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  1. #1

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    A standard lens for Bessa R3A

    What would be your preferences (bearing your educated experience) for a normal lens to fit R3A out of:
    - 40mm/1.4 MC Nokton (aperture goes to f/16)
    - 50mm/1.5 Nokton (aperture goes to f/16)
    - 50mm/2.5 Color Skopar (down to f/22)

    I'm assesing an RF route considering either Contax G2 or Bessa choices. More or less learnt about G2, now trying to establish an opinion of Bessa merits...

    Which lens for your opinion is best out of the set optically/mechanically ?
    I'm not terribly picky about fastest aperture possible, f/2.5 sounds good enough to me assuming it is working one (sharpness-wise).

    Thanks, Alex

  2. #2
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Alex,

    I haven't used any of the lenses you list, only heard what you can find on the internet. You might want to go to cameraquest.com and find out how to subscribe to the cvug (Cosina/Voigtlander Users Group) run by Stephen Gandy, then explore the archives there for specific recommendations on these lenses. You should also look at rangefinderforum.com for users' experience.

    I'd suggest adding the 40mm Summicron-C and 40mm M-Rokkor lenses, both f:2.0, to your list. I have used both of these lenses with excellent results. These were made for the Leica CL and Minolta CLE cameras and are available used for US$250 to US$325 or so. They are both considered excellent lenses and are compact. These are reportedly the lenses that inspired Mr. Kobayashi (sp?) at Cosina to bring out the R3A/M bodies and the C/V 40mm lenses.

    Not to give away the game, but on the whole, I've seen more strongly positive remarks about the 50mm Nokton 1.5 (compared somewhat favorably to older model Leica 50's), a bit less about the 40mm Nokton (with some not liking the bokeh), and the 50 Skopar seems to get the most mediocre ratings in part because of rectilinearity problems. If size is of any concern, the relative sizes are different enough to make the setup pocketable -- or not.

    I've seen a comparison of the C/V 40 Nokton to the older Leica/Minolta 40 on the web somewhere. I'll post a link if I can find it.

    Lee

    Didn't find the comparison I was looking for, but here's a useful link with comments on the C/V 40mm and Leica/Minolta 40mm.
    http://www.photo.net/mjohnston/column70/index.html

    And then I found the comparison I mentioned, translated roughly from the orginal Japanese. Click on thumbnails to enlarge:
    http://tinyurl.com/vxkf6
    Last edited by Lee L; 11-25-2006 at 03:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Lee.
    I'm reading reviews and user reports, the 50mm/1.5 Asph Nokton indeed seems to be the one to get, appears to be an excellent normal lens..

  4. #4
    mikeg's Avatar
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    I prefer a slightly wider view on a rangefinder, so I use the 35mm Color Skopar Classic f/2.5 as the standard lens on my R2. Light, small and very sharp. It's one of Voigtlander's best lenses.

    Cheers

    Mike

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg View Post
    I prefer a slightly wider view on a rangefinder, so I use the 35mm Color Skopar Classic f/2.5 as the standard lens on my R2. Light, small and very sharp. It's one of Voigtlander's best lenses.

    Cheers

    Mike
    The 35mm Color Skopar Classic f/2.5 is one of my favorites too!
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  6. #6
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    For a standard lens for any rangefinder you have to decide if you want a normal view or slightly wide. Then the rest is easy!

    I have a 35mm f2 - and love it - narrow and wide DOF when I want it, I have wide forgiving zone focus if I am stopped down. It takes a little bit to get used to if you have 50mm as you main thing, and 50mm has its own benefits.
    35/40/50 are all great.

    Maybe you should get them all!
    B & D
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    Quiquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur

  7. #7

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    Xmm, I'm now getting tempted by a ZI's Zeiss Planar 50mm/2 as an alternate to Nokton 50mm/1.5 Asph..., about 275$ difference (both brand new) which may be reasonable to handle. In a few reviews/tests of this Nokton, it is mentioned it somewhat flare-prone.
    Any comparative analysis/reviews available online that stuck up Nokton 50mm/1.5 Asph. against ZI's Zeiss Planar 50mm/2 each against other ?

    Thanks, Alex

  8. #8
    Jeffrey A. Steinberg's Avatar
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    The Contax G2 is hard to focus if it doesn't lock on properly. Its even harder to focus manually. I got an M7 and now an R3A and I prefer traditional rangefinders.

    Don't get me wrong, the Zeiss T* lenses of the G2 are nice, but why buy into a camera that is no longer supported by its manufacturer?

    --Jeffrey
    --Jeffrey

    ______________________________________________
    Jeffrey Steinberg, K2MIT
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    www.jsteinbergphoto.com (my avocation)
    www.reversis.com (my vocation)

  9. #9
    Max Power's Avatar
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    I have an R3A with the 50/1.5 Nokton. I haven't ever used the 40/1.4 Nokton though.

    I chose the 50, 'cause I prefer the FOV of a 50mm; that said, I think that it is a stunning lens. I rarely shoot colour, but I shot a roll with it a few months ago and was very pleased with the results. In B&W (my usual medium) the results are stunning. The speed of the lens is very useful when necessary, and I've found the quality from the extremes of aperture to be excellent. This is a very sweet lens for an excellent price.

    YMMV,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  10. #10
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey A. Steinberg View Post
    The Contax G2 is hard to focus if it doesn't lock on properly. Its even harder to focus manually. I got an M7 and now an R3A and I prefer traditional rangefinders.

    Don't get me wrong, the Zeiss T* lenses of the G2 are nice, but why buy into a camera that is no longer supported by its manufacturer?

    --Jeffrey
    Jeffrey,

    Alex is talking about the new Zeiss lenses in Leica M-mount for the new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder, not the G2. They'll fit on the R3A.

    Lee

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