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  1. #1
    Steve Mack's Avatar
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    Bessa R3A and 40 mm Nokton?

    I'm thinking of getting a Bessa R3A and the 40mm Nokton lens to go with it. The price for the kit is what I choose to invest in a rangefinder camera, and I can get a new body and lens with warranties. Has anyone had experience with this combination, good or bad?

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards.

    Stephen

  2. #2

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    Re: Bessa R3A and 40 mm Nokton?

    I have the minus 1 version of that kit, the R2A with the 35 nokton.

    I went with the 2a because I had heard it worked better with glasses but the 1x magnification of the 3A sounded nice.

    The only other comment I could make that might be relevant is that I never use the aperture priority mode. Its just as easy to change the aperture to match the chosen shutter speed or change the shutter speed with my finger. So, I don't know if you've looked at the R3M but that might also be a good choice.

  3. #3
    eSPhotos's Avatar
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    I've got that exact setup. Look so sexy and performs wonderfully. Make sure you get the vented lens hood too (more for looks than performance).
    The Nokton (mine is MC) is a stella. I've also got Heliar 75mm and CS 21mm. Both are stellas too.
    Bright viewfinder and the rangefinder is very accurate. Shutter is not as quiet as Leica but the sound is very 'positive'.

  4. #4

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    I had an R4A, nice, reliable camera which I probably trusted more than my Leica. You don't have to worry about light leaks like with a cloth shutter, the meter is accurate, and shutter speeds are as advertised. Not as sexy as a Leica, but the better camera in some ways.

  5. #5
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I have the R3M, not the R3A, and Nokton 40. Superb camera, and the lens is tack sharp.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/2720834332/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/2717320932/
    Last edited by Andy K; 10-17-2012 at 09:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
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  6. #6
    arealitystudios's Avatar
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    The R3A with a 40mm Nokton is the first "serious" rangefinder I ever purchased. I can safely tell you that I never once regretted buying it and I still use both of them often to this day. The metering is accurate, the Nokton has a nice look to it, and the camera itself is rugged enough for every day use.

    I actually think the Nokton is particular is a great buy. It's pretty dang fast at f/1.4 and it's relatively sharp. More importantly it has nice character. I would take it over the vast majority of modern lenses out there from the likes of Canon, Nikon, etc. I shoot with it around f/2 most of the time.

    The only downside I can think of is that this camera is what started my obsession with M-Mount and Screw Mount lenses...which is not a cheap obsession to have. hahaha.

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Bessa R3A and 40 mm Nokton?

    Years back when the R3A was new I went with this setup. It was fine. I sold it off though as disappointingly I found the 40 Nokton to lack any unique character to my liking. And the R3A to lack the quality and fit/finish I wanted in a rangefinder body. I particularly disliked the shutter feel and sound. Instead went with a nice user M3 that I got for $550 from Youxin Ye and an ugly (barrel not glass) but perfectly functional 50/2 Summicron DR that I got for $500 from someone here on APUG. Could not be more pleased with the quality of the Leica's better build, classic quiet shutter and smooth advance and the 'cron has such gorgeous sharpness with moderate contrast that I desire in most of my B&W work.

    I know many like the VC bodies but to me for the price they are just not up to snuff, not when I can get used M2/M3 bodies for similar prices. True no internal meter but I found that not as important as I once did...
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    Richard S.
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  8. #8
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    Years back when the R3A was new I went with this setup. It was fine. I sold it off though as disappointingly I found the 40 Nokton to lack any unique character to my liking. And the R3A to lack the quality and fit/finish I wanted in a rangefinder body. I particularly disliked the shutter feel and sound. Instead went with a nice user M3 that I got for $550 from Youxin Ye and an ugly (barrel not glass) but perfectly functional 50/2 Summicron DR that I got for $500 from someone here on APUG. Could not be more pleased with the quality of the Leica's better build, classic quiet shutter and smooth advance and the 'cron has such gorgeous sharpness with moderate contrast that I desire in most of my B&W work.

    I know many like the VC bodies but to me for the price they are just not up to snuff, not when I can get used M2/3 bodies for similar prices. True no internal meter but I found that not as important as I once did...
    So, apart from the Leica (yawn) brag, what specifically didn't you like about the Nokton?
    Last edited by Andy K; 10-17-2012 at 10:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.


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  9. #9
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Bessa R3A and 40 mm Nokton?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K View Post
    So, apart from the Leica (yawn) brag, what specifically didn't you like about the Nokton?
    Purely subjective but as mentioned I did not find its "signature" or "fingerprint" to my taste. Shooting 99% B&W I find subtle differences in lenses important and I'm a stickler for getting what I want as subtle, subjective and nuanced as it may be. It was sharp but just did not knock my socks off. Hard to describe and it's simply me, I know.

    I have found, as mentioned, that I like good sharpness but with moderate contrast. The SC version I had seemed ok but in viewing my images from it over more than a dozen rolls and in differing subject matters and lighting I was rarely wowed by it. Again a matter of personal choice but the OP asked for opinions on this set up and I had it.

    Leica brag? Why would I brag about a beat-up ugly user M3 body and an ugly Summicron? Again just sharing experience and opinion. I like a few VC lenses, got the 15mm and the 75mm and like them tons (had the 35/1.2 and sold that off too). But when it came to the reason for a stealth quiet RF to counter my Nikon SLRs and decidedly not quiet Contax G2 the VC bodies to me did not give me what I wanted vs very reasonably priced and classic Leica bodies that have well-deserved reputations.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
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  10. #10

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    I can't say anything about the R3A because I use my Nokton on another make of camera. But thats not important.

    What is important is that the 40mm Nokton is a fine lens. Mine is the MC version and it renders in a very similar way to the Canada made 35mm Summilux, it even looks similar at a glance. So wide open it renders a pleasant 'glow' to the image, and it sharpens up and calms down as you stop down. It is also very small for an f/1.4 lens, but it is easy to handle at the same time.

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/

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