Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa rangefinder repair and adjustment

I acquired a Vitomatic IIa rangefinder camera with a non working viewfinder.  I found the that the problem was that a small lens used for creating the rangefinder image had come free from its holder and was loose in the mechanism.  So in order to recover the lens and re-attach it it was necessary to disassemble  most of the top plate.  The meter had to be removed, which was easily done as one of the screws was also loose in the workings.  Actually removing the viewfinder prism is a delicate operation and no force should be applied as the prism is optically cemented together. vitomatic_rangefinder2 You can see in this image that the lens is missing from the frame on the left.

Once the lens was re-attached and the glue had time to set I re-assemble everything in reverse.  (don’t forget the spring that tensions the rangefinder linkage)


In this image you can see the location of the screws that need to be set for adjusting the rangefinder.  Loosen the set screw,  set the lens on infinity and adjust the slotted screw until an item in the far distance has both images in convergence.  The vertical convergence can also be adjusted with the square screw just beside the light-meter linkage.  A pair of tweezers works for this or a small pair of needle nose pliers.

And now I have a working Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa,  if only someone hadn’t scratched a flash setting reminder on the back of the top plate, sigh.

Update:  I have taken a roll of Kodak 200 with this camera and am very happy with the exposure and the quality of the lens.


5 Responses to “Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa rangefinder repair and adjustment”

  • Hong Says:

    Your great job have rescued a lovely vintage camera !
    I also acquired a Vitomatic IIa w/ Ultron lens recently. The shutter speeds at slower side (1 sec., 1/2 sec., 1/4 sec…) are reluctant. Any tips or suggestions to me for rescuing my Vitomatic IIa ? Thanks

  • Wallace Says:

    I did not need to touch the shutter so unfortunately I cannot give you advice for this camera, other than I do not suggest you attempt it if it is your first camera repair.

  • Mariano Godínez Says:

    I bougth 3 Vitomatics to make one that looks and works like new, but hélas!! my actual problem is the convergence of the rangefinder, because all of them had the same problem with the little prism. So, despicte the ability of the repairman, my rangefinder isn´t as the working level of the rest of the camera, and his double image is a tad dark and out of the phase. I consider very helpful this article. I will buy a fourth camera to take the telemeter prism.

  • giskard Says:

    I was just wondering if you had any more information on the disassembly of the top plate. I’ve managed to tear mine down to roughly the level you have pictured, but I can’t work out how to then remove the range finder. I would be most grateful for any advice you have.

  • ziani Says:

    hey its a great job you are doing…this is a very nice camera and take very sharp picture. mine has a ultron lens…the problem with mine is that the viewfinder is very milky.dont how it happen used to very clear its look like it is inside the viewfinder prism i dont know just guess…so how should i clean this and what should i used..thanks alot for your time..

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