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Thread: Going bessa?

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zet Slater View Post
    I had a Bessa body that had focusing issues. I sent it to the New York store I bought it from - they could not repair it and explained to me they had to send it back to Japan to repair. Four months later and they still have no idea when it might return.
    That's unfortunate. The Voigtlander distributor in Australia has organised a fortnightly courier service to Cosina in Japan and knows exactly where everything is and when it's expected back. He doesn't use the postal service. He talks to them directly. It probably costs a little more but for me it's worth it. Having said that I've only needed to use it once for a flash malfunction on the R4A.
    I suspect Stephen Gandy does the same but a third party store might not be able or willing to provide such a service.
    Leica M6,
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  2. #62
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Youdale View Post
    I'm not sure how valid an argument this is. Based on a record of serial numbers I have (and note that Leica didn't necessarily follow a calendar year progression when allocating numbers) M2's could be between 54 and 43 years old. M3's between 58 and 53 years old. M4's between 45 and 37 years old and the M4-2 and M4-P models between 35 and 27 years old. Sure, they were solidly built and are relatively simple, mechanically and so easily maintained. If they were that good, was there any need for Leica to produce any new models after that?
    Apart from any marketing reasons (Leica is already poo-poed by the "features" crowd for not being innovative enough, imagine if they hadn't come out with a new model for 50 years...), basically all the new models added were light meters, AE and - sometimes - few more frame framelines and a different rewind lever.

    Those cameras were that good. They had/have all that is really needed and with a CLA every few decades will last several lifetimes.
    A comparison with cars is senseless.
    Does the "convenience" offered by more modern cameras really lead to better pictures?

    For me the choice between a used M in good condition and a new Bessa for the same price is a no-brainer.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    Does the "convenience" offered by more modern cameras really lead to better pictures?
    The way I see it, the features lead to the ability of less skilled technicians to produce a higher percentage of "passable" pictures. The features don't make pictures "better" most of the time. They just make technically acceptable pictures more likely. That is all. The problem is that when you can get more technically passable pictures with less technical ability, people are no longer required to learn as many of the details of their craft. And if they aren't required to, they usually do not.

    But, hey. It happens in every area, and it is both good and bad. Look at how few people know how to drive a manual transmission car, or one without power steering or power brakes. More people are driving than ever, though they have less and less of an idea exactly what it is their car is actually doing under the surface.
    2F/2F

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  4. #64

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    Took another look at going bessa (more as a compliment to my Nikon setup than a replacement).

    Well, I've taken a look around and notice that quite a few Bessa's get put up for sale. Also, seems to be some issues with shutters/quality control.

    I seem some R2A's and R3A's on classifieds and am wondering... what are some things to look out for? Is there any way to test for certain problems early?

  5. #65

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    I recently bought a Bessa R after I saw one in rough cosmetic condition show up for cheap (Around $140). It works great. The viewfinder is really big and bright, and the selectable framelines are very nice as well.

    I have another rangefinder, a Kiev 4 in immaculate condition, which has the same extremely long RF base as a Contax II. In practice I don't notice the difference focusing on either camera that much.

    I find that the large bright viewfinder of the Bessa R makes up for the smaller RF length, but I'm still fairly young (26!) with good vision, those who have less than perfect vision might not feel the same way.

    As far as all the Leica comparison.. A Bessa R in good shape, not needing any repairs costs 100-200$ and gives you a reliable meter. A Leica M2 in decent operating condition will cost you 500$ or more.. Is it worth it? Depends on you. A Bessa R can use both LTM lenses, AND M lenses with an adapter. You can't go the other way around.

    I had the money to buy a Bessa R2 or R3 or even enough to buy a Leica M8 (Which I'm still thinking about..!) but I decided to go with the R for now because of the ability to use LTM lenses, and because the build quality was good enough. I really have to wonder what people are doing with their cameras that makes them feel like a Bessa R would fall apart. It's a camera not a construction tool. It's well built enough.

  6. #66
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paradoxbox View Post

    As far as all the Leica comparison.. A Bessa R in good shape, not needing any repairs costs 100-200$ and gives you a reliable meter. A Leica M2 in decent operating condition will cost you 500$ or more.. Is it worth it? Depends on you. A Bessa R can use both LTM lenses, AND M lenses with an adapter. You can't go the other way around.

    I had the money to buy a Bessa R2 or R3 or even enough to buy a Leica M8 (Which I'm still thinking about..!) but I decided to go with the R for now because of the ability to use LTM lenses, and because the build quality was good enough. I really have to wonder what people are doing with their cameras that makes them feel like a Bessa R would fall apart. It's a camera not a construction tool. It's well built enough.
    Errrr.... I think you have that backwards.

    A camera with an M mount can mount both M mount and M39/LTM lenses (the latter with an adapter). An M39 camera will only mount M39 lenses.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #67

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    woops, you're right, my mistake.

    the viewfinder etc. are still fantastic on the Bessa's though.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Corneau View Post
    Why would you get a Bessa when there's Leica M-series bodies? Or even Zeiss Ikon, for that matter.
    Because the results are just as good and its cheaper.
    Akiva S.

    Nikkormat FTN, FT2, Nikon F, Nikon FE, FM3a, Leica M3

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