 - 22
Filter Size 39mm
Focus Range 1m (3.3') to infinity
Marked in meters and feet
Construction 5 groups of 6 elements
Metal barrel
View Coverage 27 degrees
Dimensions 51mm (2") diameter
90mm (3.5") long (inc. hood)
Weight 260 g / 0.57 lb
Notes Available in black or silver.
Comes with hood.

125mm f/2.5

Name Macro APO Lanthar SL
Mount M42
Aperture
Filter Size
Focus Range
Construction
View Coverage
Dimensions
Weight

180mm f/4

Name APO Lanthar SL
Mount M42
Aperture
Filter Size
Focus Range
Construction
View Coverage
Dimensions
Weight

Lens Compatibility
Peter Bakke, Peter Evans

There are a handful of Leica L and M mount lenses which are incompatible with Bessa bodies, due to the depth or size of the rear element. Stephen Gandy maintains a notes regarding specific incompatible lenses at http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtBR2.htm.

Archive.com has a page addressing the compatibility of older Soviet lenses (such as the Jupiters). It can be found here: http://web.archive.org/web/20020210201037/http://www.cameraguild.co.jp/cosinacamera/Russia.html

Although the page is in Japanese, it's still usable: the rows marked with an X are not compatible, while the double circles are compatible. The Jupiter-12 has a single circle, and the note says that only one of the six versions produced is compatible. The Jupiter-9 has a note saying it will only focus properly down to 1.8 meters.

A more general (although rather technical) article about compatibility between rangefinder focusing systems can be found at http://www.dantestella.com/technical/compat.html. Although the article does not specifically address CV cameras, it is very thorough in discussing the ins and outs of rangefinder lenses and focusing systems.

Collapsible Lenses

The 50/3.5 Heliar is the only collapsible lens that CV manufactures, however the Bessas are compatible with a handful of the collapsible lenses that have been manufactured for the Leica L and M mounts.

Please be careful whenever you attempt to mount and collapse a third party lens on a CV body. Some lenses project too far into the body, or are too wide for the Bessa, which can cause damage to the shutter and/or the rear elements of your lens.

Stephen Gandy maintains a page with notes regarding specific collapsible lenses and the Bessa body at http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtBR2.htm.

Can I Use L Mount Lenses in an M Mount Body?

Yes -- CV manufactures an L (screw mount) to M (bayonette mount) adapter. It comes in three versions for compatibility with Leica's automatic frameline selection: 50/75, 28/90, 35/135.

Which Filters Are Compatible With CV Lenses?
from the mailing list

There have been reports of trouble mounting lens shades over Hama filters. No problems have been reported for B+W, Leica, and Heliopan filters.

Accessories

External Viewfinders

Voigtlander has produced 14 viewfinders which clip into the flash shoe (which means they can also be used by other system as well).

All of wide lenses (28mm or less) are sold with a finder, and the various kits (such as the Heliar 101) are sold with finders. Replacement finders are usually available, although availability depends on who you're dealing with.

Styling Notes:


Focal Len. Frameline Build Styling Elmnts/Grps Diopter Mag. Weight Notes
12mm Black Metal Black and silver 4/4 -1 0.36x 68 g
15mm Black Plastic Black 4/4
rev. Galileo
-1 0.38x 33 g
21mm Brightline Plastic Black 5/4 -1 0.42x 31 g
25mm (1999) Black Plastic Black 4/4
rev. Galileo
-1 0.49x 30 g
25mm (2001) Brightline Metal Black 4/4
rev. Galileo
-1 0.49x 30 g
28mm Brightline Plastic Black 5/4 -1 0.5x 28 g
28mm Brightline Metal Black or silver.
Retro style.
3/3 -1 0.43x 51 g high eyepoint
35mm Brightline Plastic Black 4/4 -1 0.68x 24 g
35mm Brightline Metal Black or silver.
Retro style.
3/3 -1 0.5x 51 g high eyepoint
40mm Brightline Plastic Black 3/3 -1 0.73x 19 g for Rollei 35F
Badged Rollei or V.
50mm Brightline Metal Black or silver
Puck
3/1 -0 1.0x 32 g
50mm (101) Brightline Metal Silver
Retro styling
3/1 -0 1.0x 35 g 101 Heliar Set version.
75mm Brightline Metal Black or silver
Puck
3/1 -0 1.0x 32 g
90mm Brightline Metal Black or silver 3/1 -0 1.0x 60 g Adjustable parallax

Can I Get Diopter Adjustments?
Peat Bakke - October 21, 2003

Yes -- several CV Bessa cameras can use all FM10 compatible diopter eyepieces. They range from +3 to -5, and usually cost less than $15. See specific camera notes for more information.

Can I Get an Eyepiece Magnifier?
from the CVUG mailing list

Yes -- the Nikon DG-2 magnifier provides 2x magnification for critical focusing. Just be sure to get the slide on version, not the screw on, for cameras which are FM10 compatible (see camera notes).

Can I Get a Spirit Level?
Peat Bakke - October 22, 2003

CV sells a spirit level that clips into any camera's hotshoe. It can be viewed from any side, but the top eyepiece is angled inward for convenience when using an external viewfinder.

Grips
Peat Bakke - October 22, 2003

CV makes three different grips for the Bessa line:

Technical Questions

How Do I Adjust the Rangefinder?
Peat Bakke - October 18, 2003

If you're feeling adventurous, you can realign your rangefinder with a few easy to find tools. However, doing so will void your warranty. If you're worried about such things, please send your camera to an authorized repair shop.

Credits

Peat Bakke is the maintainer of this FAQ. Contributors include (but are not limited to) Peter Evans, Lloyd Minaai, Mathew Miller, Larry Soo, Rick deCastro, Patrick Huang, Mike Mallett, Michael Habermann and the CVUG mailing list archives at Topica.com