Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/04

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Subject: Re: Viso?
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 19:13:24 -0500 (EST)

Thomas, The Viso was the Leitz answer to that newfangled device called a
Single Lens Reflex Camera, they were very early with it, pre-war they made
the PLOOT ( it somewhat looks like it sounds,) later they made the Viso 1 for
screw mount cameras, the Viso 2 followed in several incarnations (screw
mount, bayonet and some in special fittings.) The Viso 3 is the one to go
for. Viso 2 and earlier had a non return mirror, on the Viso 3 you can select
the return mirror, slow rising mirror (no shake) and the mirror lock up. It
is not only a close up device but also allows you to use longer lenses 200/4
/280/4,8/400/560/6,8 on your M. It is a bit of a lump to use, and metering
with the M6 is clumsy to say the least ( frame,pop the mirror up and read the
exposure, mirror down for exposure ). There are 2 different finders for the
Viso, one is a 90 degree prism finder and the other is a "chimney" type
 There are adapters galore  for adapting different lensheads and close up
devices. There were some lenses made in what is known as " short mount"
versions, 65/3,5,
 the 90/2 and the 125/2,5 that were dedicated Viso lenses.
 If you can get a good Viso 3 with the 90 degree finder and/or the chimney
finder it is not a bad accessory. It does thake some time to get used to and
it is not for fast shooting, although at the Le Mans 24 hour race in France I
once saw a guy shooting the race with 5 M cameras, all with Viso's on them (
lenses from 65 to 280), I first thought that he was quite old and bent over,
but he was in fact only stooped because of the weight of the cameras!
 For close up work it is a good system and with the bellows  for the M you
can do stuff like using enlarging lenses for makrowork. Mind you, the Viso,
Bellows and adapters need a good solid tripod to hold it.
 If you are using the Viso for close up work, remember that the math for
exposure compensation on a non-M6 gets rather hairy at times!
Tom A