Which M mount body?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Andrey, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    So, I wanted a lens with good bokeh and high contrast. I ended up with the zeiss ZM sonnar 1.5 on the way.

    But I don't have an M mount body.

    I have two feds, a 50mm industar, 35mm jupiter and 21mm cv skopar all in screwmount of course.

    What viewfinder would you go with?

    The 35mm jupiter might not fit most of the bodies. At least bessa/zeiss ikon

    I'm thinking of maybe getting a camera just for the 50mm lens and to use it with 21mm skopar. I'll have a finder that only covers 50mm and that's it.

    What would you pick?

    EDIT: I have a 21mm finder. I also have a bessa R, which I really like, because it has metering and the viewfinder is great. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2013
  2. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Do you have a finder with the 21mm?

    I've got a Bessa L with my 21mm Skopar with finder, and have been using it for a few months. Normally just hyperfocalling, sometimes even from the hip without using the finder. Great for lightweight hiking landscapes.

    I just picked up a Bessa R3A, specifically because it's got the most accurate finder and TTL metering + Av without blowing 5-10x the price on a real Leica. With an LTM->M adapter i was using the 21mm on the R3A yesterday, it's a bit easier than on the L, with the automatic metering. Although, because I was using the 21mm finder and not the camera-finder, I didn't know what speed I was shooting at without moving my eye all the time. If you're good enough to judge that you're at least in the ballpark of 1/30 to 1/500s and keep track of what aperture you're on then you should be fine.
    Alternatively, there's the R4A with überwide finder and 21mm lines, but I don't know if the finder is anywhere near accurate enough for 50/1.5 (hopefully someone else has tried that and has opinions)

    So I'd be choosing between leaving the 21mm on what you've got and getting the R3A (or R3M) for the Sonnar, or getting the R4A/R4M to use both the Sonnar and Skopar, and hoping that the R4 viewfinder is accurate enough for f/1.5 on the Sonnar.
    (never used an Ikon, and never see them second-hand so no idea about them)
     
  3. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I have used the Leica M6 and M7 and I prefer my Zeiss Ikon. If you can find a good used one it is a terrific camera. I also have the Bessa R, which takes the Leica thread mount (LTM) lenses and I enjoy working with that one as well.

    But, each person has different likes and dislikes that can make them bond with a particular camera...or not. Until you spend time with a camera you won't really know. If your budget prevents you from buying several rangefinders, and most people have that particular problem, then I suspect you would be best served by trying out a Bessa first. If you find you like it, problem solved. If not, you can re-sell it for what you paid, or close, and start saving for the Zeiss Ikon.

    Of course, there are other factors that may sway you. Some people do not mind working without an in-camera meter, others would not consider it at all. Likewise, some people hate auto exposure modes while others find them indispensable. Knowing your own likes and dislikes can help you narrow down the field a bit.

    BTW, I have that Sonnar 50/1.5 and it is an awesome lens. You will not be disappointed by the glass.
     
  4. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    I think I'd rather have a meter. My meters are pretty big L358 and an older minolta which is even larger. Most of the time it won't be a big issue to carry a meter, but I'd rather have the option or leaving it at home.

    Have you handled Bessa R3? How would you compare it to the zeiss?
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Bessa cameras always get high marks from its users, but being Cosina, they still seem to be unable to solve the rangefinder alignment bugaboo, which has been an issue since the first Bessa-R.

    Aside from that, they are nice cameras with excellent viewfinders and accurate meters.

    The Zeiss Ikon (which is manufactured by Cosina to Zeiss specifications) has an excellent viewfinder, autoexposure and a very nice feel to it. It is battery-dependant, so you should always have a couple of spare batteries on hand. I like this camera a lot.

    I use this camera with the 50mm Planar, the 25mm Biogon and a 40mm Sonnar, which is one of my all-time favorite lenses.
     
  6. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Does zeiss ikon suffer from same RF alignment problems as bessas?
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    No, the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder is different from the Bessa models.
     
  8. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    My ZI rangefinder has had no alignment problems to date.
     
  9. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Bokeh? Sell them all and get an 8x10.
     
  10. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    That's not bokeh. THat's big circle of confusion.
     
  11. Pioneer

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    I have not handled the Bessa 3 models, but I suspect they are probably similar to my Bessa R. I like my Bessa R and it is a very good camera. When I want to shoot my LTM lenses with a meter that is the camera I use. I doubt you would be disappointed with any of the Bessa models as they work very well. There have been reports of rangefinder mis-alignment, but I wouldn't let that worry you too badly. There are obviously some big differences between the Bessa models and the Zeiss Ikon, as you would expect based on the large price difference.

    I'll be honest with you, with your lens Bessa, the ZI and the Leica will all take great pictures. I seriously doubt that anyone on this forum, or any other forum, would be able to look at similar pictures from any of these cameras and say which camera took which picture. Like I mentioned in my first post. It really boils down to handling, your own personal preferences and your budget. None of us can advise you regarding those things.

    Based on my own personal preferences and budget, I chose to use the Zeiss Ikon over the other rangefinders available. But I have made my own comparisons and I chose to go that direction. If I were in your shoes I would try whichever model I could afford right now. That is how I did it. Some others would advise you to save your pennies, and buy your pennies. Since you indicated you prefer in camera meters then the least expensive Leica is an M6, which can likely be purchased in decent condition for US$1,200. Maybe a bit higher, maybe a bit lower.

    So, you can get a used Leica for close to the same price that you can get a new Zeiss Ikon. The last time I looked the Bessa R2M and R3M are going for US$770 and the Bessa R2A and R3A are going for US$720. If you are willing to go used then you can buy a Zeiss Ikon for around $1100 and a Bessa for around $400 of you shop carefully.
     
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  12. Andrey

    Andrey Member

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    Thank you for your posts.

    Is there anything cheaper than 400 bucks?

    The way it looks like is that there bessa, leica and zeiss... and minolta CLE with a very short RF distance and bessa prices at best.

    Has FSU ever made an M mount rangefinder?