That is correct. Metering is definitely not through the lens.
Originally Posted by RobertV
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:
Originally Posted by RobertV
Mine arrived this morning... Here she is with her older sister...
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...
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: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!:o
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.
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
Congrats! I'm off on the same mission...tis a wonderful thing!
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Got mine today. Great! Everything I expected it to be. Hung it right round my neck and started taking pictures..... works likes one would want it to.
Ooo! Aaa! Starting out with 6x7's...TriX, of course and I'll post when developed. I like it.
Originally Posted by stealthman_1
I would love to see what you have to say about some high resolution scenes photographed with the old Bessa II and the new Bessa III.
stealthman - actually you can dry fire it! It took me a few days, but I finally figured out how - open the back up! I tried all the shutter speeds with the back open this way and they all fire off as flawlessly as I can tell... and yes, I totally agree about the silence - it definitely defines the standard in silent shooting.
Wow Stealthman, a Bessa 11 and Bessa 111 together, I'm seething with jealousy! Look forward to your results from these cameras side by side. A had a couple of Bessa 11's, one with the Heliar, and one with the Skopar, both unfortunately didn't have very good parallelism with the lens standard, too much slop. How is yours?
Interesting to see how the lens compares to Fuji GW's for sharpness, it's pretty much the standard to judge by.