This is my first post on this camera forum. I have an old broken camera and I did a search for informatin on it and I found a thread on this forum that seemed to have knowledgeable people in it. I see one of the guys that posted in that 2008 thread has since passed away, a Peter W who seemed to have quite a lot of information.
Anyway I recently got this little Voigtlander out of a desk upstairs in a spare room it had been sitting in apart for the last dozen or more years. I got interested in medium format cameras and although it is sort of one of the smaller ones it has the advantage of being here. Unfortunately it was apart for a reason, some linkage that helps work the film counter and maybe some other things looks to have been bent in use, or poortly repaired in the past. I was hoping that someone else that has a parts camera, or someone with experience servicing this model might be able to furnish me with how these parts looked when they were new so I can adjust, repair or make new parts to get this thing working again. Aside from this mechanical problem the camera is in good enough shape to warrant it's rescue. From Peter Ws notes it looks like it is from the early 1940s maybe. Thanks in advance!
Not exaclty an expert on the Bessa 66 but, from the shots it looks as if the body shutter release mechanism is partly disassembled. The release may be set to only work when the film is transported forward, (usual on most folders), the actual film frame count is dependant on the red window on the back doing the actual spacing and counting.
Some, and I don't think the Bessa 66 was one, do the frame spacing, but usually have a counter somewhere on the body, like Rollei.
The sometimes horrendous looking linkages between the shutter and the body are merely complex due to the folding action of the lens plate, and it might need another working example to compare the action with and get the placement of the parts in the correct collapsing form.
If found with the bellows disconnected, this might be the reason, a light leak and the bellows needs attention. But the camera looks in reasonable condition, and it might have been a jam that caused it to be put aside.
First check the shutter fires and cocks on it's own, and the lens is in reasonable condition. Check the wind on and transport is working, then try to figure out the release operation, with the camera open, and see what happens to the parts, as it starts to collapse.
Then it may be down to borrowing or buying another to see if bits are missing and where things go. If the second camera is complete, but tatty, or clapped out, in other ways, use it as the source of spares for the repair.
Hope this helps, any Bessa owners with an example that can be photographed? They are nice cameras, the lens is good for it's vintage.
Thats a Bessa 66 Deluxe. A very early model from about 1930 - 1931. Only these models have the attached filter. McKeowns gives it a value of $30 to $40 in average condition. And this is borne out by ebay sales - not to be compared with the Baby 66 version.
Its probably not worth paying for a restoration unless it has sentimental value. But the lens if you want to, can be mounted on a bellows and used on a digital camera. I Have a Voigtar from an old Bessa and it's a lovely portrait lens.
How? (If the lens is completely detached) I got an M42 T mount and glued a piece of plastic across the female end and made a hole in it just big enough for the back of the lens to poke through. The retaining ring holds it firmly in place. open the shutter on T and focus using the bellows. This is completely reversible and will only damage the T mount.