I generally do find that I can use much slower shutter speeds with a rangefinder than an SLR, if only because of the lack of mirror slap. I often set my RF to 1/15 in shutter mode and fire away. I get at least 75% of my photos sharp, and many of the ones that aren't are because there was more subject movement than I had thought.
Originally Posted by snaggs
this is in line with what others find with RF cameras, but I am trying to speak specifically for myself.
The Zeiss Ikon is a completely new M-mount camera, as far as I know.
Finally, does anyone have experience with the Zeiss Ikon? Is this just another rebadged Bessa like the Rollei 35RF? How about the Hexar RF?
I'm not sure anyone still makes a leaf-shutter based RF. There are many older cameras that have them - the Canonet cameras (I have a QLIII 17), the Minolta hi-matics, Olympus 35's, etc. My Canonet is very quiet, and I actually find the meter pretty good even in tough situations. If you want to get insanely quiet get a Kodak Retina IIa, but then you lose the meter.
One more question, I read in a FAQ that the Bessa's arnt as quiet as Leicas, but then even quieter than Leicas are Rangefinders with Leaf shutters.. who makes these?
I rate the TMZ3200 with 1000 ASA and develop it in DS-10 1+1, 17:00@24deg continous motion. This gives negs with a CI of about 0.65 perfectly suited for street photography in the dusk etc.
Originally Posted by snaggs
I print my 24x36 negs on 14x20cm (Agfa MCP) and scan it with a Epson 2400 flatbed scanner. This method isn't perfect, but my trials with scanning negs were much worse. I don't want to go into digital, so I'm not going to invest much energy into this... I prefer good silver gelatine prints.
Sorta'. It's manufactured by Cosina and apparently shares a lot of internals with the Bessa cameras. Not quite the Bessa copy that the Rollei was, but not all that different either. (The real news is the lenses...M-mount Zeiss lenses...now that's something to get excited about.)
Originally Posted by kaiyen
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
Yes, this is a scan from Negative (Fuji Frontier).
Originally Posted by MattCarey
Btw, I have one more option, I can get a Leica M3 with >1 million serial number for about the same price as a new Bessa R3A..
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Originally Posted by snaggs
I'm not sure what the big deal on noise is.. Both the bessa and the leica's are noisy compared to my Rollei TLR. First time I actually shot a Leica I laughed, it's a lot quieter than an SLR but it wasn't anything like the near mystical quietness I was expecting after reading Leica's marketing materials, the FAQ's and other nonsense online.
There are MF rangefinders with leaf shutters. old weird/cool stuff like koni-omega's and some similar.. fastest lens is usually a F3.5
or if you want to go really odd - you could go with a baby crown graphic with a 120 back and a rangefinder on it.. there was an illuminated rangefinder option which you still find occaisionally. Be a darn funky night set up.
see www.graflex.org , pretty sure they have a copy of an original ad on their site.
New Bessa VS old Leica.
They both do the same basic job. The in-camera metering and easier film loading is a bonus with the Bessa.
The Leica definitely feels nicer. From winding to releasing the shutter it all just feels better, more solid. The downside is you are buying an old camera. Old camera's need service. Service can be expensive.
Hope this helps you some.
When I was a working photojournalist I always carried a rangefinder for low level light situations, either a Cannon 7s, Leica IIIg and later a M4. I agree with Ian that none of these are as quite as a Rolliflex or a 2X3 Crown, but the advantage of a modern rangefinder is interchangable lens. I also carried a fast 90mm and 35mm as well as the standard 50. I had a Cannon 50 1.4 that was very sharp for its day. I still have a Cannon IIIg rangefinder from the 70s that is quite sharp, but without interchangable lens it can be quite limiting, I also have a Retina III big C with the two lens 35mm and 80mm, but there are very slow and the old external light meter does not meter in low light very well. I have not used the Bessas, but I did try the new Konica rangefinder, if I had the money I would get one with 2 lens. The motor advance was very quite.
I use a Mamiya Universal (6x9) with a 100/2.8 (a Planar design, which is MUCH better wide open than the more common 100/3.5 Tessar). I use Delta 3200 (no 120 TMZ, sigh) stand developed in 1:1 XTOL for 25-30 minutes, EI of about 12,500. This is a leaf-shutter rangefinder design.
There are a number of other lenses in the system, but none of them are remotely fast. Still, I shoot my 50/6.3 from the neckstrap (and scale focused) as slow as 1/8 with pretty good results.
Plan on adjusting the rangefinder (easy) so your fast lens is dead on--these cameras are very prone to going out of adjustment over the years.
The Koni-Omega is a very similar system, but it lacks the killer-wide-open Planar.
One neat benefit to the Mamiya's slow 50/6.3 is that you can shoot it wide open to get rid of the "spikes" around lights and still have decent depth of field and great lens performance.
Can the Mamiya Universal use all the Mamiya lenses? As I belive there is a Mamiya 80mm f/1.9.
Ok, to summarise the posts so far, we have two distinct possibilities.. Since this is a single purpose application, brand of the depth of the system arnt a consideration. Performance is, with what it costs to reach being subjective in the end.
1) 35mm Rangefinder with fast lens. Obviously any 35mm camera can use the same film, so the differences boil down to mirror slap, focal length and speed of lens.
2) MF Rangefinder with slowish lens. All the MF lenses seem quite a bit slower than their 35mm compatriots.
So, here would be my guesses in order of handholdability (and ability to freeze motion) given the same amount of light using Delta 3200 film.
Currently Im using a Nikon F65 with a 50mm f1.4, our meter is showing 1/15. This is the problem I have at the moment.. its just not fast enough to avoid the mirror slap of the SLR, the ideal 1/50 required for 50mm, and still susceptible for people moving.
Below is a chart of what various combinations will achieve, i.e. with the Bessa 2R, half a stop gets us to the 1/20 speed on the camera, and 35mm needs an ideal 1/35.
Now heres the interesting question. If we fix the enlargement size to 8x10.. how much can we push a 6x7 negative for it to still achieve the same resolution as the 35mm negative? Lets say its two stops since theres 4 times as much film. Im also asumming that a 80mm lens on MF will still only require 1/50 since its the normal lens for MF and so movement has the same angular resolution effect. Someone please answer this.
Mamiya 645 w/80mm f1.9 @ ISO 12800.....1/40..................1/50
Leica M3 w/50mm f1.0 @ ISO 3200...........1/30..................1/50
Bessa 2R w/35mm f1.2 @ ISO 3200...........1/20..................1/35
Mamiya Univ w/100mm f2.8 @ ISO 12800...1/30..................1/60
Bessa 3R w/40mm f1.4 @ ISO 3200...........1/15..................1/40
Mamiya 7 w/80mm f4.0 @ ISO 12800.........1/15..................1/50
F65 w/50mm F1.4 @ ISO 3200.................1/15..................1/50
Last edited by snaggs; 04-14-2005 at 11:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Heres a excerpt of a review from Shutterbug on Ilfords site
So it would seem it could be alot more than 2 stops.
In sharpness and tonality, it is recognizably a Delta film. If you make an 8x10 inch print from a 6x7cm Delta 3200 negative (at EI 3200), and an 8x10 inch print from a 35mm Delta 100 negative (at EI 100), the grain in the two pictures looks surprisingly similar. Of course, one is only about a 4x enlargement, and the other is around 7x, but the family resemblance is clear.
One more point needs to be dealt with, and it is a fairly fundamental one. Why would you want to use fast film with a roll film camera? Ilford told me that they had two clear groups of reactions during the field trials. One group said, "This is what I have been wanting for years. " The other group said, "What am I going to do with this film?"
At first, we had more sympathy with the second group than the first. After all, when you need the ultimate in speed, 35mm is still more attractive. The lenses are faster, and depth of field is greater. With a fast lens on a medium format camera, you often need to stop down to f/4 or less for depth of field. Even if you can work at full aperture, most lenses for roll film cameras are slow. Speeds of f/3.5 and below are quite common, and f/2.8 is regarded as the normal "fast" lens. There are a few faster lenses, such as the 105mm f/2.4 on the Pentax 6x7, the 110mm f/2 on the Hasselblad, the 80mm f/1.9 on the Mamiya 645 and of course the 80mm f/2 on the new Contax 645. Any of these could be useful for the right subject. But until we tried Delta 3200 in 120, we could not really see why anyone would want to use medium format instead of 35mm for ultra-low-light photography.
Then, when we saw the results, we changed our minds completely. This is magic.
There are two ways you can use it. One is in the same sort of way as 35mm: hand-held, for reportage and similar pictures. The other is where you need depth of field, or action stopping, in low light conditions, while still retaining excellent quality.
When you need depth of field, or action stopping, or both, you can use just about any camera, but the speed of Delta 3200 is a major advantage. For example, where you can use Delta 3200 at 1/60 second and f/5.6, rated at EI 3200, an ISO 400 film at its rated speed would require both a stop wider (f/4) and a shutter speed one step longer (1/30). Given that you can easily go to EI 6400 with Delta 3200, and that EI 12,500 is far better than it has any right to be, the advantages are clear.