Voigtländer was founded by Johann Christoph Voigtländer in Vienna in 1756 and is the oldest camera name production. They manufactured the Petzval photographic lens: f3.7 (the fastest lens at that time in 1840, and the first all-metal daguerrotype camera (Ganzmetallkamera) in the world in 1841, also introducing the plate cameras shortly after that. They opened a branch office in Braunschweig in 1849, subsequently moving its headquarters there. The company issued their first stock by 1898, and a majority of the shares were purchased by Schering by 1925. Over the next three decades,
Voigtländer was a technology leader and the first manufacturer to usher in several new kinds of products that became commonplace later. These inovations included the first 35mm zoom lens, the 36–82/2.8 Zoomar in 1960 and the first 35mm compact camera containing built-in electronic flash, the Vitrona in 1965.
Schering sold its share of the stock to the Carl Zeiss Foundation in 1956. Zeiss and Voigtländer subsequently combined in 1965.
In 1972 Zeiss/Voigtländer stopped making cameras, and a year later Zeiss sold the Voigtländer brand name to Rollei. When Rollei went defunct in 1982, Plusfoto took over the name, later selling the brand to Ringfoto in 1997.
Since 1999, Voigtländer-brand products have been manufactured and marketed by Cosina now known as Cosina Voigtländer.
The Voigtlander Bessa Line of Cameras
weigh very little, and are understated rangefinder 35mm film cameras that are
perfect for hand holding in poor lighting environments. These
feature a shorter distance in between the film plane and the camera lens mount
SLR cameras, which
allows for an inherently sharper lens. Oh!, did I mention, they are small?