Voigtländer VSL 1
For many years the workhorse in my camera collection, the VSL 1 is a very close relative of my Contarex.

Very few things can claim to have so many prominent parents. Before being produced by Rollei in Singapore for sale as the Voigtländer VSL 1, this design had started its carreer as the Zeiss-Ikon SL 706, in 1971, only months before the end of all Zeiss camera production.

Introduced as a last-ditch attempt by Zeiss to catch up with at least some of the advance of the Japanese at a time when even Pentax had abandoned the old-fashioned M42 thread mount, it was given an additional mechanical device to transfer the information on the iris stop set at the lens to the camera body and thus allow for open-aperture metering at least with the selection of lenses specially made by Voigtländer. My VSL1 came fitted with a 1.8/50 mm Color Ultron of very decent quality. All other M42 lenses can be used with conventional stop-down metering.

The remaining specs are rather unspectacular but typical for the era: an all manual mechanical SLR with a cloth shutter, built-in TTL meter and a self-timer. In an old Zeiss tradition, the meter has an additional indicator, on the top plate of the camera. A built-in shutter mechanism for the viewfinder window bears further witness to its noble heritage.

A few years ago, the interlock between transport and shutter release has broken and I've used Pentax cameras until my recent 'conversion' to the Contarex and, in a way, back to Zeiss-Ikon.