Visoflex

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Want to slow down with your photography? There’s a solution. Just use a Visoflex on a thread-mount Leica. 

Here’s what I have to do to take just one picture with the Visoflex. 

  1. Remove the 90° viewfinder from the Visoflex. (The Visoflex can not be attached to the camera with the 90° viewfinder in place.)
  2. Attach the Visoflex to the camera. 
  3. Replace the 90° viewfinder on the Visoflex. 
  4. Attach the 65/3.5 Elmar lens with adaptor 16464 to the Visoflex. 
  5. Wind the knob on the camera to advance the film and cock the shutter. 
  6. Meter or estimate the exposure. 
  7. Swing the release lever on the Visoflex to its forward position. (The high speed shutter dial can not be accessed with the release lever in its operating position.)
  8. Set the desired shutter speed on the high speed dial on the camera, and if necessary on the low speed dial. 
  9. Return the release lever on the Visoflex to its operating position. 
  10. Turn the aperture preset ring on the lens to the desired aperture setting. 
  11. Turn the aperture control ring on the lens to f/3.5. (Its easier to frame and focus with the lens wide open.)
  12. Depress the return lever on the Visoflex to lower the reflex mirror to its operating position. 
  13. Frame and focus the image in the viewfinder. 
  14. Turn the aperture control ring until it stops at the setting on the aperture preset ring. 
  15. Press the release lever on the Visoflex to (a) raise the mirror and (b) release the shutter. (Or use a cable release screwed into the side of the Visoflex to do the same thing.)
  16. That’s it!

I’ve simplified the description a little by not mentioning the front and rear caps on the lens and the front and rear caps on the Visoflex. Lots of pockets are a help when working with the Visoflex. 

8 thoughts on “Visoflex”

  1. Hmm, interresting but this voids Oskar Barnacks intention of a small, postable and pocketable camera completely. Might as well use large format…

    Just as slow and still better negatives.

    Like

    1. You’re right. The camera becomes little more than a film back with a shutter. The resulting assembly is both bigger and heavier than my Nikon F.

      I tried using a Crown Graphic with a broken rangefinder as a view camera a number of years ago and, even then, my eyes were not up to focusing on the 4×5 ground glass.

      For various reasons I am 100% committed to 35mm B&W for my film photography. I enjoy messing around with mechanical devices and an LTM Leica with a Visoflex is about as mechanical as a camera gets. When the whole Visoflex kit including the lens became available for less than the cost of a good macro lens for the Nikon I went for it and it has provided a lot of enjoyment albeit in the slow lane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure the Visoflex is a great contraption!

        As for the eyes, don’t mention that. Sometimes I ask myself if manual focusing is still an option… It’s getting shaky in that department!

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