When you share you hobby with the world, the world starts to share with you. My beirette vsn was a gift from a friend who found it on a shelf and thought I might have fun with it. And of course he was right. The beirette vsn is my second camera from the DDR / East Germany. It’s a beautiful and quite small camera with full manual control. It came in mint condition (sadly I lost the small plastic part of the metal advance lever) with box, bag, manual and even the warranty letter. I love to use it with a flash, somehow the 45mm lens creates magical portraits. And it is great in low light situations as well. The first Beirette camera was produced in 1939 by Kamera-Fabrik Woldemar Beier which was renamed in 1972 to VEB Kamerafabrik Freital. The beirette vsn was produced from 1974 till 1989, my camera dates from 1983. Some sources quote production numbers of 1.8 million cameras.
About the camera: As the Beirette VSN is made from plastic and aluminium, it is quite light. The camera works fully manual and has no light meter. The camera is equipped with a hotshoe to attach a flash in low light condition as well a connector for a cable release under (!) the shutter release for use with the “B” setting. (I found this out while reading the manual for the first time when I prepared myself for this post.)
Taking pictures: Again: The camera works fully manual. Choose your desired f-stop between 2.8 and 22 and calculate the correct shutter speed (1/125, 1/60, 1/30 and B). If you use 100-200 ISO film, you might also just use the weather symbols. Then guess the right distance (0.55 till eternity) and shoot. The available depth of field is shown on the front of the lens.The mirrored viewfinder helps for shooting self portraits. In low light situations, attach a flash and set to 1/30.
|Year built||1983 (model built from 1974 – 1989)|
|Lens||Meritar 1:2,8 / 45 mm|
|Manufactured by||VEB Kamerafabrik Freital|
|Date of purchase||04.2012|
|Price||Gift, original price 95,- Mark (Ost)|
|Place of purchase||Aimaq von Lobenstein|
Tips&Tricks: With the “weather symbols” you change the f-stops (2.8 – 22) and with the ISO setting you change the speed (1/125, 1/60, 1/30 and B), so I suggest to write down the film speed on a small paper and store it in the hot shoe. To calculate the right exposure, I suggest to use a paper calculator.
Film purchase & processing: Standard 135 film, I prefer 200 ISO. Films can be developed everywhere.
http://www.lomography.de/magazine/reviews/2012/09/14/beier-beirette-vsn-die-vergessene (review in German)
My pictures on Flickr