New Voigtlander Bessa's R2M and R3M

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by alien, May 15, 2006.

  1. alien

    alien Member

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    Maybe this is new to you all....

    Did anyone see the Robert White announcement of the new Bessa's? Fully manual R2 and R3's - nice!

    See
    http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/voigtlander.htm#250SEkit

    for more details!

    Here is a quote from the website:

    The latest additions to the Voigtländer range are their 250th anniversary R2M and R3M "Special Kits"; both models will be available in "Piano Black" and "Brilliant Silver" kit form with a matching 50mm F2.0 Heliar Classic (collapsible) lens. Production quantity of anniversary kit is limited to a total 2500 units, which will be
    allocated as follows: Bessa-R2M w/Heliar Silver 300 units, Black 700 units; Bessa-R3M w/Heliar Silver 500 units, Black 1000 units.


    Well, I would like an R3M, thats for sure....

    Ansgar
     
  2. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    So is Cosina's Bessa becoming rather a clone of Leica M3? Gee, I never thought about that. :D
     
  3. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    get an R3A, it is the same but cheapr..
    no "Special Edition"
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Ya think?
    I own a Bessa/Cosina T, (a manual camera with manual TTL metering and a Leica M lens mount).

    A Bessa/Cosina R3A (an automatic exposure camera with Leica M lens mount).

    A Single Stroke Leica M3 (strictly manual).

    The Bessa/Cosina R3M and R2m are manual cameras with Leica M lens mount.
     
  5. alien

    alien Member

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    no, R3A is not the same - R3M is fully manual and mechanical.

    Ansgar
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    To be more specific, the Bessa R3A has an electronic shutter with aperture priority auto or LED indicated manual exposure. The shutter requires batteries. The R3M is a mechanical, battery independent shutter with manual metering. The R3M is also shipped with a new design special edition 50mm f:2 "collapsible" Heliar lens, not available elsewhere. Both R3? bodies have 1:1 finders. The Bessa R2A and R2M bodies have lower magnification finders.

    And just for the record, neither of these Bessa R3? cameras shares any lineage whatsoever with the Leica R3. :smile:

    http://cameraquest.com/voigt_250.htm has more details.

    I've had a Bessa R3A since the first shipment to the US, and it's become my favorite 35mm rangefinder body for all around use. I love the 1:1 finder. I'm also very fond of the Bessa T.

    Lee
     
  7. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Don't take what I write so seriously on this thread. I was just pointing out that the certain characteristics of the Bessa cameras seem to assemble one good Leica M3 body with a collapsible lens.

    I just hope Cosina or whoever has high production skills with sufficient funds will introduce new cameras in a much slower cycle. Just like producing good albums/CDs and/or films(movies), they probably need more time to refine their products before hitting the market, so their audience will be more appreciative.
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Sorry if I didn't put in enough indicators that I was replying in the same spirit as you had posted. I took your comments a lot less seriously than appears to have come across. Maybe I need to use more smilies.
    I was extending your R3M - M3 analogy ad absurdum, as a joke. The Leica R3 vs Bessa R3(A/M) comment was completely "tongue in cheek", playing on the nearly identical model numbers and comparing a 1970's Leica ton-of-machined-brass SLR to a 2005 Cosina rangefinder; such different cameras that no one could possibly take them as relatives in any dimension other than that both use the same film format. (And before anyone assumes that the last sentence was brand bashing, like we really need more of that, those are two of my favorite 35mm bodies.)

    Lee
     
  9. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Gotcha. :wink:

    What kills me is those German/Austrian names on Cosina's products. How many more do we have to see? It's so silly.

    Why can't they have new "Cosinar" or "Cosinon" lenses on their products and get over the naming match?

    Cosina is located in the mountains in Nagano, Japan, which is where the '98 winter Olympics was held. They can use that name as their new brand name instead. :D
     
  10. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    It's either habit, or marketing, or both. Cosina is so used to issuing their cameras with other brand names on them, Nikon, Olympus, Rollei, Epson, Zeiss, etc. People know the Cosina name, but aren't as impressed by it. The Bessa L was at first called the Cosina SW-107, but I don't think it sold as well. And when you're trying to steal a share of the German rangefinder market, Voigtlander and Bessa are good names to have on your product. Companies here in the US have found that new products are more successful if they have a name that ties in with an existing successful product, so another version of candy named Snickers (for instance) sells much better than a new product with an entirely new name.

    And besides, Cosina gets to issue an impressive sounding 250th anniversary special edition if they license the name Voigtlander. I don't begrudge them making a bit of extra money off collectors, but I wish they'd bring out a users R3M and 50 f:2 Heliar at a normal price.

    I think APUG members are on the whole much less susceptible to name brand hype than consumers in general, and other online photo fora. They don't spend a lot of time in brand name holy wars (although you do see a few knee jerk brand reactions occasionally). That lack of pretense and identifying oneself with a brand is one of the things that keeps me around here.

    Lee
     
  11. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I totally agree with you. This naming thing reminds me of my old Japanese Fender electric guitar from the 80's. It was the licensed copy of the original Fender Telecaster, but it was manufactured in, once again Nagano or Hamamatsu somewhere between Tokyo and Nagoya.

    At that time I heard any electric guitar priced under 500 USD or so, was basically manufactured in the same factory there, but when it gets shipped out the name plate such as Fender, the sister brand of Gibson is patched up.

    There were a couple of other Japanese brands such as Greco that made the copies of the original Fender, Gibson, and Gretch.

    Fender Japan had a good reputation from the professionals for its quality and the low price up until the early 90's or so. The materials used for the bodies were different kinds of wood, which made differences in sound compared to the original models, but overall the copied ones were still likable to many people.

    But sometime in the 90's it became a made-in-Mexico brand to further lower the cost, and I've just never heard anything good about it ever since...

    Anyway that's my take on the silly brand names. :D
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Hmm. I always heard that the good Fenders were pre-CBS, i.e. pre-1966. I remember people complaining about the quality going downhill under CBS after that. I think fans of the brand bought the company back in the mid-80's, but haven't heard anything about quality after that, and have no idea about current production.

    Are we off topic yet?

    Lee
     
  13. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I think the rights to Voigtlander were acquired by the owner of Cosina in order to get some acceptance

    there was an article about this somewhere... pop-photo maybe
     
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  15. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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  16. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I agree about the decline of the quality in the newer ones (not the original-original), but now the ones from 70's are old enough to be vintage, too. And I don't know too much about the 80's production.

    I fotgot to add that Fender Japan had its small division of "Esquire" brand, but that was kept in Japan also, and that was dirt-cheap guitar brand. It was more like Yashica-brand Kyocera v.s. Contax-brand Kyocera you know what I mean? The same quality but different names.

    I guess we are still on topic. :wink:
     
  17. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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  18. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Lee, when did Cosina issue one of their cameras with the Zeiss name on it?

    Bill
     
  19. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    If you flip through the pages of Japanese Asahi or Nippon photo magazines, you'll be shocked at how much coverage the new Voigtl?der and Zeiss photo equipment and other film cameras get. You may shake your head and figure such equipment must be a Japanese passion.

    By Herbert Keppler

    http://www.popphoto.com/article.asp?section_id=5&article_id=1990


    And I never subscribe the "Japanese passion." :smile:

    You know his comment is just as the same as the guys on those Japanese camera magazines (I have ever flipped through the pages of) on American or European markets. They try to mystify things beyond the reach of an average consumer, I suppose, and that helps to raise the prices of the products they have in their mind.

    Well, it's nothing new...
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    They are currently doing it now- the new Zeiss Ikon 35mm RF cameras.

    Back to the earlier "joke" about the R3M business- I thought the comment about the Bessa R3x starting to seem like a Leica M3 was more a shot at the Leica business model of making gobs of limited edition versions of whatever the current M-series camera is, to get collectors to spend even more inordinately-large sums of money on filling in the holes in their collections - let's see... we have the ostritch leather titanium M6, the ostritch leather black titanium M6, the ostritch leather brass-and-chrome M6, the ostritch leather and ostritch feather 750th anniversary of the Pahlavi family's ascension to the throne of Iran M6, the Zodiac M6's, the Chinese Zodiac M6's, and oh... here's one we don't have... the new Marquis De Sade black-and-blue-steel M7....
     
  21. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    TheFlyingCamera is correct. See page 3 of the linked Keppler article for details. The current Zeiss Ikon M-mount rangefinder is a revision of the C/V Bessa R2A, built to meet and pass Zeiss specs and QC. The majority of the lenses for it are made by Cosina to Zeiss designs and specs. And Cosina is collaborating with Zeiss on the new Zeiss SLR lenses. Cosina has also made their own line of SLR lenses for older SLR manual focus mounts for several years now.

    Lee
     
  22. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    The new ZeissIkon RF is a joint venture with Cosina...
    so it is basically a rebadged Cosina

     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, and a very nice camera, BTW!
     
  24. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    Lee, where did you get the information that the Zeiss Ikon is a revision of the Bessa R2A?

    Bill
     
  25. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    I fail to follow the logic. How do you get from "joint venture" to "rebadged Cosina"?

    Bill
     
  26. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    See my last post, referring you to page 3 of the Keppler article.

    Lee
     
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