Voigtlander Baby Bessa (Bessa 46)

This could also be titled the camera that makes you ask “Did I advance the film?”  This is a medium format camera that you can actually put in a pocket, as I do.  It folds so compactly and flat that it can be easy placed in cargo pants pockets or a jacket.  The main drawback to the camera is that the film advance is not tied at all to the shutter, what this means is that you can easily double expose an image or forget that you have already advanced the film and leave one blank.  It forms an image on the negative that is 42mmx 55mm with the 55mm comprising the vertical.  So you get 16 exposures from a roll of 120 film, at least you would if you remember to advance the film at the right times.  The 75mm lens provides an angle of view of about 48 degrees that would be roughly equivalent to a 50mm lens with 35mm film.  The compur shutter reaches 1/300 second at it’s fastest and the cocking mechanism is at the lens.  The shutter is then tripped using the lever on the right front, this requires the use of the left hand to trip the shutter which is different from what you would expect from any modern camera.  And by modern I mean any camera made in the last 60 years.  The film advance does move the film forward one frame and then locks, the film is then advance-able again when you slide the film counter lever to the left.  The camera opens via a button on the bottom but then requires pressing against the bellows supports until they click into position.  The Bellows are folded back in by pressing against the supports in the opposite direction and then gently pushing the bellows back inside.

Camera dimensions   Width (128 mm),Height (89 mm), Depth at side (30 mm), Depth at lens (42 mm)  Weight (515 grams)

You may have noticed that the image dimensions I provided differ from 4×6 or even the 4.5×6 that you may have found elsewhere but they are the area of the negative each frame takes up and not the actual image size.

In my next post from this camera I will provide some sample images.

5 Responses to “Voigtlander Baby Bessa (Bessa 46)”

  • Nikhil Ramkarran Says:

    With the requisite degree of patience (and talent, of course) I bet you will get great photos out of it. Nothing like a bit of a challenge to bring out the best in a photographer.

  • Wallace Says:

    Thank you, Nikhil I will be scanning the negatives and writing the post and despite the fact that I ruined at least two frames the negatives look pretty good.

  • Voigtlander Bessa July 2012 | Wallace Koopmans Artlog Says:

    […] that roll.  These were shot with my Baby Bessa which is one of my favorite camera’s    Voigtlander Baby Bessa  Voigtlander Baby Bessa Sample images Voigtlander Baby Bessa June 2011 Baby Bessa #gallery-1 { […]

  • Floris Dox Says:

    I bought the same camera today for €30 including a very old tripod in a leather case, the shutter is working, also the slower speeds. can’t wait to shoot with it!
    Greetings, Floris Dox

  • Wallace Says:

    It is a great camera Floris I have another upcoming post with images from this camera as well. Enjoy and if you have any questions feel free to ask

Leave a Reply