Voigtlander Bessa III 667

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Henry Alive, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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  2. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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  3. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    It looks like a wonderful camera. The only drawback is that steep price. :sad:
     
  4. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Well the price is Eur. 1975,- and after looking at the other specs I am going for the Bessa III 667 camera. It's very compact and the other specifications are OK.
    Keep in mind that I withdraw the VAT (19%) so that the nett price is Eur. 1660,- and three years warranty.

    best regards,

    Robert
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    I know someone who has just acquired this camera, though he purchased it directly from Japan so it is called a Fuji.

    His initial report is very positive in that the camera is compact and light, easy to handle, and image quality is on a par with that of Mamiya 7II, against which he has been testing.

    This Bessa III is definitely on my radar screen as it seems to be an ideal film travel camera.

    Sandy
     
  6. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    I just tried the camera and to say it in one word: GREAT!
    The handling is very easy and the exposure is very accurate. One interesting detail: The (electronic) shutter is even more quiet then my M7 (Leica). I am sure the camera will find it's way to the right users.

    A really recommended roll film range finder camera!

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  7. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    A small impression of the quality of this camera.
    Film: Rollei Pan 200 iso 160. Developer: AM74/RHS 8:30 minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jamie

    jamie Member

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    Any color neg?
     
  9. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Robert,

    Thanks for posting the picture. I just picked my camera up today. My initial impressions are quite favorable, though it is suprisingly heavier than I thought. I am looking forward to getting out with it this week.

    Gary
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting your first impressions, Robert & Gary. I'm really interested in hearing how this camera works out. It's a bit over my budget at the moment, but I can see one in my future at some point.

    I'd be particularly interested in downloading a few high res JPEGs, if someone doesn't mind posting them.
     
  11. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Well, 1035g incl. battery and strap which is not really heavy but also not a light weight system. The housing is pretty solid made so that will costs some extra weight.
     
  12. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    Are you sure about the weight? Out of curiosity I weighed a 6X9 cm Moscow 5, which is identical in construction to the Zeiss Super Ikonta C, and it came in at 854 grams. I would have expected the new Fuji/Bessa 667 to weigh much less?

    Sandy King
     
  13. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  15. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Well my (Leica) M7 with leather (half-) case strap and batteries and Summicron 2,0/50mm is also 1005g so in that way it's a light weight medium format camera.
     
  16. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Sandy,

    I just put mine on a scale and it came out to 1021 grams. So Fuji's specs are pretty close. Mine is a Fuji not a Bessa, btw.

    Gary
     
  17. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    B&H specifications for a Mamiya 7ii for comparison

    Weight Body: 920g (32.4oz), with 80mm lens: 1,210g (42.7oz) 2.5 lbs.

    John Powers
     
  18. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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  19. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    According the instruction manual, throught the lens metering, centered weight. As far I have tested this camera a pretty accurate exposure measurement.
     
  20. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Thanks Robert, TTL metering is something that the Mamiya 7 II lacks and is useful if a X2 yellow or yellow-green filter for B&W film is used for example. I wish that Voigtlander would make this more clear in their description of the Camera.
     
  21. RobertV

    RobertV Restricted Access

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    Well it's not very clear in the manual and I checked it out with a filter. It's not through the lens metering but the measurement is done near the V.F. so it's not a TTL measurement.
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    That is correct. Metering is definitely not through the lens.

    Sandy king
     
  23. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Never mind. May be Mamiya will one day announce a new 6x7 range-finder with TTL metering that accepts the current range of lenses. :rolleyes:
     
  24. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

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    Mine arrived this morning...:smile: Here she is with her older sister...
    [​IMG]
    First impressions...
    It's a smart looking camera and its slightly matte black finish looks very nice. It's the same finish as on the ZI and the Bessa 35mm Rangefinders. The aperture, focus length, and shutter speed numbers are stamped into their respective parts and filled with paint...nice.
    The Voigtlander and Bessa III logos and exposure compensation numbers are painted onto the top plate. Disappointing.

    Front standard is rock solid. Some have complained you have to remember to set the focus to infinity to close the camera or risk damage...mine you can't even begin to close it unless it is set to within a couple degrees of infinity. I don't get the complaint? I guess it would be nice to close at any focus, but the lens extends and retracts with near/far focus like a typical modern day lens vs. the whole standard sliding on rails. The former is more rigid, I'll live with the inconvenience.

    The camera handles well, even in my smallish hands, it is deceivingly large. It looks much smaller than a GW-690 Fisher Price 6x9 but it is not. 1/4 inch shorter, just shy of a half inch less in width and while it looks much thinner, bottom plate to bottom plate it's the same thickness as the GW. It's like an optical illusion. A Bessa II 6x9 is smaller in all dimensions (though in similar proportions to the III and GW comparison), except extended length, where it's about a quarter inch longer for the same focus distance.

    The viewfinder is nice and bright and the parallax correcting frame lines are really sweet. Indicators in the viewfinder are easy to find and clear using the Zeiss Ikon method of shutter speed indication. The viewfinder, however is not the Zeiss Ikon viewfinder which is a shame. Side by side it appears identical to the Bessa R3/R4 viewfinder, which is a nice viewfinder with lots of room around the framelines in 6x7, but it's not the ZI viewfinder, which is amazing (though the ZI rangefinder is not).

    Film loading is the easiest I've ever seen in a MF camera, but my next newest MF camera is 10+ years old. I'm not saying MF film loading is hard by any means, but you could load this camera with gloves on and not fumble. There are two little red buttons near the take up and supply spool that release a spring operated deally that moves the spool sprocket completely out of the way, you just touch the top of the spool with your finger and it pops out. I don't know your experience with such things, but that's way easier than a GW-690 or most any other non-magazine type MF camera I've used.

    Film Advance must have one hell of a gear ratio, because it's way easier than my Bessa II or any other folder I have (don't ask). The advance knob is wide enough you can run it down your arm in one continuous wind...Boy I wish a Leica M3 style rewind knob did that!

    Switching between 6x6 and 6x7 can be done with a thumbnail, switching the pressure plate from 120 to 220 is just a slide of the PP whereas in other Fuji cameras you flip the plate over. The camera has a window in the film reminder holder thingy on the back that automatically changes from 120 to 220 dependent on the PP position. That seems trivial, but with the GW-690, I've switched film lengths and then couldn't remember if I'd switched the pressure plate position and while you wouldn't see it at f16 you sure as heck would at f4.

    But how does it shoot????? Well I haven't put it's maiden roll of Tri-X in the tank yet and with the wine I've had tonight I probably won't till tomorrow...:D
    I will tell you this. Focus is smooth, not Leica smooth, but very close. Aperture ring has a strange drag to it, I'm not terribly thrilled with it, but it has very close 1/2 stop clicks so maybe it's a compromise, it's only about 25 degrees worth of rotation from f3.5 to f22, very tight.

    The shutter. Don't believe what you read. People say it's 'quieter than my M7', 'hard to hear in any kind of background noise environment'. Folks, they are wrong. It's hard to hear in dead silence. I was shocked at how quiet it was. An M7 sounds like a jack hammer compared to this thing. I've shot 10 frames and literally, I think it is just louder than a pin dropping onto ceramic tile. I clicked every damn leaf shutter in the house and nothing was even remotely close to this quiet. It is almost disconcerting. It is nearly as quiet as a barrel lens:D:tongue::rolleyes:... 1/4 sounded exactly like 1/250th. I'm not sure my shutter works, it doesn't sound like anything I've ever used and Fuji/Cosina/Ghost of Voigtlander/Whoever is all tricky and won't allow you to dry fire it so until I tank the Tri-X or shoot a roll staring at the shutter, I won't know if the shutter actually works or not!:surprised:

    Tomorrow I'm going to take her and her older sister out and let them get to know each other. I have no idea still if this camera was worth the coin it cost, but we'll see. So far I do like it.:smile:
     
  25. whlogan

    whlogan Member

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    Bessa III

    The new Bessa III is around my neck and we are off to play! Ooo! Aaa!
    Let's see what she can do! Tri X
    Logan
     
  26. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

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    Congrats! I'm off on the same mission...tis a wonderful thing!:D