Below the pentaprism, the Bessa R feels exactly the same as the Nikon FM10, which I believe is largely indistinguishable from the OM 2000. The shutter, of course, is a bit quieter, due to lack of a mirror. I've used the Bessa R for about four years now, and have no complaints. The rangefinder is a good as you will find anywhere (except maybe the new ZI, which I have not handled). If I can see the subject I can easily focus on it. The lenses (I have the 15mm and the 35/2.5) are superb. Unless you have reasons to worry about durability (i.e. photojournalism) I would buy it without hesitation.
Originally Posted by C A Sugg
The viewfinder is excellent. The rangefinder is limited by its narrow base. With the 15mm lens, there is hardly a need to focus.
I use a R and L since 2001, plus a 25, 1,5/50 and a 75. Despite of all this web babble of "cheap" and "fragile" nothing has broken, the lenses are not only optically but also mechnically absolute top class and I still wonder why Leica glass is considered by some folks to be better. For me it is partly different, that's all.
Originally Posted by Sean
Some R of the early series had tilted framelines, some came with RFs outta alignement, nothing dramatic, could get fixed easily.
Some photogs with dumb thumbs who manage to break everything also managed to get the shutter stuck , obviously by pressing the shutter while still winding.
It's light, reliable, great light meter, superb finder and the shutter is a bit louder than a cloth shutter but you cannot burn holes in it and it has an acceptable flahs sync time.
A R plus 2,5/35 offers a sensational price-performance ratio, just buy it and get happy with a faithful companion, it's fine for all who don't need a brass tank to feel save. :-)
A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de
Quite right and the lens is not rangefinder coupled. You can focus easily on the distance scale there is so much depth of field.
Originally Posted by elekm
I have a Bessa R and two Bessa L's and am very pleased with them. What has impressed me most is how dead on and consistant is the built in light meter. Every frame is of the same density which makes printing very easy. Great camera!
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Does the site software allow you to automatically resurrect the threads you start every 656 days? Were you really going for 666? Guess there really is no such thing as a swift verdict.
As for the Bessas, they all have their charms, and I recommend one of each model, perhaps two of each if you can stretch the budget. That's my goal anyway.
I have Bessa R and Leica M. The Bessa is a fine camera. Not on the level with Leica, but then, neither is the price. The Bessa is wll made, accurate and has an assortment of available screw mount CV and Leica lenses.
The Bessa is not as quite as the Leica and I don't get the "feel' of the camera as I do with my Leica. I'm have no regrets about the Bessa.
There's a rather good user review of the Bessa, which spans about two years, on RFF: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...read.php?t=313
My comments about the camera, from June 2005:
I [originally commented] some time ago, back after I had received my R but before I had really used it. It's been five months now, so maybe I can make some comments...
Likes: Size and weight; quiet shutter (not as quiet as a new MP, but quiet enough); excellent metering; the viewfinder is so bright; and it's a durable camera (see ** below). I also like that it has strap lugs. Most cameras made today do have lugs, but because I've got so many oldies that don't have strap lugs, it seems like a luxury.
Dislikes: Plastic back door*, and plastic top**; VF baselength is too short to effectively focus a 13.5cm lens past 50ft [20m]; shutter speed dial is a little stiff for one-finger action.
* Plastic door: I have no problems with it currently, but I'm afraid that one day I'll drop the camera with the door open, and that it will break clean in half... Just an irrational fear, funtionally the door is excellent.
** Plastic top: I had no problems with it until I wiped out on my skateboard with the R around my neck (see Road Rash). I went down fast and hard, and the R went for a bit of a flight, followed by a good tumble. Best I can figure, she hit the concrete on one side, broke the neck strap, and went flying in the opposite direction, coming to rest on a nice section of grass. In the process, of course there was some scratching and denting. Underneath the black paint is a brassy/silver paint, and underneath that is that ugly 'white-ish plastic' colour. Ech! I suppose I could paint over it...
One reason I bought the R was that I wanted a compact travel kit with interchangeable lenses, something that was smaller and lighter than my Yashica SLRs (and zoom lenses) were. It was a good decision; it goes everywhere with me now, and it's going to be seeing a lot of the world with me soon...
I've been travelling and living in Europe for 8 months now, and I have to say that I'm very pleased with the Bessa as a travel camera and a user camera. Twice I've had to re-align the viewfinders, but this is not a big problem. (I'm somewhat rough on my gear, and tend to toss the camera bag onto the bed/chair/floor, let things get banged around, etc.) Otherwise, no issues. The meter is great, the VF is great, and it's a joy to use.
The Cosina SLR's are considerably lighter built than the Voightlander RF's. The design is essentially the same but the RF's get a tougher plastic or metal body and better QC. So going from an OM-2000 or FM10 or Ricoh KR-5sv to the R is definitely a step up in build quality and from teh R to the R2/R3 bodies is another step up.
I have a Bessa R and have put tons of film thru it. The 35mm pancake lens is razor sharp. Good contrast and excellent for both color and B&W. I also have an older 90mm Leitz f4 Elmar which is a super lens as long as you use a lenshade and don't expect to do much backlit stuff. Also good for color and B&W. Come to think of it I was using it done at the conference. This package has traveled with me all over the world.
Now on to the shutter. I was at a family reunion 3 weeks ago and was trying to grab some candids. Seems I was tryingn to shoot to fast and started to wind to the next frame before the shutter finished doing it's thing. A jam was the result. It's currently at the hospital but the tech didn't think it was going to be a big deal. I guess I should have taken one of my motor drive Nikons for the reunion.
Oh well. If you can get one cheap I would go for it. They are a pleasure to use.