Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Red Robin, Sep 1, 2011.
Anyone own and use Bessa's ? FYI there IS a Volk. group here
I've got a Bessa R and the 35mm f/2.5 Color Skopar. It hasn't seen too much use recently, but I'm carrying it more and more, since I carry a camera everywhere I go and it's light and handy and does good work.
With best regards,
I've gotten quite a bit of use out of a Bessa-R, but I'm not shooting much 35mm lately. When I travelled a lot for work it was a nigh-perfect camera to pack along. It's not Leica construction or "haptics", obviously, but it's hard to beat in terms of bang for the buck!
Bessa R and Summitar. It replaced my Leica IIIc when it broke. 1/3 the cost of repairing the Leica, and it's a better camera, so the IIIc may never be used again.
My Bessa is an R3M. Together with a 40 mm S.C. Nokton, 15 mm Heliar and a 90 mm Leica Summarit (my only piece of Leica equipment) it makes for a great kit. When not shooting MF, this is the set that gets the most use.
I'm still trying to figure out what the Volk. group you mention is, though...
I have Bessa L (silver), T (grey anniversary version) and R2A (grey). I never use the L (bought on flebay for the 15mm lens that was with it). My favorite is the "T", a wonderfull but for sure specific camera. And the build quality (metal dials and lever-base) of that version is great.
The R2A is a nice camera too, I use it regularly but it's my wife's camera ;-)
Lenses used are VC 15/4.5 (funny and lovely), 25/4 (most used, on the T off course), 35/1.7 (stay on the R2A as normal lens), and 90/3.5 (good lens used on both T and R2A). Also have Leica Elmar 50/3.5 (quite never used, aperture selection on front too hard to use) and a Summitar 50/2 (nice lens, and unique look with eom hood ;-)
The beautifull Leica IIIF, wonderfull piece of mechanical technology, stays at home beause it's a pain in the a.. to load :-|
bessa r2m here, with 35/2.5 and 50/2.5 color skopars. the 35 lives on my r2m. the 50 lives on my iiif. i've got an m-mount elmar 90/4 that gets occasional use on the r2m.
I use an older Bessa II 6x9 120mm film camera
Bessa R2A- great camera, focuses well even up close with large aperture 50mm's.
Makes a very compact package with the short-nose eveready case (GET IT!). The 50mm Sonnar and the 35mm f/2.8 Biogon both fit with that case on.
About the lenses: actually a bit disappointed with what they do on b&w film. They are not the manual focus versions of the Contax G lenses that I had hoped them to be. Tonality, shadow detail- just not up there. They're probably optimized for digital colour, if such a design consideration can be put into practice at all.
I once tried a 50mm Summicron and quickly found out that tab focusing is not for me.
I would not trade my Bessa for a Leica M7 or for the Zeiss Ikon. But then I have never used (or even held) one of those so what do I know?
I've been quite happy with the 21/4 and reasonably happy with the 75/2.5, but haven't had the opportunity to play with others, though I've seen results I liked from other people. I'm curious which lenses have been problematic for you.
It doesn't seem like the screwmount lenses, at least, would make sense to optimize for d*g*t*l---of course there will be users who put them in an M adapter on an M9, or on a micro-4/3 camera, but surely the vast majority of screwmount lenses live out their days on film bodies?
I have accumulated a lot of CV lenseswhich I use on my Bessa R and also on my M2. The R does feel a bit plasticky but works really well, especially the meter, and for the price who cares about a bit of plastic!
The lenses that I have are the 15mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm Ultron and Nokton, 50mm Nokton, 75mm and the 90mm. Yes, I know that I need to thin them out, but which ones!? Most used are the 35mm Nokton and the 75mm Heliar, but hey, they are all great lenses, especially for the price.
Perhaps this calls for a separate thread, but anyway, the Zeiss/CV lenses that I've tried (50 Sonnar, 35 2.8 Biogon, CV 21mm) are a step backwards for those who appreciate b&w tonality and shadow detail over high contrast and punchy colours. This is in comparison to the Contax G line and the Contax T2.
I won't even try to begin substantiate the above claims
Still love my R2A.
'Tain't my experience of the CV 21/4, but I'm happy to differ as reasonable people. The others I haven't tried in screwmount (I have a Soviet Biogon copy, but it's nothing to write home about).
But then, I like focussing tabs too, so what do I know?
Bessa R3 here with a nokton 40mm sc which i am quite happy.
Good to see that we are in the place
I love shooting with my 3 Baby Bessas - 1930s, 40s and 50s. The action of the one from the 40s is my favorite; the lens from the 50s. And the bellows from the 50s which don't yet have any light leaks
R4A and 25mm Zeiss. Really nice combo - no external finder!
Contax G-2 Kit, with a Bessa L Ultra Wide Kit; The Best of Both Worlds !
Here's the kit that I finally was able to put together.
I find that I prefer this to my SLR kit.
First I started off with a Black Contax G-2, with the
following Black lenses:
21 mm f 2.8 Biogon,
28 mm f 2.8 Biogon,
45 mm f 2.0 Planar,
90 mm f 2.8 Sonnar.
About the lenses: I'm not disappointed one bit with what they
do on b&w or colour film. They are everything I had hoped these
versions of the Contax G lenses would be. Tonality, shadow detail
& sharpness are way up there. The T* Coating is probably optimized
for colour, but seems to work well in B&W, as well.
I find that there is something VERY SPECIAL
about the Biogon lens design.
The 28 mm has a " stretch ", that makes it look like
a 24 mm SLR lens, but without the distortion &
The 21 mm has no " discernible " distortion at all.
I mention this here as a prelude because to augment,
this system I've added a Black Bessa L, ( labeled
Cosina 107 SW ), with the following Black lenses:
The 12 mm f 5.6 &
The 15 mm f 4.5 lenses.
Both of these appear to be Biogon designs as well.
While they don't have T* coatings, they are both
Apochromatic, so I know they are similar in sharpness.
With the Contax G-2 being AF & the Bessa L lenses
being Hyperfocal Focus, focusing is NOT an issue, not
like it was on my Old Minolta CLE w a 90 mm f 2.8
Summicron, the focusing window was so small, it
was difficult to focus at all & impossible to do fast.
I may add a Titanium G-2 with a 35 - 70 mm lens to
all of this someday.
Just in case you were wondering, I use a Sunpak 120 J
TTL & a Quantum X2 along with Stroboframe & Newton
Flash brackets for lighting, with these cameras.
Finally, the key to all of this is to build the kit slowly,
when the prices are right. Don't run out & spend top
dollar on this equipment, this is after all an investment,
not just photographically, but monetarily as well.
CORRECTION: Leica Lens Name.
My Mistake, My Bad, my Leica 90 mm f 2.8 was a
Tele-Elmarit, not a Summicron.
The Summicron would have been an f 2.0 lens.
Which I tired once & found that it was way too
heavy for the light weight Minolta body.
P.S. The lens was impossible to focus sharply at
f 2.8. Leica says that the body was designed to
use an f 4.0 lens. I think that because of the
" Compact " size, the distance between the range-
finder windows was not wide enough.
It took me awhile to figure this out, but I figured
that the lens would be sharper 1 stop closed down
The Contax having a similar focus window distance
but being AF, does not suffer from this problem &
I've shot many images wide open at f 2.8, with NO Problems.
Bessa R and elmar 50 or summaron 35 or jupiter 8 or industar 61 or elmar 135mm!
Bessa R & Bessa L shooter here. Using the R more, finally begining to come into one with it.
Speaking of the CV Bessa cameras, I have each of the first four models! I use the Bessa-L (silver) with a SW Heliar 15/4.5, the Bessa-R (silver) with a Color-Skopar 35/2.5 and the Bessa R2 (olive) with a CZ Biogon 35/2. The R and R2 get the most use, while the L is more of a special purpose set. I have yet to use the Bessa-T (black).
I have Bessa-T and have Jupiter 8 with it.
I had a used Bessa R3, but the shutter jammed twice. Bought a Leica M6. I like the CV lenses. I might try another Bessa R when one comes available used.
More or less.. in the same boat as Jorj and Randy6.
An old school 1950, Voigtländer Bessa I 6x9/4.5x6 & Voigtländer Color-Skopar 1:3,5 / 105.
Bessa-L and a Bessa-T - the L has a problem with the film advance which is a real pity, it's a very nice little camera especially with the ultrawide lenses it's made for. I use 15 and 21mm on that, and mostly a Jupiter-9 85/2 lens on the T.
Oh - and a "real" Bessa, a folding 6x9 one.
Separate names with a comma.