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  1. #1
    bobar57's Avatar
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    Voigtlander Bessa R3a and Nokton 40 f/1.4 MC

    Hi,
    I'm a beginner amateur.I have some experience with film SLR but none with rangefinders.
    I can't afford nothing expensive as a Leica,so I had been googling and reading about the Bessa line of Cosina Voigtlander and Voigtlander lenses and i think will settle for the above mentioned combination for two reasons:
    -1:1 bright viewfinder
    -Fast and quality lens suitable for B&W street photo and candid portraits of unsuspected interesting models.
    Any thoughts about that combination?Any comments pro or against it?
    Oh,and i use glasses,but i don't like to shoot with them on,normally when I go out shooting,I use those straps to maintain the glasses hanging in your neck when not in use.So I will use a diopter.Normally,before going to the optometrist and finally getting my transition glasses,i uses +3 cheap glasses to read.Does anyone knows the exact or approximate length of the pathway between the eyepiece and the reading and coupling rangefinder,so I can tell my optometrist and calculate the right diopter for me?Here,there are few photo stores and most if not all are dedicated to digital now and don't carry the Nikon diopters that fit the Bessa cameras,so I can't try them and find the right one.
    Thanks in advance for your responses,

    Robert
    "I would LOVE to shoot digital but I don't have a firearms permit."
    -Edgard G. Praus

  2. #2
    trotkiller's Avatar
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    Hi Robert

    I was recently in the same situation you are in now.

    I planned to get the R3m with 40 1.4

    After trying the 1:1 view finder, and trying to use it with both eyes open, i settled with the R2m with the 25mm f2.5 pancake lens

    I have also read that people with glasses have trouble seeing the 40mm framing line as it is right on the edge of the view finder.

    I also like the extra view finder space that you get from the .7 view finder and the 35mm lens, makes street composition a lot easier as you can see more than just what you have in frame in the view finder.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    bobar57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trotkiller View Post
    Hi Robert

    I was recently in the same situation you are in now.

    I planned to get the R3m with 40 1.4

    After trying the 1:1 view finder, and trying to use it with both eyes open, i settled with the R2m with the 25mm f2.5 pancake lens

    I have also read that people with glasses have trouble seeing the 40mm framing line as it is right on the edge of the view finder.

    I also like the extra view finder space that you get from the .7 view finder and the 35mm lens, makes street composition a lot easier as you can see more than just what you have in frame in the view finder.

    Hope this helps
    Even if I don't use the glasses to shoot(I remove them and rely on diopters),that will put the R2A with a Skopar 35mm f/2.5 PII as a better choice.There is minimum difference between a 40mm and a 35mm for street photo,I think.But for portraits is another story.Composition will be easier with the .7 viewfinder since ,as you said,you're looking at what is out of the framelines too.
    What do you think?
    First choice combo or second choice one?

    Robert
    "I would LOVE to shoot digital but I don't have a firearms permit."
    -Edgard G. Praus

  4. #4

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    I would tend to go with the R2 as there is a bit more air in the viewfinder–I like to be able to see what's going on outside the frame. I have the 40mm Nokton SC and it's quite a nice lens.
    ___________________________________________

    Richard Wasserman

    http://www.richardwasserman.net

  5. #5
    bobar57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wasserman View Post
    I would tend to go with the R2 as there is a bit more air in the viewfinder–I like to be able to see what's going on outside the frame. I have the 40mm Nokton SC and it's quite a nice lens.
    So the R2A with the Nokton 40/1.4 isn't a bad combo,even if the R2's don't have a 40 frameline?

    Robert
    "I would LOVE to shoot digital but I don't have a firearms permit."
    -Edgard G. Praus

  6. #6
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    If by "street photography" you mean taking candid photos of people, I'll throw another idea out. The TLR cameras such as Yashicamat or even Bronica ETRSi have waist level finders. You hold the camera at your waist and look down into it. Very few people have any clue you're taking their photo. There are f2.8 lenses for these, plus you have the advantage of the huge 120 film negatives. There are also small folding 120 cameras such as Welta Weltur, Zeiss Ikon, and Voigtlander Bessa that shoot 645, 6x6, or even 6x9 that have a cruder form of waist level finder--the brilliant finder. These cameras are from the 1930s and 1940s and have quality Zeiss Tessar lenses. Another thought is the Voigtlander Vitessa. Built in lens, but a very sharp one and quality is very close to Leica of that period.


    Kent in SD

  7. #7

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    Robert,
    I don't wear glasses and I can only just make out the framelines for the 40mm lens on my R3A. You can get diopter lenses for the viewfinder - CV make them and also some of the F series Nikons used exactly the same lenses (I think Cosina were making the bodies for Nikon). The R3 bodies won't ever allow you to shoot wider than 40mm without an external viewfinder. I now have an R4A as well, just for the WA lenses I've gravitated to.
    I'd support an earlier suggestion that you look at the R2 bodies and framelines before deciding. There's a nice 35/1.4 CV lens which is very compact, and the 50/2.5 is a bit of a gem as well. You could use the 40 on the R2 by selecting either the 35 or 50mm framelines and knowing that you'll get a bit more or a bit less than the selected framelines show. With practice you'll get used to estimating just how much. But to be honest, for street and candids, I'd be looking at the 35mm lens rather than the 40, and then maybe eventually getting a 50/2 or a 75/2.5 as a second lens for those times when you can't get close enough.

  8. #8
    bobar57's Avatar
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    Kent,yes,I'm familiar with TLR's cameras if I haven't used one in decades.Used to own a Russian Lubitel back in Havana.A Bronica,even a Kiev 88,LOL,will suit me;but I'm more after the known sharpness of rangefinders,specially with a good Cosina Voigtlander lens.
    Sure,that arises the question or point that I don't own any film camera at the moment,but a generous soul already offered me one to shoot til I can get my hands on the desired Bessa combo.
    Leigh,I will email or send him a message on the rangefinders forum to ask about the diopters,I hear these are in in increments of +/- 0.5,that is a plus over the whole numbers only of the Nikon ones.Kudos again to Cosina for that.
    I like the R3A/Nokton 40/1.4 combo,I find IMO-not out of experience,of course-that the 35mm is a bit wide for street photos,specially candid portraits.
    Besides,I'm looking at this combo in a futuristic optimism.If my economy improves I might add a 75mm maybe for distant photos.Then later an R4A will be the next step for wide angle choices and landscape portrait if I feel inclined to it.This all dreaming and speculation,but you never know,and it's better to buy what you need with a plan ahead than buying what you need and a future bad combination.

    Robert
    "I would LOVE to shoot digital but I don't have a firearms permit."
    -Edgard G. Praus

  9. #9
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    The R3A/Nokton 40mm is my favourite R/F combination, and although the framelines are on the edge, with the 1:1 viewfinder and both eyes open, I have no trouble seeing 'around the frame' for composition purposes. I do have one of those turret-style viewfinder things that offer 28/35/50/85 views, but most of my photography is served by the 40mm focal length, and my wide-angle needs usually call for the 21mm Skopar.

    Rather than swap viewfinders or put the Skopar's (lovely) viewfinder on the R3A, I just bought a Bessa L body for the Skopar, and keep that mounted in the camera bag to act as a second body. The L , which can be had for peanuts, is great for the 21mm Skopar, since with such a wide, everything's in focus from the back of your head to Mars.
    Alex

  10. #10
    bobar57's Avatar
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    I have been doing some math today and going over budget and necessities vs hobbies and it will take more than a few months to save enough for this combo.I'll do it,but it will take me more time.
    Sorry guys for starting this thread in an untimely manner .

    Robert
    "I would LOVE to shoot digital but I don't have a firearms permit."
    -Edgard G. Praus



 

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