The Bessa folders were part of a range of Bessa cameras produced in Germany by Voigtländer over a long period. Voigtländer is rather famous for re-using and recycling trademarks and camera names. For instance there are various "Bessa" models out there that are in no way similar to the pre-war Bessa.
The Bessa was the first production model of the Bessa line. Produced between 1929-1956 by Voigtländer, the Bessa is a medium format folder that uses 120 Film to produce 6×9cm photographs. It is the best known and the most sold of all the Voigtlander cameras, with estimations as high as 575,000 cameras made. It was the first self-erecting camera offered by Voigtländer. The Bessa was produced with four different lens types: Voigtar, Vaskar, Skopar, and the Color Skopar. Also there were three shutter options: Prontor, Compur, and Compur Rapid. Identifying which options are present in the camera is usually done by inspecting the inner lens ring, and the outer lens ring, or by year of production.
Bessa Production variations by year
1929-1949. Self-erecting rollfilm camera. Similar to the "Rollfilm". There were many sizes and modifications. All models are priced about the same.
There is an eye level sports finder located in the top of the camera (the top when held horizontally), folded under a metal hood in some models. In some models, the front frame of the finder has a negative lens. Bessa's produced after 1930 also have a brilliant finder. Voigtländer offered a few accessories or optional equipment for the Bessa line. A simple cable release, brilliant-finder magnifier and a "Alpha" Yellow filter.
|Name||Voigtländer Bessa - Voigtar f7.7 lens|
|Manufacturer||Voigtländer & Sohn AG, Braunschweig|
|Type||120 FilmSelf-erecting rollfilm camera|
|Picture Size||6x9 cm|
|Normal Lens||Voigtar f7.7 lens|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Production Period||1930 - 1956|