Bessa R3a

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Andy K, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Bessa R3a or R3m?

    I'm contemplating buying an R3a or R3m. I'm leaning more to the R3m as it is all manual. Any recommendations as to which two lenses to buy with it? I have a budget of about £1000 (including buying the camera body). I like the look of the 40mm Nokton or maybe the 50mm Heliar f2 collapsible...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2006
  2. Frank-G

    Frank-G Inactive

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    I have 2 Bessa R3A cameras and I just bought a new Nokton. The R3A is a great camera---trouble free---but I prefer using a 50mm instead of a 40mm. The 40mm frame-lines are difficult to see. The R3M has interested me but I prefer an auto shutter to make quicker shots. However, a Leica makes a better fondling tool because they're heavier and cost more. :D
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have both the R3a and an R3M. I like both cameras, but find that I prefer the finder and light meter on the R3M - also, I believe that the R3M shutter is a bit quieter than the R3a shutter.

    I bought the R3M with the collapsible 50/2.0 Heliar - a very nice lens.

    I also have 2 M3 Leicas (and they are great for admiring and fondling) but my current 35mm RF picture taking is with my Bessa T, my R3a and my R3M.
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The Heliar is a nice lens. If you go that route, you could also think about getting a 35mm Skopar or pancake. Another excellent, reasonably fast lens. If you throw caution to the wind, you could also forego the two lens thing and get a 35/1.2 Nokton. That thing shines.
     
  5. ScottH

    ScottH Member

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    Sounds like your already set on the CV, but before you pull the trigger on an all manual, you may want to consider the Canon P. Built like a Leica (M3) without the price tag. Framelines are 35 ,50, 100. Well within yur budget w/ a CLA and very nice lens. Here's a lnk:

    http://www.cameraquest.com/canonp.htm

    Canya tell I like mine?? Enjoy the shopping.
     
  6. Frank-G

    Frank-G Inactive

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    Hmmm, so you like your R3M better, eh? Let me think.... Yes! I have the room on muy CC. Shhh. Don't tell the wife. :wink:

    This means I should sell off one of my other cameras. But which one?
     
  7. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    R3M Special Kit (with Heliar 50mm f2 collapsible) in Piano Black,
    + 90mm Apo Lanthar (black),
    + screw to M adapter,
    + side grip,
    + Kenko rangefinder polariser kit,
    + camera case,

    ordered last week. Should arrive tomorrow morning. :smile:
     
  8. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    My R3M & Heliar kit arrived a couple weeks ago. I really like it quite a bit. It's an amazing combo. I've just run one roll of C41 color through it. The results are super. I think I'm going to love the Heliar. I've been pondering the 90 Lanthar as well. Please let me know how you like it.
     
  9. mercedes_sl1970

    mercedes_sl1970 Member

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    Haven't tried the R3M, but my R3A is an absolute delight. As I understand, the batteries will last a long time (can get them anywhere) and you also get the benefit of aperture priority and manual operation in one camera. I started with the 40/1.4 and now also have a 50/1.5 and the 21/4 (and the 90...). Apart from the fact that they are all very sharp, contrasty, etc, they each have their charms - I prefer the 40 to a 35 and the framelines are fine (just need to centre your eye), the 50 is superb and the 21 gives that extra-wide view without getting too wide. As Frank G said above, you do get the benefit of getting faster shots with the R3A. But then maybe I am a bit slow with a manual camera. Good luck with your choice.

    Andrew
     
  10. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Well, did it arrive yet? How is it???? :confused:
     
  11. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Time to revive an old thread... You've had almost a year to "play" with it... What's it like?

    Let me start at the beginning. I bought this month's B&W Photography, and it looks like this issue could become quite an expensive one for me: the review of the R3M by Roger and Frances really makes me want to go out and buy one :surprised: . (Well, "stay at home and order one on the Internet", rather.)

    Problem is, I can and have read a lot about it on the internet, but there's nothing like trying it yourself. Still, I wouldn't know any shop in my country that has one "just to feel and try it". So, second best: any comments from real users on APUG... would be most welcome! :wink:

    As I see it now, I would choose the R3M -> M over A anytime, no doubt about it. R3 sounds nicer than the R2 or R4 because of the 1:1 viewfinder. R4 with the wide angle possibilities sounds nice, but then again: I think I would sooner buy a 90mm than a 40, 35, 28 or less. And the price of the 250 y set is... well... not cheap, but a rather good price for a new & complete "starter kit".

    Any thoughts are welcome.
     
  12. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    I ended up selling my R3M because I just could not get used to the tiny RF patch in the viewfinder. It seemed very picky about how I lined my eye up, and was very hard to see sometimes. I was thrilled with every other aspect of the camera though, but could not get the focusing to feel right. I don't know if others have the same problem or not.
     
  13. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Thanks for your reaction. I'll take that as a "largely positive", although the issue you had is really an important one. But perhaps a personal one as well. FWIW, I don't wear glasses (I read about the 40mm line being less visible for people with glasses).
     
  14. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Well, I had to send mine back when it arrived. The framelines were out of alignment with the camera resulting in tilted horizons in every shot. But thanks to sterling service from Robert White all was sorted and I now have a perfect R3M.
    Personally I like it. The RF patch looks ok to me and is no different in size to the patch in my Zorki.
    The collapsible Heliar is a lovely lens as is the Apo Lanthar 90mm. The only fault I can find is with the Apo Lanthar. The black paint is really cheap and mine is already showing brass.

    Oh, one other thing, the lenses are not marked for Infrared, so you have to guess at focus.
     
  15. f1.4

    f1.4 Member

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    With the Ms, just like the M6 you may occationally loose a "magic moment" in the street while you fumble with changing the exposure.
    Current setup is R2A/35mm, R3A/50mm and R4A/21mm. All set on aperture priority. Batteries seem to last "forever". Have not changed any of them yet.
    Extremely nice cameras. Automatic exposure is very good.
    Use them "manually" like RxMs sometimes when I feel like it. Best of both worlds.
    Guess choosing M or A this is a pure question of personal preference.
     
  16. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Yes and no. I chose the R3M over the R3A because I wanted a camera that was not battery dependent.
     
  17. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    I seem to recall reading about this in another thread or even on another site(??). Well... then I just hope that other R3Ms in stock at Robert White are OK now :wink: .

    I would just start with the 50mm Heliar and take it from there. Not marked for infrared? Thanks for pointing that out, but it's not a big issue: I'll just shoot infrared with another camera :D .
     
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  18. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Well, I thought I'd already chosen, but you make me think...

    Two questions come to mind:

    - When using an RxA in M-mode, do they still require batteries for the shutter? If they don't, then I don't see a reason for an M-model.

    - Looking at the various photos and going through the various descriptions of "M" versus "A", it seems to me that the "A" has a lock on the shutter release button, whereas the "M" doesn't. Is that just me interpreting the product photos incorrectly? I mean, it sounds like a good feature for any model...
     
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The A models have an electronic shutter. The M models do not.
     
  20. f1.4

    f1.4 Member

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    The A models have a lock on the shutter release.
    Nice feature since it prevents the battery from running out if you carry the camera in a tight bag with winder advanced so that a partly depressed release knob will leave the exopsure meter on all the time.
    (This happened to me quite a few times with the M6. After travelling the battery would be dead. The only way to avoid it was to sacrifice a frame on the film by pressing the shutter button if you had operated the winder without finding a picture to shoot before putting the vamera back in the bag.)
    To have the utmost "readiness" I carry the RxAs with the winder anvanced so that to shoot I just have to lift the camera to the eye and open the lock on its way up to the eye.
     
  21. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    Sounds like a nice feature for the M models as well, but for some reason it's not present on these. Strange...

    Maybe that's why it isn't on the M models: readiness is "lower" anyway, because you have to dial in the correct exposure first. So, you might as well wait with film transport until you are about to take the next picture. Sounds more-or-less logical. Still, a shutter release lock would have been a nice extra.
     
  22. kraker

    kraker Subscriber

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    So... although I'm happy with my "new" Rollei 35 SE for now, I'm still very much interested in getting a Bessa R3M. Any other experiences, good or bad, from anybody?

    For example, how does it compare in size and weight with... let's say... a Canon EOS 33? Or... not really a fair comparision... a Rollei 35 SE? (Yes, it *will* be lighter than my Mamiya C3, no doubt... :D )
     
  23. Donald Boyd

    Donald Boyd Member

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    The Bessa R3A is not bad. I wish they had a chrome version, though.