Several Questions please....

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by dwdmguy, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Freehold, NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Good Day.

    I'd love a RF.

    I'd love a Leica M6 but I just can't afford the glass. It's a killer.

    I was wondering about the Volt R3 and thinking that would be of benefit me for a walking around every day Camera.

    Or, Nikon RF which I have Nikon SLR older manual lenses but I don't know if they fit a Nikon RF?

    Can you please tell me if the Nikon RF's can use the SLR lenses? If so, any models that stand out? With a Meter?

    If not, what do you think about the R3M's?

    Thanks tons.
    Tom
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The lenses for the Nikon SLR and RF aren't interchangeable. (You probably could get some custom adapter, but to use an SLR lens on a RF body would require some type of lens element that would probably degrade the image.)

    I think you mean the Cosina Voigtlander Bessa series, rather than a Volt. Good cameras. Make sure the rangefinder is working properly and isn't out horizontally or vertically. The lenses for this series of cameras are very good.

    Some people are using Bessa bodies and Leica lenses. In fact, the lens has more to do with the photo than the body. So you could try this route.

    Others are using Leica bodies and Voigtlander lenses.

    The Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and Carl Zeiss lenses are priced between Voigtlander and Bessa.
     
  3. Steve Bellayr

    Steve Bellayr Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    An alternative is the Canon P & Canon 50mm lens. It will be less than the Leicas or the Nikon rangefinder S2, which as been steadily rising over the past year. The Canons certainly will meet you need but no meter. Finding a hood is problematic.
     
  4. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nikon SLR's have a larger Film to Flange distance than Nikon RF's, so it wouldn't require a lens element. You'd just engineer the adapter to make up that difference. You can use SLR lenses on Leica bodies in exactly this way, but of course you don't have rangefinder coupling, so you have to guess the focus. Works OK for wide angle lenses, I understand. But, that's a bit off topic - so far as general functionality and ease of management, SLR and RF lenses aren't interchangeable, and I'm not sure such an adapter even exists for the Nikon RF's...so I'm just rambling.

    Moving on, I use a Voigtlander Bessa R2A, but I'd love an R3M. I firmly believe that if you buy from a reputable dealer, you should have no problems with a Bessa. The main thing people seem to worry about is rangefinder being off, but a half-decent dealer will take care of you IF this happens. I dropped mine on a timber floor, dinged my lens up really nicely, but the RF was still perfect. I don't worry about it.
    A Bessa will also give you the options of an range of lenses spanning the majority of the past century, with the use of an M to Screw mount adapter. I love it to bits, see my experience here.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
     
  6. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Agree with most of above, except that a Nikon SLR lens to Leica RF body adapter does not need any correction lens in it. I have one (Novoflex) that fits Leica screw thread bodies (it does not fit Leica M bodies, even with an adapter, because it fouls the lens release button).

    If you have numerous Nikon SLR lenses and want to use only these, the cheapest option for you would be a Voigtländer Bessa L body plus a lens adapter, slip-on viewfinder and slip-on rangefinder. This would mean you would have to transfer focus settings manually from the rangefinder to the lens.

    If you're going to buy a camera and lenses, a screw-thread Leica (IIIc, IIIf) or M2 would be cheaper than an M6 and, as others have said, you can then use any of the new Voigtländer screw-thread lenses (with rangefinder coupling). You might find that one body and one lens (35 or 50 mm) was all you needed.

    Forget Nikon RFs, they date from the 1950s and are quite rare and expensive - one model was re-issued (S3) recently and was very expensive. No Nikon RF with a built-in meter, as far as I know. Many people use Voigtländer RF cameras, they're good but not as robust (rangefinder mechanism) as Leicas.
     
  7. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
     
  8. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Freehold, NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    This is some awesome information. Thanks so much guys... I'll post what I'll do soon. I think I like the Bessa option.

    So, does the Bessa come with the M mount if I can afford M lenses later or do I have to have my dealer do it?

    Thanks again tons.
    Tom
     
  9. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Freehold, NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Fleath, that's some great site you have there. I'll look forward reading it today.
    Post more!!!!
    Thanks
    Tom
     
  10. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm one of those people with a Leica body and Voigtländer glass. I'm shooting with a Leica MP and a Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4, with which I'm extremely pleased. Good all-rounder. Perhaps not as sharp/swirly-bokeh/10-brazilian-lines-per-mm/whatever as the equivalent Solms glass, but for 1/10 of the price, awesome value.
     
  11. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here's a quick run-down on Voigtländers:
    http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/products.asp?PT_ID=290
    The Bessa L I mentioned earlier (and the Bessa R) is LTM (Leica thread mount or Leica screw or M39) - it is available ludicrously cheaply secondhand and has a meter in it. All LTM lenses convert to Leica M (bayonet) with a simple and inexpensive adapter.

    More here:
    http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Bessa_(35mm)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2009
  12. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,951
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd love to see photos.
     
  13. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  14. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,951
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No apologies necessary—I tend to use 35mm for the same subject matter. I sometimes ask myself whether a Summilux or the Canon 35mm/f1.4 ought to be my dream lens—but then my next thought is always whether I would see the difference in normal, hand-held use at reasonable print sizes (it would never occur to me to print 35mm at sizes larger than 8x10).
     
  15. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well, add the Voigtländer to your catalogue of contemplation -- it really is quite a nice lens....
     
  16. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I shot with the Pancake 35mm for a while. It's a very nice lens. Excellent build quality and great photos. If you're on a budget, I'd pick a new Cosina Voigtlander lens over a 50-year-old Canon thing any day.
     
  17. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Voightlander has a variety of bodies out at this time - and some discontinued you can still buy. If you eventually want M glass, make sure you buy a body that has an M mount. You can always use an adapter with LTM lenses, but you cannot use M mount lenses on an LTM body.
     
  18. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Cal
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A used Leica M6 can be had for just a bit more than a new Bessa RF ($950 vs. $600+). I much prefer the M6 to my Bessa R3M primarily because the RF patch is better, though there is nothing wrong with the Bessa (and it can shoot 1/2000). If I were in your situation, I'd go the M6 with CV, Leica Thread Mount, or Zeiss glass. I have to CV lenses (12mm f5.6 and 35 f1.2) and I'm quite happy with them.
    A good Nikon RF and good Nikon RF glass ain't exactly cheap. At least on the S2, the VF patch pretty much sucks after using a modern RF. I still love my S2 though.
     
  19. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Another suggestion if you really want a Leica M body now, is to consider some of their less expensive lenses as your initial purchase. The 90mm, f/4 Leica (forget the nomenclature and mine are half a world away at the moment) can be had for under $100 in excellent condition.

    Along with the Voightlander option - which is a Cosina made system that has no connection to the original German company except that they purchased rights to the name - are Rokkor (Minolta lenses). These lenses were madein collaboration with Leica. The 40mm Summicron and it's "twin cousin" Rokkor M are very affordable and very good lenses. The Rokkor (Minolta) 28mm lens without bubbles is not cheap, but still sells for about 1/5 the price of its German cousin.

    The great thing about buying Rokkor-M (Minolta) lenses is that they were made in collaboration with Leica, so they're not just Leica mount lenses, but were in part designed by the company in a team effort. How much or how little is up for speculation of course. Someone who has the information may be able to provide more precise information, but if memory serves correctly, the CL lenses were actually made in Japan by Minolta for Leica - and the later CLE era lenses were exact copies of these, with multi-coating on the lenses instead of the single coating on the CL series.

    Good investments and great shooters. They'll never be worth what a Leica is worth and many will tell you they don't shoot like one either, but they also don't cost as much - and so work on the M bodies.
     
  20. Andy K

    Andy K Member

    Messages:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sunny Southe
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  21. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Freehold, NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Kava, those pictures are wonderful. That camera seems like a great tool. But I've always known it's the eye and mind behind the viewer that makes the pictures.
    Today I went to a Auth Leica dealer here in NJ. I am trying the M6 for a week, with the 50mm f/2 and a zeiss f/2, I simply would not be able to affod the 35mm ASPH.
    As soon as I picked up the body and knew I was a dead man. What the heck is that power thats in their bodies to make one feel like that?

    I mean the camera fit's so perfectly in one's hands, feels so natural in front of my eye. Holy cow, it really is amazing. This will be my last camera purchase for a very long time so I wanted to make sure it's the right one. I'm actually selling my new D700 to finance this move, which ever way it goes.

    Thanks so much for taking the time and sharing your thoughts. Very greatful.
    Tom
     
  22. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've wondered this myself. One thought of mine is that the fewer 'features' a camera is saddled with, the more it stimulates the photographer.

    I've noticed the same thing happening holding a good TLR (be it a Yashicamat or a Rolleiflex), a good MF SLR (be it a Hasselblad or a Rolleiflex SL66), or a good 35mm SLR (be it an Olympus OM-1, a Canon A-1 or a Nikon F-3): the more the camera gets out of my way, and the more it is reduced to its essential functions, the harder I work; and the harder I work, the better my chances of having good results to show for it.

    I have no doubt at all that the new Zeiss Ikon and Voigtländer RFs, and the older Nikon and Canon RFs, are fine cameras capable of extraordinary results. But I did notice that if a Leica sinks its teeth under your skin, to mix a metaphor, it does not readily let go.
     
  23. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Freehold, NJ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think that's the best description and one that I feel is true in my case. What's odd is that after many years of shooting digital I've found that the better the digi camera body got, the less I was excited and even, perhaps, I was taking not the pictures I was certianly up to. I found this recently with the Nikon D700. A marvel for sure but it was just too clean and sharp. I consider my going back to film, in fact, not going back but moving forward. Never before have I had such a desire to return to school, at age 48, for my degree in photography.
    Thanks
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tom, how inclined are you to switch lenses? If not so inclined, something like a konica AF may be nice for your purposes, the lens is absolutely superb and it's a very nice, robust piece for walkaround / travel. Should run you around $400, well worth the lens itself.

    Now, if you want a true take-everywhere walkaround then a good old oly xa is a great pocket camera.... and it's well within anybody's budget :wink: