Improve the old or get new? Buying help needed.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Robert Kennedy, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    So I have a quandry....

    I want to do more street photography and I love doing low-light street work.

    To this end, it seems I have two choices.

    1 - Get a Voigtlander Bessa R2 with a fast 50mm lens. I have a nice, small RF camera, that takes Leica lenses. My first. It would run my about $800-1000ish to get the lens and body depending.

    2 - Upgrade my N80 SLR. I can get the new 24-120 VR lens. This, while a slow lens, does give you an extra 3 stops which could be great in low light. Plus it is a moderate zoom so I can get reach. It isn't a fabulous lens, like anything the R2 would have, but I do get zoom and I am going to be shooting some fast film anyway. Plus I could use the extra cash to get a 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 which I do not have for that camera and could use too. I figure that will run aroun $600-$1,000 depending.

    What to do? FOllow the new RF route....or just improve my existing system?
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    You know I dont do 35mm so my advice might be worthless, but I would go with the RF. You will have an un obtrusive small camera. I think it would also be safer, lets face it a small camera might not be as much temptation to thiefs than a full slr, even if it is more expensive....:smile:
     
  3. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I also suggest go with the range finder. About 90% of my street shots are with an Leica M2 and Canon 35/2 lens. You can pick up a user M2 usually for under $600.

    The other 10% I use an N80 but with a Nikkor 28/2.8. You don't usually want a zoom lens for street work. I picked up the 28 on ebay for a little over $100. The N80 with the 28 would be a small package by SLR standards. Just a thought.
     
  4. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    take a look at nyclondon.com. (the British B&W magazine has it as the photoblog of the month btw). all of rob's street work in nyc was done with a leica m6 or a plaubel-makina 6x7 rangefinder camera. the photographs are suberb and he's been able to be very direct in his images. in the current climate, it seems extremely prudent to be as unobtrusive as possble. good luck.

    (there's a new film about to be released called "Paparazzi" which exploits the absolute worst possible sins of an already disreputable endeavor. it's going to make it even tougher for the average street shooter to be regarded as a harmless chronicler of quotidian subjects than ever. maybe you should consider just getting an 8x10 and shooting waterfalls ;-)
     
  5. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    I have an F80 with Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and 28-105mm and love the system. If you go that route I would recommend those lenses wholeheartedly. The 28-105 is a really lovely zoom to use and the 50mm is a diamond-cutter!

    However, for street photography it is less than ideal. Even with the little 50mm on it, if you wave an SLR around people notice you. I don't have a rangefinder myself but, for this application, I think it's the way to go.
     
  6. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    So the....if I go with the R2, which lens? The 35/2.5 Color Skopar Pancake II, the 35/2.5 Color Skopar "C", the 35/1.7 Ultron (a push BTW), or the 50/2.5 Color Skopar or the 50/1.5 Nokton? I am used to working with fast 50mm lenses on my Nikons, but I hear that 35/2.X is "the RF 50/1.4"