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Voigtländer Vito B

Restoration / Conversion

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I don't know how long this has been in my family. I got it from my father before he passed away, along with some other cameras and useless stuff. Maybe he would imagine I would treat it with respect, have it restored and dabble in 35mm film again, like he did when he was young.

Forget that! Film is awful!

Let's hack this into something before it totally rots away and is thrown out.

Although this metal and leather classic 35mm camera is a favorite with older photographers, I doubt it has any value beyond sentimental. It is not in working condition, and has not been used in decades. Fixing it would cost hundreds, and then end up a small fraction of that if sold.

Pictured here with it's black embossed leather trim and brown case, you may start to see the wear, peeling, dents and rust. There is no lens fungus, but the iris blades shutter and pressure plate all have some corrosion, and the light seals and leather are falling apart. More details on the features can be found at sites like this:

https://sites.google.com/site/fromthefocalplanetoinfinity/vitob

The serial number 3706447 suggests it was made around 1955.

Is it Hackable?

I am looking for very unique ideas to hack this. All suggestions are welcome!

Ideas:

  • Digital camera
  • Digital video
  • Distance finder
  • Mass photo storage device
  • GPS with BLE

I am not in a rush, just brainstorming for now until I get some time to work on it.

  • A Makers Voigtländer

    frankstripod09/17/2015 at 20:19 3 comments

    The only camera I have left stinks!

    I have an old HTC Inspire (basically an HTC Desire infected with AT&T) that is not connected with any cell service. I could go on and on about the many terrible features it has, but I will touch on one today.

    It has an 8mp camera that is useless outside of its two to four meter bright outdoor light range. It is a big terd for shooting anything close up, indoor, or slightly low light. It always distorts color, focusing and exposure look like a bad guess, and using the completely useless built in flash puts a gigantic reflecting white spot in the middle of every single photo.

    I have used this Tool of the Devil for all my project snapshots and I am very frustrated with it. I shoot about 10 to 30 pictures of the same thing to get one halfway visible one I can actually use.

    The Makers Voigtländer Idea:

    • Made for documenting projects
    • Close up still camera (Thank you @davedarko)
    • Webcam (Thank you @sjrand96)
    • Time-lapse video
    • Photo storage
    • Workbench mount
    • USB port

    I will update a parts list as I find things:

    • I have a dead laptop with a webcam in it.

    I am still looking for ideas. Crazy thoughts welcome!

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Discussions

voxnulla wrote 10/10/2015 at 23:55 point

I tried this with an old east German SLR camera once. The problem is the optics. If you need to focus to infinity (which you do) you need to put a digital sensor on the plane there the film used to be or move the lens. But then you'd have the problem of sensor cropping.. Even rigging an APS-C lens would be really tough (and expensive). 

I think if it's all about aesthetics, the lens glass has to go and you have to fit a smaller sensor assembly inside the lens up to the front for it to work.

  Are you sure? yes | no

voxnulla wrote 10/10/2015 at 23:55 point

I tried this with an old east German SLR camera once. The problem is the optics. If you need to focus to infinity (which you do) you need to put a digital sensor on the plane there the film used to be or move the lens. But then you'd have the problem of sensor cropping.. Even rigging an APS-C lens would be really tough (and expensive). 

I think if it's all about aesthetics, the lens glass has to go and you have to fit a smaller sensor assembly inside the lens up to the front for it to work.

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 09/17/2015 at 06:25 point

Maybe it can work as a macro lens, when you turn it around? I like the mass photo storage idea, kind of what I want to do with a tardis looking harddrive full of doc who episodes.

  Are you sure? yes | no

frankstripod wrote 09/17/2015 at 17:10 point

Macro lens, brilliant idea! I need a macro camera device for project photos. Thank you! :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

sjrand96 wrote 09/17/2015 at 03:47 point

could turn it into a jazzy handheld lightmeter for use with other cameras that don't have a light meter? I've also considered embedding a webcam and mounting the camera on a tripod as a restomod webcam if you will.

  Are you sure? yes | no

frankstripod wrote 09/17/2015 at 17:05 point

I like the restmod webcam idea Thank you!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 09/16/2015 at 19:09 point

So no rangefinder on this camera, a distance finder would suit it well :D

  Are you sure? yes | no

frankstripod wrote 09/17/2015 at 17:00 point

You have inspired a rangefinding idea! Thank you for the follow also :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

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