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© 2005 by silvermoon / all rights reserved
Voigtländer VF 135, looking good

VF135 >> 中文
[English text] This is my first "Voigtländer" camera, though it was actually by Rollei... to be continued

So I'm back in this evilbay game. The latest trophy would be my first Voigtländer camera. I am aware that it's in fact made by Rollei, which also made an almost identical model, Rollei XF35.

Although Rollei bought over Voigtländer in the early 70s, I personally like the look of VF135 better than its Rollei sister.

According to the data from the net, Voigtländer VF 135 is a fully automatic AE camera, meaning it offers users no control over the exposure. A pity really, since the bright Color-skoparex 40mm f/2.3 lens seems so promising. To think positive, this should make it a fast shooter, and its rangefinder should be handy in low light. Minimum focusing distance is 1 meter? That's kind of limited, em...

I have a little question about the shutter speed range: "1/30 ~ 1/650 sec, B (B exposure permissible only at full lens opening)". Can't the camera shoot wide open at, say, 1/15 or 1/8 sec?

Well, first of all, I hope the camera will arrive in condition good as the seller described. (by 05/08/21)

The Voigtländer arrived today, and so did Typhoon Talim. Shortly after receiving it, the sky turned dark and began to pour with rain. A real typhoon season this year.

The camera appears in excellent cosmetic condition, as described. But then its needle indication didn't respond to the light source, making me wonder if there was something wrong with the meter. Fortunately it turned out to be just in need of a new battery. To my surprise, the seller did include an extra 1.35V Mercury battery that's intact in original pack. Still I decide to use my own 1.5V alkline alternative. It works, and the Voigtländer comes back to life immediately! (05/08/31)

Testing Voigtländer VF135

The instruction manual says it takes a PX625 1.35V battery, which is no longer made. I put in a 1.5 alkline for substitute, but the difference in voltage may somewhat influence the metering. I point the camera at various light sources, check the f/stop indicated, and do get an impression that it under-estimates the exposure needed, so I set it at ASA160 with a Superia 200 film.

Since I have already shot 30 frames of a roll with my Contax G1, I decide to switch & shoot the last 7 frames with VF135. By doing so it seems a safer bet ( heaven knows if this VF is 100% working or not), and also quicker to see the print results. (to be continued)

It's been ages since my last update. Well it's not unusual for such "lag" in my pages... I have concluded that there's nothing to write home about its performance. With its lack of quality finish, awefuly loud advance lever, and even the image "quality' is unremarkable in any way, regardless of its 40/2.3 fast lens. The pictures overall share a rather "flat" look. Flare is quite evident in several pics. However, I did get a *FAVOURITE* shot from those. So, heaven knows, I might find it good for certain style of shooting in the future...

[ chinese text ]
Voigtländer VF135除了引人注意的大光圈鏡頭之外,我尤其喜歡它的造型,線條、比例都很不錯!然而,網上幾乎不見相關討論,只雙生機*Rollei XF35得了馬馬虎虎的評價,這麼一來,反倒讓我對VF135更好奇了。

實際拿在手上,VF135比想像中來得輕。觀景窗很清楚,右側並顯示光圈值及快門速度。鏡身的對焦環很寬,操作起來輕鬆愉快。長方型的快門鈕,手感還好,半按即可鎖定曝光值。美中不足的是快門聲大,而且過片桿彈回的力道頗強,撞擊機身時產生噪音。整體而言,VF135操作簡便,質感雖稱不上精緻,倒也不差,雙生的Rollei XF35屢獲質感欠佳的批評,多少是Rollei 35系列的盛名之累吧?其實從性能來看,VF135與XF35應該是被定位成中階的傻瓜相機,拿它們倆跟經典的Rollei 35相比,似乎是苛求了些。


40mm f/2.3 Color-Skoparex 鏡頭,閃耀著美豔的色彩。 到底成像表現如何呢? (待續)

Flare, plus light leak?

Late afternoon light, by the railway

試拍了幾張,嗯...大致OK但flare還真明顯...不能確定是鏡頭本身的弱點還是漏光等等其他因素。重點是,其中一張自己很喜歡。當時如果拿的是Contax G2,拍出來沒flare更銳利更鮮豔就會更好嗎?想一想... 也許這就是有些攝影人愛用toy camera的原因。

Silvermoon, 2005/10

*VF 135和Rollei XF 35 是雙生機型,功能一模一樣,都是Rollei在新加坡製造的產品。
:: Info from Rollei Club
△The website above seems to have disappeared :o(. Anyway, here's some data saved from the old rolleiclub.com:
"Rollei XF 35 Voigtländer VF 135 # 730010 Model 1, 1974-1976, Singapore, 46,500 pieces
# 730010 Model 2, 1975-1980, Singapore, 207,500 pieces
# 739020 (Voigtländer VF 135), 1976-1980, Singapore, 59,200 pieces.
A genuine Rollei design by the hand of Kurt Bode, who designed many Rollei cameras, this camera reminds us of the famous Rollei 35. "

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i Technical Info:
Lens: Voigtländer Color-Skoparex 40mm f/2.3
five element four group lens
Shutter Speed: 1/30-1/650sec plus B
Focusing Type: split image
Minimum focusing: 1 m
Filter size: 46mm
Exposure control: Programmed AE
ASA 25-400
Powered by One 1.35v mercury (px625)
112mm x 55mm x 71mm , 355g


  • It looks really good!
  • Big focusing ring
  • Compact design
  • AE Lock by half depressing the shutter release
  • 40mm f/2.3 lens--fast