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Thread: Going bessa?

  1. #21
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugrant153 View Post
    I've considered the older R and even the T but heard that the R2's and R3's were better built?
    I can't offer a comprehensive review, but the T is built very well, in my opinion. My gear has to take a beating, I am constantly juggling bodies and films and I am admittedly not all that responsible when it comes to last-minute packing and stuffing my pockets!

    Also, I agree withe many online reviews that the (inexpensive) 21mm skopar is almost without peer. And with the external VF on there, well, it just spoils you with regard to almost any other VF

    I have extensively handled but not owned the new zeiss ikon... it feels wonderful, perhaps even somewhat opulent. Likewise the various newer Ms. But the advantages of owning those higher-end bodies have more to do with resale value than actual utilitarian purpose. As well-made and well-designed bodies that perform well, take great glass, and gets the job done, the bessas are very hard to beat. I would definitely pick up another bessa without thinking twice... if for no other reason, the money saved can be spent on Zeiss or Leica glass I don't have a shortage of money to spend, but I have a hard time rationalizing the cost of certain bodies, and certain obviously partisan comments only better clarify my reasoning. I am much more inclined to part with my money for lenses.

    Just get these cameras in your hands and all will be clear.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #22
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    May I suggest you spend $20-30 and get an old Minolta Hi-Matic or something similar and try a an RF before going all out? I found my pictures are dramatically different depending on using an SLR vs RF. For some reason, I naturally compose better with an RF, but others are the opposite.

    Just something to consider.
    K.S. Klain

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong but Bessa's require batteries, no? That alone would rule out a body for me.
    Colin, I don't think the M variety requires a battery for the meter but can fire away with a mechanically controlled shutter without it. The A variants are dead without batteries though, unlike an M7 that has 2 mechanically controlled speeds available.

    I recently sold my R4A, but not because I didn't like it. It was just made redundant with having 2 M bodies. For an intro into Rangefinder photography, I think Bessas and CV lenses are a great value.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    May I suggest you spend $20-30 and get an old Minolta Hi-Matic or something similar and try a an RF before going all out? I found my pictures are dramatically different depending on using an SLR vs RF. For some reason, I naturally compose better with an RF, but others are the opposite.

    Just something to consider.
    Oh I've shot with a Konica Auto S2 and find it to be a very different experience. Unique I must say. Not sure if better for me just yet

    Has anyone used Bessa's in professional roles? I'd like to know how they stand up as cameras for rigorous work - events for example

  5. #25

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    So I finally had a chance to play with a bessa and the first thing I noticed... Is its too small for my hands! I have long fingers so I guess I need a camera with a little more "girth" to handle better as I found my hand holding the lens also balancing most of the weight of the camera.

    Further the 50mm 1.1 on the r2m I was trying took up 25-30% of the viewfinder space so I could barely see a good chunk of the lower right frame! Mind you this lens is huge (for an rf lens) so this is probably an exception?

    Nice glass and camera though. Rangefinder was not super easy to use as I thought it would be but maybe some practice would fix that.

    Ps: also tried a Leicaflex SL with summicron R and that camera is amazing! Not my cup of tea as im not sure it will last the rigors I may put it through but it's nice!

  6. #26
    keithwms's Avatar
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    The bessas come in fairly typical sizes, that might be a problem for you if you do transition to an RF. Maybe you should get a medium format RF

    Did you consider the suggestion just to get an SLR with RF focus confirmation?
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  7. #27

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    I heard the Bessa has an optional side grip which gives a bit more real estate for your hands. That being said, my guess is it will still be a bit small for me.

    My Konica Auto S2 is pretty huge by RF standards and fits my hand okay but could use a side grip to fit my palm in.

    I currently own a Nikon f90x and it has electronic RF confirmation that i pretty much "need". If not going the RF route I am considering a second F90x or something like that. The E-RF is a blessing in many situations!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong but Bessa's require batteries, no? That alone would rule out a body for me.
    Depends upon the camera. I have a Bessa R3M, with a 35mm f1.4 lens on it. I travel a lot on business, and this camera can drop into my briefcase or coat pocket and give me something to shoot with when I am away from home (I usually shoot 4x5 which doesn't fit in a pocket). The R3M has a battery to power a meter, but operates just fine (albeit without the meter) without the battery.

    The 'A' cameras need the battery for the shutter, and are therefore more dependent upon the battery - but the batteries that they use are small, and it's easy to carry a spare.

  9. #29
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    Sounds like you need a Mamiya 7.
    K.S. Klain

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    Voigtlander makes mechanical and electronically actuated shuttered rangefinder cameras for its current 35mm product line. I also prefer the mechanical shutter models. The non-automatic Voigtlander 35mm's work fine without batteries (The only automatic camera I use are older Konica SLR's that have mechanical shutters with full manual override of the shutter Priority system.)

    Leica M's are wonderful and sophisticated no doubt, but the Bessa 35mm models are also all excellent and usually lower in price. They have good TTL meters (if you wish to use them), are light, well-made (all of them - even the Bessa-R), and have fabulous finders. They have some other good modern conveniences such as a little window to see the installed film canister label (this reveals the ISO of the film and type of film in case you forget after loading). These cameras also take the nicely made Voigtlander trigger winder and a variety of other useful accessories.

    If you think you need one, go for it, they are popular for a good reason - they are great cameras!

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