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Voigtlander Bergheil favori envoyer Print
Photos by MM text by MM. From the collection of MM
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Manufactured in Germany from (Before) 1928 until (After) 1935.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 21125

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Voigtlander Bergheil

Traduction de Manuel M

“Berg Heil” designates the “salute of the mountain” that is made the German mountain dwellers when they reach a summit. (a kind of “long live to the mountain”).

The summit, it is probably the idea that wanted to propose Voigtländer in its publicities which named moreover the Bergheil like “the camera of the connoisseur”.

This camera was produced from 1911 until 1936 under various forms.

At the origin, it seems that the Bergheil was the descendant of the “Tourist,”seen pages 13 and 16 of the Voigtländer catalogue of 1926 and that designation was a time confused. In foreign countries, the Bergheil was called “Tourist” or Bergheil Tourist”.

That presented is equipped with an Heliar lens 105 mm F 4.5 n° 666698, with a shutter Compur n° 2185050 and its serial number (inside the flap, close to the hinge) is B 605515. On these bases, it should dates of 1932.

Its characteristics made of it indeed a value camera for the time, intended for the enlightened amateurs. Its main originality lies in the quasi-instantaneous interchangeability of the shutter/lens unit by means of a bayonet system. This option was also available on other camera like Certotrop of Certo or the Ideal of Zeiss Ikon. Having a Certotrop, I can say that the operation is much easy with the Bergheil.

The Bergheil, of this time in any case, is recognizable by its two superb spirit levels (1 horizontal and 1 vertical) drowned and set  in the serrated rollers of operation for vertical and horizontal off-centrings and for the rail of extension, as with the two rings which it must necessary to grip for coming out and in  the bellows.

The operations for off-centrings were rather practical since the controls were on the right side of the arch carrying the shutter/lens unit and one under the other (see photo).

The camera allows the double extension.

It was built in four formats: 4.5 x 6, 6,5 x 9.9 x 12 and 10 x 15, with chassis for plates, or Film-packs. The 4.5 x 6 is rather different from the other formats, which, them, on the other hand, resemble each other.

The first two formats knew a Deluxe version (or Luxus):
leather and bellows brown, metallic parts gilded, for the 4.5 x6,
leather and bellows greens, for 6.5 x 9 and 4.5 x6.

In all its existence, Bergheil received different lenses such as Radiar, Collinear, Dynar, Heliar, Skopar.

The Bergheil, as described, appears on the Voigtländer catalogue in 1927 and on the catalogue Photo-Plait of 1928.

The evolution from the main aspects of the Tourist to those of the Bergheil passed by several intermediate stages:

The lens holder in shape of horseshoe instead of square,
Outgoing and return of the bellows by pinching of two ring horizontally, whereas previously, it must be necessary to rock them downwards
Claws intended to extend bellows becoming from shape of “ears of Mickey” solid to that of rings,
Interchangeability of the shutter/lens unit,
Serrated roller of horizontal off-centring put back of bottom on the left, to the top on the right on the arch lens-holder,
2 serrated of adjustment of the rail of extension on each side, instead of one on the right,
Mirror viewfinder deported of the centre], towards the left,
Scissors become foldable in their centre, and much more solid (and elegant),
2 spirit levels drowned in serrated rollers and either only one fixed on the viewfinder,
Lever of stopping of the carriage,

and I certainly forget some…

A very beautiful camera which exudes quality.

Voigtlander Bergheil