VOIGTLANDER BESSA II? Worth the extra $?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Magpie, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Magpie

    Magpie Member

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    Hi,

    I currently use a Voigtlander Bessa I as my everyday 'carry it in the bottom of your bag' camera.

    I like it and the big negatives it gives me - 6x9 as I do not use the mask, however I would like to have a coupled rangefinder.

    Do you think the BESSA II is worth the extra dollars that they cost? or is there another 6x7 or 6x9 with coupled rangefinder that I should be considering?

    I mainly shoot B&W but do use the odd roll of colour trany.

    Any thoughts or suggestions very welcome.

    Thanks

    Brendan
     
  2. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    If your Bessa I works for you and you have the extra $$$, I suggest you go for the Bessa II. The transition will be without problem. It's one of the nicest 6x9 CRF out there, although David Goldfarb didn't like the way he had to hold his. I also think it will retain its value for some time to come, so it's an okay investment.

    Of course there are lots of other options, but we found the Bessa offers the largest size neg. - and we really like the aspect ratio of true 6x9, not a 'nearly 6x9' that is more like a 6x8.

    All lenses on Bessa II are nice. The apo-lanthar is way overpriced IMO and most available tend to go to the Japanese and South Koreans. The Colour-Heliar can be really good, but I don't want to underrate the Skopar either.

    If you're willing to spend some money and also like the 6x7 format, you may consider the Linhof 220, although it's a lot heavier and bulkier. The Technikar lens on it however, is absolutely brilliant. I have used this camera, but feel that my hands are too small to hold it comfortably - and believe me, I've tried to get used to operating it since I really liked the lens and the fact that it has a built in light meter. It's better suited for portraits than for landscapes BTW.

    One that I've seen & considered, but never owned is a Rodenstock Clarovid, so I can't comment on that. It's a pre-war camera, the lens is not coated, but I believe you could shoot the occasional color tranny with it. IIRC it has rack focussing, so it operates in a very different way from the Bessa.

    Maybe someone with a Super Ikonta or an Ensign 820 Autorange could volunteer some information on these other quality cameras, that could cost as much or a little more than the Bessa II.

    HTH!
     
  3. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I certainly loved mine, and wish that I'd kept it (although it didn't get used very much). There has been almost no change in value over the last 10 years for Color-Skopar model (about $400), but the Heliar and Lanthar prices have continued to soar. Personally, for B&W I'd rather have the Skopar.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some Fuji rangefinders have been showing up in the classifieds lately at www.rangefinderforum.com. They're nice cameras, but not as compact as a folder.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2008
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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