Ninety Years Old and Still Going Strong

My first roll with the 1933 Voigtlander Brilliant


sonny rosenberg

3/3/20231 min read

This came out better than hoped for! I really didn't have much confidence at all in my lens cleaning job, I pretty much assumed that I'd reinstalled something backwards or made some other egregious error, but the lens seems good! The close shot of the tree bark is pretty soft, but other than that the lens seems quite good.

There are a couple light leaks, but I'm thinking that happened when taking the film out of the camera. It didn't pop out as easily as expected. I think I'll make a little device to hook the roll and pull it out without a lot of fuss, maybe just a bent butter knife?

A couple of the shots were a bit overexposed, two were overexposed enough that I didn't bother scanning them. I'll have to keep better track of which shutter speeds I employ on which shots. I wouln't be shocked if the 1/50th was hanging up a little. I'm not quite ready to tackle working on the shutter, but soon I will be.

This was a roll of Ilford Pan F+ shot at box speed and developed in some expended 1:19 Adox FX-39II.

I'm looking forward to taking the Brilliant out again soon. As I somewhat expected I really love it's 3 setting zone focus system (landscapes, groups and portraits) I'm not too big on focusing, I guess that makes me a crappy photographer. I can live with that. The finder was super bright even in daylight and really fun to use. Someday I'll replace the mirror, but I'm in no particular hurry to do that.

I can't believe I don't have any RPX-25 on hand, I'll order some, and assuming that the slower speeds are off, it will allow me to test this lens shooting it wide open (f/6.3). I'd also like to try some Agfa Copex with the Brilliant. So here they are, nothing amazing, but not bad for a 90 year old camera where the only maintenace done was to clean the lens!

This little pseudo TLR has been such a pleasant surprise! From it's super quick arrival from South Africa, to it's much better than expected condition. It's been pure joy. I'm looking forward to trying some of my favorite films in it!