I am American living in England. Twice a year I return to my home in Wisconsin and stay at the family farmhouse my siblings and I inherited. My brother lives there and has an antique business. He attends auctions and estates sales for stock. He has begun to buy cameras he thinks I might find interesting and to resell. I love this! I get to try all sorts of cameras from an old Kodaks to Polaroids, point and shoots, etc. Last time I was home he had a Voigtländer Vito CL he purchased in a $15.00 box lot.

The 35mm German rangefinder made in the 1960s is in perfect condition. It is one of the Vito C series. The L in CL refers to the built-in light meter. There are 3 models of the Vito CL and I think this was the first version. It looks similar to this:

VOIGTLÄNDER VITO CL. Credit: Camerapedia
VOIGTLÄNDER VITO CL. Credit: Camerapedia

It was enjoyable to use: Easy to hold, easy to focus, easy to load, with a bright viewfinder.

Since I was experimenting with this old camera during a day in Chicago, it was the perfect opportunity to try something creative. Revolog 600nm film changes the colors of your photos to a reddish or aqua/blue-green tint. In my case, both! The makers won’t tell you how they create the effect other than it is handmade without chemicals. The effects vary depending upon exposure and scanning. I shot box speed and under-exposed slightly or accurately. The light meter worked well.

The DarkRoom in California developed and scanned the roll. My 5 photos:

This is a love/hate film. The colours inside (fifth frame in the gallery above) are not as vibrant as those from outdoors. It is definitively not a film for the faint of heart.

It was great fun, which is an essential part of photography for me. Not an everyday film but it might get you out of the doldrums on a bleak midwinter afternoon. The lens was sharp and the camera was a treat to use. I may print a little series. I liked the Voigtländer so much I asked my brother if I could keep it to use when I am in Wisconsin.

I also just happen to have some Revolog in his refrigerator.

~ Wendy

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About the author

Wendy Chapman

I am Wendy Chapman and I photograph with film and digital. I am an American living in the midlands in England. In the last two years I discovered pinhole photography and fell in love with the look and the process of making pinhole photos. The RSS 6x12 was...

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