Resurrected Voightländer Prominent

While my grandfather was stationed in Paris in the ’50s, he bought this camera outfit in Germany and gave it to my mom for her birthday. For as long as I can remember this camera hasn’t worked. As a little boy, I was blamed for breaking it. I took it apart in my late 20s and found a small lever responsible for operating the outer leaf shutter had broken. A small land for a very fine spring had broken off the lever rendering the spring incapable of doing its job. I stowed the camera with the intent of repairing it.

Prominent camera outfit

Fast forward, gulp, 20+ years. A needed a new source of analog photographic inspiration and set about fixing this jewel of a camera. I located another body in very poor condition on eBay for $40. Its shutter worked perfectly and would make a suitable parts donor. I performed the lever transplant, cleaned and lubricated the shutter timing works and shutter leaves and now I’ve got this crazy cool camera working.

Prominent w/ 50mm Nokton lens, yellow filter and hood

The case has all these really whacky accessories. Its got the 35mm Skoparon wide-angle lens, the highly desirable 50mm Nokton lens and the 100mm Dynaron telephoto lens. It also has the Proximeter I & II close-up lenses, a UV filter, a Yellow 2 filter, a lens hood along with the accessory shoe-mounted Turnit 3 and Kontur viewfinder aids.

Its a camera that was sold to compete with Leica and the lenses are known for their high quality optics. It has unusual controls and ergonomics along with a significant heft, which earned it some reviewer scorn. The weirdness of it coupled with its German roots has me smitten.

Spring in the Central Coast

This is the time of year when where I live is beyond amazingly beautiful. If this part of CA received rain throughout the year it would be a stunning place to be year-round. The hills are green like Scotland and, with how little development there is here, one can get a sense of what other parts of CA must have been like before suburbia.

It figures it would start with this

1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Campmobile on The Mojave Road

I’ve got this obsession with my Volkswagen. It has been this ever-evolving contraption that I’ve poured crazy amounts of dollars and labor into. As it stands today, it is an extremely capable Earth exploration machine and I think of it as my escape pod. As soon as it is pulled back into the drive, I’m immediately thinking, “When can it leave again?” Placing it in some incredibly beautiful remote place and establishing a temporary home there is the closest thing to bliss that I can think of.