Voigtlander Bessa R3a- My first Rangefinder

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Rush2112, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    This is also my first post here. Glad I found this forum, not as easy to find a place to discuss film photography- at least not as easy as it is to find a digital forum.

    That said, I decided to take on a new challenge and purchase a Voigtlander R3a and 40mm f/1.4 (MC), and get started in the world of Rangefinder photography.

    I have plenty of experience in other mediums over the last 20 or so years, but something new has inspired me to make photographs in an entirely different way.

    This may sound rash, but I have a new baby coming (my first) and wanted pristine and honest photographs of her in film, with a camera that takes a bit more skill to master. I've yet to define my reasoning fully for this way of thinking, yet I'm driven strongly by the desire and decided to follow it.

    My Bessa will be delivered today, as I sit here at work anxiously wanting to be there instead to recieve it. Tap tap... c'mon clock...

    I'll be running some decent consumer grade Fuji through it first as a trial run (800 Experia), and as I gain more confidence using it, the HP5 and other films I love to use will cycle through her.

    I'm extremely excited for this new adventure- to say the least. I'm sure many here can relate to that excitement and I look forward to having intelligent and helpful discussions with you all here.

    -Cheers!

    Carl
     
  2. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Congrats on the new baby as well as the new camera! Welcome to APUG. The R3 is a beautiful system, and you're right, you'll have pristine negatives that'll outlast both of us. No fear of corrupt files or HDs (I work in IT and cannot count the tears from people who've lost all their data).

    Give slide film a shot. Provia would be excellent for baby photography and seeing the positive will bring a major smile to your face. For black and white consider Fuji Acros as well. Excellent tonality and cheap--never fear exposing more shots of the newborn.

    Cheers
     
  3. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Appreciate the welcome and the congrats!

    I've got some Provia 100 (4 rolls), and several others around, not tried the Acros yet however do appreciate the tip! Any recommended max ISO with that film?

    -Carl
     
  4. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    Welcome, and glad you could join us! I got my first rangefinder about a year ago, and it enlivened my shooting. I love the lack of complexity and light weight- lets me focus onthe subject, not the shooting.

    Rick
     
  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I've pushed Acros to 400 a few times and it responded OK. 200 is plenty fine. Honestly though, a small flash on the R3 coupled with that lens @ f/4 should give you spectacular results. Gah, now I want one!
     
  6. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    'I have a new baby coming...' Great news and congratulations! Glad to hear you're getting a 'new' one...nothing worse than an old baby :laugh:! I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. And congrats on your other arrival as well.

    Seeing that you'll be spending time around the house give serious consideration to acquiring the relatively inexpensive equipment to develop your own b/w film (no darkroom needed). The look of b/w is timeless...I could go on. Paying a lab to dev/print b/w is expensive. You can burn and dev a mountain of b/w film for the cost of having a lab dev a couple dozen rolls. Oh, the beautiful rendering of that soft and smooth skin using a slow b/w film...gorgeous!
     
  7. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I envy you Carl, both for the baby and the R3a (in that order). I have the R2a and love it to bits. The viewfinder and rangefinder patch make up the best part- bright and contrasty. The R3a goes 1:1, the R2a doesn't.

    If I ever get a second body it will be an R3a, not a Leica or the Zeiss. Voigtlanders are for users, Leicas are mere jewelry :wink:

    Have fun and good luck with the other gift too.

    Sander.
     
  8. jawarden

    jawarden Member

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    I'll echo the suggestion of slide film. I'm so glad I took some slides when my first son was an infant. Putting those slides on the light table really takes me back, in a way that prints just don't.

    Congrats on the baby and the camera too! The Bessa is a fine camera. You'll dig it.
     
  9. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Thanks!

    Interesting thoughts on the film and flash idea, I do appreciate them.

    C
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    For a baby, I'd put a small diffuser on it, slight angle bounce, and shoot f/4 @ 125.

    I've never done this before :wink:
     
  11. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    :smile: !


    I was thinking bounce flash for sure. Giving me ideas, that's dangerous.

    C
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Go to diyphotography.net and put 'flash bouncer' in the search box and hit return. Lots of ideas to fit your needs.

    Lee
     
  13. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Bessa R3a Arrived Today!

    Smaller and lighter than I thought it would be.

    Reading the manual now. Pretty exciting stuff. Can't wait to throw a roll of film into it and get to work, great weather today for it here in Southern California.

    -C
     
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  15. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    My Bessa R3a

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think I now get the fascination of real rangefinders- just the tip of the iceberg though. I can already see myself strolling downtown Laguna or Newport Beaches with this around my neck and a couple rolls of film in my pocket.

    That, is going to happen! And soon.

    -Cheers!

    Carl
     
  16. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Congratulations with your new toy Carl.

    May I suggest you try a soft-release? I personally find the shutter release button on my R2a (same as R3a) a bit 'deep'. The soft release solved that for me. I got mine from ebay (this one).

    I also got an eveready case, the small version (VC-1) that will fit your Nokton (without hood). You can take off the top part and then you're left with a nice protective casing for the body.

    Just some ideas (details can make a lot of difference).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2011
  17. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Congrats on your new child. I remember when my son (our first) was in the oven as it were I used one roll of film the entire experience. I shot some at a picnic when my wife was first showing, a couple here and there no more then 2 at a time. I also shot some at the Ultra sound(s) and the delivery room and of Matt when he was in the nursery and with mom holding him. One camera, one roll of film and I backed the roll out carefully after every 2 shots, noted the new frame number and then put the roll in sever times, almost 15 times to do this.

    So the Leica just did great with reloading the film so many times, a few of the frames were not spaced perfect, an extra sprocket or three. but it remained all caught one one roll. I processed the film and printed an 8x10 of the boy and had it in her hospital room later that evening after mom had a chance to rest. Printed others later.

    Never did cut that roll of film. It's still in one piece rolled up in a sleeve. This past (2010) Christmas I gave it to my son. He and his wife were very astonished at the one roll idea. My daughter-in-law was really blown away.

    So enjoy and celebrate the baby and have fun with your camera too. I love rangefinders. Really very simple and to the point.

    Enjoy "DAD"

    Lee
     
  18. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Appreciate the congrats on the baby, and the bessa all :smile:. Got my first roll back from the lab and -

    1. All my pictures were in sharp focus
    2. All were properly exposed

    That is encouraging for my first real go with a rangefinder. I went out on Monday and took some early morning images of Balboa, CA... that roll is at the lab. A more "serious" attempt at some compositions. Can't wait to see those, hopefully I'll have something decent to share.

    I'm very happy with the Bessa so far, totally different experience.

    C
     
  19. lewis-richards

    lewis-richards Member

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    Hi i'm sorry to interrupt this thread for my own question but it seems a place where a lot of people will know the answer to what I am asking. I am thinking of buying a Voigtlander camera and I can't seem to work out what I want whether it will be the R 2,3,4 and then the A or M version, what are the main differences if anyone can help me?

    Thanks :D

    Also congrats on the Baby Rush 2112!
     
  20. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtchart2.htm
     
  21. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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  22. lewis-richards

    lewis-richards Member

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    Thank you Leigh Youdale for the detailed reply, I will look at the camera quest website now.
     
  23. paulfish4570

    paulfish4570 Member

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    congratulations on your child - and your new baby.
    i have been using an m-mount bessa - the r2m - for a week and a half. i love the thing. and i bet your hands will love yours, too. i am running the cv 50/2.5 and cv 35/2.5, both very good lenses.
     
  24. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Thank you much. I'm really enjoying using mine as well. The images the 40mm Voigtlander produce at f/1.4 are magical. I really love the combo. Likely I'll get the 28mm f/2 next since I already have a very nice 28mm viewfinder for the top.

    C
     
  25. Raphael

    Raphael Subscriber

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    Hi Carl,

    This combo is my favorite for low-light and inside photography, I have the R2M with the Nokton 40mm f/1.4 (SC Version). I found it especially suitable for picturing children and babies, when you have to focus quickly and precisely in available light, the rangefinder with a fast lens do really well the job.

    Congratulations, let us know when the other baby will be there :wink: !

    Regards,

    Raphael
     
  26. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Thanks Raphael!

    Which ISO film do you typically use for indoor work? I found IS0 800 to be my choice so far, and ISO 400 in a pinch.

    C