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  1. #1

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    bessa R3A and nokton 35mm

    I am interested in a Bessa R3A. Looks like a nice camera, good features, 1:1 viewfinder, and a few more bells and whistles over my QL17.

    Would there be any reason to choose a R2a ?? They are both the same price, so am I missing something ??

    I did notice that the r3a does not have 35mm frame lines.

    Lens choices in the area I am interested in are 40mm F1.4, 35mm F1.7, or the nokton 35mm F1.2

    Also as far as the Nokton 35mm F1.2 is it really worth the extra dough.

  2. #2
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    I have been intrigued with the Bessa R2a/R3a. The R2a has the .7 viewfinder with the 35mm framelines. If it were my cash I would go with the R2a as I already have a 35 f2.5 Skopar lens and I love it a lot. I would also get a 75mm short telephoto, I can't remember the CV name for it off hand. You could go minimalist with just both those focal lengths.
    I would test drive if you can.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  3. #3

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    I got an R2A by chance - an unused demo from Midwest Photo half the price of a new one that I never got around to re-selling - but I'd buy the same if doing it again. I use a 35mm lens primarily, and with a .7 (or .72 in Leicaland) have some difficulty seeing the entire frame thanks to my glasses.

    If that's not a problem for you, you should be able to use the R3A's 40mm framelines and the remaining space of the viewfinder as a decent approximation of 35mm coverage. (Or just get the 40/1.4, of course.)

  4. #4

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    I haven't used the 35/1.2, but everyone I've heard from has been a fan. Maybe not the sharpest lens wide open, but good enough and bargain-priced. Beware, though, as it is pretty large compared to the others (especially the 40/1.4, which is very small).

  5. #5

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    Depends whether you wear glasses or not.

    The R3A's 40mm framelines are right at the edge of the viewfinder and are impossible to see if you wear glasses.

    The R2A's 35mm framelines are viewable if you wear glasses.

    If you are going to purchase a 35mm lens, go for the R2A to give you the correct framelines.

    The 1:1 viewfinder on the R3A is really only useful if you shoot using your right eye, as this allows you to view the rest of the scene with your left eye.

    Also, the R3A will have a slight advantage if you use longer lenses (75mm or 90mm) as the rangefinder is magnified a little more than the R2A and is therefore a little more accurate.

    I've never used the 35/1.2, but know that it obscures quite a large chunk of the viewfinder. Depends whether you feel you need the f1.2 aperture.

    You may want to consider the 35/f1.7 instead as its a fraction of the price and an excellent lens.

    One other thing to consider... I've heard reports that the bokeh (out of focus effect) of the 40mm lens is not that nice to look at. I can confirm that the bokeh of the 35/1.7 is excellent. I've not seen any reports on the bokeh of the 35/1.2
    Last edited by petebown; 04-18-2006 at 08:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Voigtlander Bessa R2A, CV lenses: 25/4, 35/1.7, 50/2.5, 1936 Leica 9cm f4 Elmar
    Leica R7, 50/2 Summicron, 90/2.8 Elmarit, 180/3.4 Apo-Telyt-R
    I'm not going digital... It's not photography, its computing!

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  6. #6
    Will S's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say that they are impossible to see. I can see them most of the time and I wear glasses. But, you definitely don't have the eye-relief that you get with a NIkon F100 for instance.

    I've been very happy with my R3a and a color heliar 75 and a 40 nokton.

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  7. #7
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have a Bessa R screwmount with 50, 35, 25, 15 and 80mm lenses. I always seem to end up with the 35 (1.7 ultron) on the camera, just seems right. Seems that rangefinder cameras suit wideangles best so you are probably better off with a viewfinder that covers the 35mm focal length. I don't have any experience with the 40mm nokton but it sounds very tasty. All my CV lenses are excellent quality and really good value.

  8. #8

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    Dear Troy,

    If you want the 35mm frame there's not much choice.

    Is the 35/1.2 worth the extra money? Impossible to say -- FOR YOU. It's not worth the extra to me because I already have a 35/1.4. But against the 35/1.7 I would probably go for the 35/1.2 for a whole extra stop. Then again, you might never need/want the extra speed (and no-one wants the extra size, weight or price).

    I have used all current Voigtlander 35mm lenses, several recent/current Leica 35mm lenses, and the current 35/2 Zeiss. All are better lenses than I am a photographer so my choice comes down to size, weight, handling and what I already own. My pre-aspheric 35/1.4 wins on all counts. This is not to say it's the best for you.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  9. #9

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    I've had the R3A with the 40/1.4 and sold the 40 because of the bokeh. I also wear glasses and you CAN see the framelines with the 40. I'm now waiting for a 25/4 Snapshot Skopar to show up and will be testing it next week in Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee.

  10. #10
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdaddy
    I've had the R3A with the 40/1.4 and sold the 40 because of the bokeh.
    You could always look for a used 40mm Summicron-C or Rokkor lens made for the CL/CLE. Might suit your bokeh needs better. They are a little pricey, but not out of line with the C/V 40mm Nokton. I bought the R3A because I already had the 40mm lens and wanted a 1:1 finder to go with it. It's been my favorite rangefinder body since it first came out. I really love using it with the C/V 75mm lens as well as others.

    Lee

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