Voigtlander - Prominent
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Please read these instructions carefully before you take any pictures or examine how everything works. Practice the various operations as described in section I, first without a film in the camera. When you are familiar with those, read
the rest of the booklet. Then you can load the first film.
Remember that the PROMINENT is a high-class precision instrument, which wants expert and careful treatment. It will well repay the trouble taken by endless numbers of fine and wonderfully sharp pictures. VOIGTLANDER A.G. BRAUNSCHWEIG
Changing lenses 6 0peration
Aperture - Shutter speeds - Winding knob . 7- 8
Rangefinder - Snapshot focusing 9
Exposure - Self-timer 10-11
Opening and closing the camera back . . . 12-13 Loading and Unloading
Inserting the film - Setting the film counter . 14-15
Rewinding the film
Changing partly exposed films 16
Flash equipment 17-19 Accessories
Close-up lenses - Filters 20-23
Lens hood - Frame Finder . . ."KONTUR" 24
Ever-ready case 25
Aperture and depth of field 26 Technical Hints
Film speeds 27
Care of camera and lenses 28
The camera number - Customs seal . . . . 29
1. Aperture ring to set the iris
2. Shutter speed ring to set the
3. Jaws to hold the reflex housing
4. Back lock
5. Synchronising-lever to set the
6. Flash socket to connect to flash
7. Shutter lever to tension the
8. Rewind key to rewind the film
9. Peg to hold the detachable
10. Body release
11. Rewind button
12. Cable release socket
13. Winding knob to tension
the shutter and wind the film
14. Rotating outer ring of
15. Distance scale
with zone focusing settings
16. Depth of field indicator
17. View- and rangefinder
18. Film counter
19. Film release to release the film lock when loading or changing partly exposed films
20. Tripod bush
21. Film indicator
22. Drilled pin to take customs seal when crossing frontiers
The Interchangeable Lenses
of the PROMINENT all belong to the new series of
Voigtlander high-class anastigmats.
These instructions for changing lenses - as well as the
sections on focusing, depth of field, etc. - apply only to the
standard 50 mm. lenses, i.e. the ULTRON f/2 and the
The TELOMAR f/5.5 telephoto lens and the ULTRAGON
f1:5.8 wide angle lens - both with reflex housing -are
supplied with special instruction booklets.
Changing the Lenses
The quick-change mount allows specially rapid changing of all lenses. To remove the lens, simply pull the catch of
the bayonet lock forward (left), turn the lens through about 45" to the left or right, and lilt out of the shutter. To insert
the lens, push it into the shutter and turn until the catch engages with a click. With the lens correctly in position, the
catch must be underneath the lens. When changing lenses, proceed gently; never use force!
Stops and Shutter Speeds
The aperture (or stop) off the iris diaphragm controls the amount of light falling on
the film, and thus the exposure. If also controls the depth of field (see p. 26).
The stated speed of the lens (e. g. f/2 with the ULTRON, f/1.5 on the NOKTON), is
always the largest lens aperture. Each successive setting on the aperture scale
approximately halves the light transmitted by the lens.
Therefore every aperture number requires double or half the exposure of the preceding or following aperture
respectively. For instance:
Aperture f/ 1.5 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16
Corresponding 1/500 1/250 1/100 1/50 1/25 1/10 1/5 1/2 sec.
Setting the Aperture
Turn the aperture ring until the selected stop is opposite the index line. The whole of the scale is clearly visible of a
glance from above.
Setting the Shutter Speeds
Turn the shutter speed ring until the selected speed is opposite the
index line on the lens mount. The figure 1 stands for 1 second, all
other figures are fractions of a second. The shutter can be set to any
intermediate speeds, except between 1/10 and 1/25, or between 1/250
and 1/500 second. All speeds other than 1/500 second can be set after
tensioning the shutter.
For time exposures over 1 second, set the shutter to B. Press the
release, and the shutter will stay open as long as the release is
Focusing with the Rangefinder
The combined view- and rangefinder is
coupled with the lens. On looking through
it, you will see a bright circle in the centre
of the view.
When the rangefinder is not correctly focused the subject appears as a double image within this circle. Turn the focusing knob of the rangefinder until the two images coincide. The lens is then accurately focused on the subject. Alternatively, set the distance by the scale on the focusing knob.
The Winding Knob does three jobs. Turning it through a full turn as far as it will go in the direction of the arrow tensions the shutter, advances the film by one frame, and also advances the film counter to the next number. Note: When the Compur shutter is set to 1/500 second, an additional tension spring comes into action, which makes the winding knob a little harder to turn. It is therefore advisable at this speed to tension the shutter directly with the tensioning lever. Push the lever to the left towards the red dot with your finger as far as it will go. But remember also to wind the winding knob through a full turn as far as it will go. You will feel a slight resistance while doing so.
Snapshots at f/8
These are easy even without the rangefinder. Simply use the two point settings on the focusing knob: Set to = 11 'feet, and everything between 8 1/4 and 16 1/2 feet will be sharp (see above).
Set to 0 = 33 feet, and everything will be sharp from 161/2 feet to infinity.
Instantaneous Exposures (webmaster: this is what they call shots without the need of a tripod)
When taking the picture, hold the camera as shown above. Press it
firmly against the face and tuck your arms well into the body, to
avoid any camera shake during the exposure. Keep the eye close
behind the eyepiece of the view- and rangefinder so that you can
see all four corners of the image at once.
Hold your breath while exposing, and gently press the release down
as far as if will go. Take care not to jerk it.
To make hand-held exposures at speeds slower than 1/25 second, e. g. 1/10, 1/5, 1/2, and possibly even 1 second, you need a very steady hand, or some support for the arms and body.
A useful trick to reduce the risk of camera shake with shots of static subjects, e. g. inferiors, is to use the self-timer which normally serves for taking pictures of yourself. Tension the shutter in the usual way, set the shutter speed, and start the self-timer as described on the next page. After about 10 seconds the shutter will release itself without any shake. But do not move the camera until you have heard the shutter close with an audible click.
Time Exposures over 1 Second
Set the shutter to B.
Preferably use a cable release with locking screw. The release
will screw into the socket behind the body release. The
camera must be firmly fixed for such shots; the best way is to
mount it on a tripod.
When the shutter is tensioned, the tensioning lever is next to the red dot. Pulling it further still as far as it will go, automatically brings a delay mechanism into action, which opens the shutter about 10 seconds after release. Note: Do not use the self-timer with the shutter set to B or to 1/500 second.
The Double Exposure Lock
This automatic device prevents double exposures and blank frames.
After the exposure, the release button is locked until the film is wound on; the film transport is then locked until the next time you press the release.
The Film Release
This is needed mainly when loading the camera or when changing partly exposed films. A short pressure releases
the film transport for one frame.
Continuous pressure releases the film transport while the pressure lasts.
Do not use the film release when rewinding the film.
The camera uses perforated miniature film available in daylight cassettes for 36 exposures 24 X 36 mm. With colour film the number of exposures varies with different makes. Avoid handling the film cassette in very bright light, preferably load and unload the camera in the shade - the shadow of your own body if necessary. The film indicator is provided to help your memory; choose a colour code for your films, and set the indicator straight after loading.
Opening the Camera Back
Press together both spring locks and open the hinged back.
When closing the camera again, make sure both locks engage
The Rewind Key
To pull up the rewind key when loading the camera, push the small button on top in the direction of the arrow, to make the handle spring up. Then pull out as far as it will go.
8. Rewind key
to rewind the film. The handle is open and the key pulled
23. Spool peg for the film cassette.
12. Rewind button
to release the film sprocket shaft when rewinding. 24. Film guides
13. Winding knob 25. Film transport shaft with two sprocket wheels which to tension the shutter and wind he film. have to engage into the perforations at both edges when
loading the film.
18. Film counter
26. Take-up spool
19. Film release
to release the film transport lock when loading films or changing partly exposed films.
Inserting the Cassette
The protruding spool knob of the
cassette must fit into the peg at the
bottom of the camera. Then push
back the rewind key - turning it
slightly if necessary, and fold
down the handle.
Turn the Take-up Spool
by the winding knob so that the longer of the two slots for the film points sideways. If the winding knob is locked, press the film release.
Thread the film end over the film guides and push well into the long slot of the take-up spool (arrow, centre picture). It is advisable to fold sharply the tapered film end by about 'h inch towards the emulsion side before in order to make sure the taking up.
Now close the camera back.
Turn the Winding Knob
until the full width of the film lies
over the transport shaft and both
sprockets engage in the
perforation. Pay attention that the
film is running exactly over the
slide guide and is winding well.
Setting the Film Counter
Turn the winding knob until it locks (if not already locked). Then pull if up, and turn the counting disc underneath to set the letter F opposite the index mark. Push the winding knob back again, turning if slightly, if necessary, so that it fits snugly on fop of the counting disc. Press the film release once, and turn the winding knob until it locks. Repeat this once more. The index mark now points to No. I and the film is ready for the first exposure.
Rewinding the exposed film
After the last exposure, lift up the handle of the rewind key,
but do not pull up the key itself. Then depress the rewind
button, and turn the rewind key evenly in the direction of
the arrow (right). During rewinding, the screw at the centre
of the film winding knob will also turn. It stops when the
film is fully rewound into its cartridge. Now release the
rewind button, pull up the rewind knob, open the camera,
and remove the cassette.
Partly exposed films
are easily changed at any time (e. g. black-and-white against colour). Rewind the partly exposed film as described, but make a note of the last number on the film counter.
When loading a partly exposed film, proceed in the usual way up to setting the film counter to No. 1. Then press the film release, and keep it pressed down while turning the winding knob until the film counter indicates the previously noted number. Now finish exposing the film in the normal way.
Synchronized Flash Shots
The SYNCHRO-COMPUR shutter makes if possible to
take action shots with flash as the fastest shutter speeds up
to 1/30th second. The flash can be employed either by
itself, or combined with daylight or any other light. It is
particularly useful for lighting up the shadow areas in
All makes of flash units - flash guns as well as electronic
flash - can be used with the Synchro-Compur shutter.
Connecting the flash unit to the camera:
First fix the camera to the bracket with a tripod screw (left). The flash unit should be to the left of the camera so as to allow free access to the body release and winding knob. Some light-weight flash guns can be fixed directly to the detachable accessory shoe (page 24).
Then connect the special synchronizing cable to the flash unit and push the plug over the contact of the shutter (right). Get an expert to fix the cable for the first time to make sure that the wires are correctly connected.
Setting the SYNCHRO-COMPUR:
The flash should reach its peak brightness just when the shutter is fully open. The synchronizing lever - and also shutter speed and aperture - must therefore be set to suit the type of flash in use.
Flash bulbs and electronic flash tubes differ in the time they take to reach their peak. They thus fall into several classes as shown in the table opposite. Set the synchronizing-lever either to "X" or "M", according to the flash used (see illustration). Then set the shutter speed according to the values shown in the table. Wind the shutter in the usual way, and the camera is ready for the flash shot. Look up the instruction leaflet enclosed with the flash bulbs or electronic equipment for the correct lens apertures needed.
Shots with the built-in delayed action release are only possible at the "X" setting and with the corresponding shutter speeds. The actual position of the synchronizing lever is immaterial as the "M" setting does not work when is you use the delayed action release.
the contact closes at the instant when the shutter is fully open.
The contact closes a short time - corresponding to the firing delay of class "M"
flash bulbs - before the shutter is fully open.
The outer pole of the flash contact is earthed to the shutter. To avoid wiring up the
leads the wrong way round, get an expert to connect the cable to the flash gun the
The flash contact will carry the firing current of all types of electronic flash tubes. When used with flashbulbs it will carry a temporary load up to 10 amps at 24 volts, thus allowing simultaneous firing of several bulbs connected in parallel. The longest permissible exposure time in this case is 1/10 second. Click here for flashbulb chart
Caution: The flash contact must not be used to fire bulbs from 110 or 220 volt electric mains.
Close-ups with Supplementary Lenses
Do not miss this highly interesting field of photography which so many amateurs seem to neglect. Large-scale pictures of flowers, butterflies and other animals, small "objets d'art", etc. can yield extraordinarily beautiful results. With the Voigtlander Focal lenses you can also copy without trouble pages from books, stamps, or small pictures. But be careful when using Focal lenses for portraiture as the pictures may easily show distorted perspective.
The Focal lenses shorten the focal length of the camera lens and thus allow the camera to approach the subject much closer, giving a larger image. Click here for focusing table