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  1. #21
    Sportera's Avatar
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    I have an M6 I bought used a few years ago. Its become my daily camera. I love it dearly but be aware that it has its uses like any other tool, however for a quiet extremely high quality camer that I can focus in worst lighting conditions it is simply the best.

    I also have the 90 APO Lanthar, 35 Skopar F2.5, and the 21mm Skopar. All are gems. Great lenses and you can't beat the price, I recently purchased a Zeiss 35mm ZM to replace the 35mm Skopar. I just wanted a bit more speed.

    Ive never held a Bessa so I can't say much about that. I would recomend you seriously look at an M6 or M7, if you realize you don't like rangefinders you can always sell it for what you paid. Leica keeps its value.

  2. #22
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I have a Bessa R outfitted with a 35mm Skopar and a 90mm Leitz Elmar. I have used both Leica and obviously Bessa products. For the money you can't beat the Bessa. I've beat the crap out of it and the only problem I had was when I was trying to take pics to past and tried to crank the wind lever while the shutter was still working. This resulted in a jam which was easily and cheaply fixed.

    Another issue for me was the weight. Leica's at least for me are to heavy to travel with as I have lots of other stuff that needs to go along too.

    You can purchase a bunch of Bessa's, wear them out and chuck them for the price of one Leica.

    If you go to my website and then the Travels gallery you will see pics taken with the Bessa R. All pics done with FP4 souped in PyroCat-HD.
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! I guess I should have elaborated a bit more about my intended use. I will be working on an experimental project soon in which I will be interviewing several families and recording their everyday life. I currently own Nikon SLR's (a trusty and beautiful F with FTN finder, F2A, F3HP, FM2, and several prime and zoom lenses). The only reason I was thinking about a rangefinde is because I would like an unoticeable/unobtrussive camera, a camera that won't stand out or draw too much attention. The shots will be taken in settings where these people work, eat, worship, etc. They will be aware of the camera, but I don't want to draw attention from people surrounding them (somewhat candid). I feel that if I use any of my smaller SLR's, like the FM2 or the F2A, they will stand out. I want to look like someone taking a picture, not a photographer (stereotype photographer with bulky SLR, big lenses, visible from several hundred feet away).
    Sounds like an intereesting project! Good luck with it.

    It doesn't sound like the time to be breaking in new camera skills to me. If I were you, I would rather be using a camera I don't have to think much about. My Nikon 85/2 isn't all that big. I'm not sure that a rangefinder with a 90mm lens would be all that much more compact than an 85/2 on an FM2.

    I don't have a 90mm RF lens; my longest is 75 - a more compact size & one you might want to consider for your project if you do go the RF route. The most compact RF 90 I know of is the Konica Hexanon 90/2.8, which is a very high quality optic.

    Important questions . . . Are you shooting indoors or out? Are you using flash or available light? How fast a lens do you need?

  4. #24
    snegron's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the responses! I think I am leaning now in the direction of either a Bessa R2A with 40mm Notcon 1.4 or stick with my FM2 for this project. I have been checking prices on used Leicas (M3 single stroke, M6, M7) and lenses and they are way out of my budget at this time. I would love to own a Leica M series rangefinder someday, but maybe after this project it might be feasible.

    The project will take several months to complete, so I guess I will start with the FM2. If all goes well I might finish without having to buy anything new for now and probably save up for my 2007 (or 2008) Christmas present to myself, an M6 or M7!

    Biogon Bill, you are probably right that experimenting with a new camera on a new project might not be a good idea. I will be shooting mostly available, low light, both indoors and out, leat amount of flash as possible.

    Eric Rose, thanks for the link! Outstanding shots! Did you get all of them with a Bessa?

    Sopreta, you have a very valid point about the resale value of Leicas. It seems like they never go down in price, not even older used models!

    Kdanks, thank you for the comparission between the FM2 and the R2a. If that is the case, then it is more of a reason to stick with what I have for now.

    Matti, I would be really curious to hear the story about the tree!

    Firecracker, another vote for staying with my FM2!

    DBP, you are right about the quietness of leaf shutters.Problem with a TLR is that they stand out quite a bit and I am trying to keep a really low profile. Nothing in 35mm would match what a 120mm TLR could do, but for this project I have in mind 35mm has more advantages.

    Elekm, thank you for the detailed feedback! I agree with you in that in the end a camera is just a camera and it won't make me a better photographer. One of the main reasons I would like to own a Leica M series one day is for what you mentioned, they "are a testament to excellence in engineering".

    Livemoa, Was your Bessa purchased new or used?

    Leon, great images on your website! Did you capture tham with your Bessa?

    Tom Hoskinson, do you currently use a handheld meter with your R3? I noticed that the prices on used R3's is tempting and not so out of budget for me. It might pay to consider this option together with a handheld meter.

    Gerald Koch, I have often wondered which is easier to focus with, a rangefinder or an SLR?

    Matt Miller, coincidence! I too owned a Canonet many years ago but lost it! I actually still have the box though. You are right. it was a great little camera. If it only had interchangeable lenses though...

    MHV, judging by all the positive feedback on the newer Bessa models, I am sure that they will make a quieter version sometime soon. There appears to be a good following and I have not heard any rumors that they are going out of business, so we might have to cross our fingers!
    Last edited by snegron; 11-23-2006 at 08:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #25
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post

    Eric Rose, thanks for the link! Outstanding shots! Did you get all of them with a Bessa?
    Thanks for the kind comments. Yes all pics in that gallery were taken with the Bessa and for the most part the 35mm Skopar lens.
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  6. #26

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    snegron, you asked:

    Tom Hoskinson, do you currently use a handheld meter with your R3? I noticed that the prices on used R3's is tempting and not so out of budget for me. It might pay to consider this option together with a handheld meter.

    My R3A and My R3M both have excellent built-in meters. The R3A has autoexposure capability. The R3M has only manually controlled exosure.

    I usually carry a Pentax spotmeter and I use that when the lighting situation requires it.
    Tom Hoskinson
    ______________________________

    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  7. #27
    matti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    Matti, I would be really curious to hear the story about the tree!
    Hi,
    It's quite complicated, actually.
    I was moving my newly built 36 ft sailing boat to a new yard (www.sylinnea.com). And the tree (that was going to be planed down to a free standing mast of a chinese junk rig) was secured on deck. Or actually NOT secured ennough as the swell from a passing ferry rocked the boat. As people into hydrodynamics know, a sailing boat without a heavy mast stepped rolls a lot. My father had put my Voightländer R2 with a 35 mm Color Skopar just beside the mast, so when it shifted, it landed right on the camera. Luckily my father had an insurance that actually covered his clumsyness. I think about 200 kg landed on the camera, pushed in the lens into the body and cracked the viewfinder. Probably the interior of the camera was totally destroyed, as the repair people couldn't do anything to save the camera or lens. I was quite impressed the body itself was totally unharmed, though.

    Concerning the choice of camera for your project, I think a rangefinder might be a really good idea. I havn't actually tested it, but I think I could handhold my Leica at longer times than my Nikon FM2. It is also easier to focus in low light situations. And the focussing itself is quite a bit faster as well. These things would also apply to a current Voightländer. I did like the viewfinder on the R2 a lot.

    /matti

  8. #28
    Ole
    Ole is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by matti View Post
    Hi,
    It's quite complicated, actually.
    I was moving my newly built 36 ft sailing boat to a new yard (www.sylinnea.com).
    Nice boat!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #29
    matti's Avatar
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    Thank's Ole. We have some interior stuff left to do.
    /matti

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    Nice boat!

  10. #30
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I've posted a couple of Bessa pics in the Standard gallery for your viewing pleasure LOL.
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

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