The box cameras and pseudo-tlr cameras with brilliant viewfinders became very popular in the decade after WWII. I've enjoyed shooting quite a few of them, including most recently the Kodak Duaflex and the Ansco Panda. It seemed time to try out the granddaddy of them all, the Voigtländer Brilliant, which first appeared in 1932.
|Voigtländer Brilliant, First Model|
Later models were bakelite, but this first model had an all steel case. The shutter is a simple self-cocking type with 1/25, 1/50 and B settings. The lens is a three-element f-7.7, 75mm Anastigmat Voigtar.
The picture of the VW is full-frame. The following 100% enlargement of the lower-right corner of the picture shows the excellent edge sharpness the lens can deliver at f-22; quite a lot more impressive than anything you are likely to find on later cameras of this type.
I cropped down the shot of the sewer pumper to show the nice over-all sharpness and tonal qualities which the Voigtar can achieve. All the negatives on the roll look under-exposed; I think the camera was working fine, but my HC-110 developer is down to the dregs.
The portrait suffers from under-exposure and a bit of backlight flare, but I think the sharpness still looks pretty good at the Voigtar's wide open f-7.7 setting.
I'll get a new bottle of developer and put another roll of 120 through the Brilliant soon. It's a fun little shooter.