Heliar Archives - Photo Jottings

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Voigtlander Bessa 105mm F/3.5 Heliar Review

This week our review camera is the folding and pocketable pre-war Voightländer rangefinder Bessa, featuring the top of the line, five element Heliar lens.  Another nice feature for this Bessa is the magnified (zoomed in view) rangefinder window for more easily seeing, and setting the focusing distance, with the other window used for composing the image.  Additionally, the camera focuses by moving the entire lens and shutter assembly back and forth like a view camera, not simply with a turning front focusing lens element as most folders have.  

I've had three of the Bessa 6x9 cameras with Heliar lenses through the years, but I only have the review copy now.  All are a little different as far as optical characteristics, (especially resolution) are concerned when looking really closely at high quality scans.  One was super sharp almost wide open in the centers, but had very soft sides; my other two had...

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