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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenR View Post
    Shooting with an external meter is not as fast as an integral meter (although it may be more accurate). That's something to try before deciding on a camera like an M2 or M3 compared with the ZI or the Bessa.
    Shooting with an external meter is faster than a internal meter (like a M6), you preset the exposure and memorize any changes for shadow or in sun.
    That is if you want decisive moment pictures, Ilford XP2 f you are not confident.
    A M7 will be as fast as a external meter but may be more or less accurate, depending on the subject being near to a normal subject and your ability to predict lighting changes, (the M7 is a semi spot meter, like the M6).
    Both the ZI and Bessa are made by Cosina. they are lasting well longer then predicted, but are more dependent on spare modules more then a M2 or Canon P, they are more like M8 or M9s for maintenance.

    Noel

  2. #22
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another overlooked option is the Contax G series. If you go that route, get the G2. I know I know, purists delight in hating the autofocus and autoexposure, and none of the lenses go faster than f2. But that's never been a problem for me in my use of the cameras, and the quality of the optics speaks for itself. Just to give you a little perspective on them, I've taken my G2 (and my G1 backup) on several vacation trips - in one trip, the G2 and 21mm lens paid for themselves in prints sold. Were I a better marketer, I probably could have paid for the entire trip in print sales.

  3. #23
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    .....what I'd personally go for would be a Leica M2 and a professional service. It is better made than either of the other two, and will cost about as much as the Bessa. This is a camera that will last you for life, and with which very few sacrifices were made in quality when it was constructed........
    I agree. Or if you want an internal meter, a newer version of the Leica, such as the M6.

  4. #24

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    How about dirt cheap?

    Buy 20 Olympus XA's off that auction site for what you'd spend on either Zeiss or Voigt. Or find eight from a reputable dealer . It's the ultimate grab and go camera, takes great pics, meters well in low light, pocketable. I can't praise it enough.

    --nosmok

  5. #25
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosmok View Post
    Buy 20 Olympus XA's off that auction site for what you'd spend on either Zeiss or Voigt. Or find eight from a reputable dealer . It's the ultimate grab and go camera, takes great pics, meters well in low light, pocketable. I can't praise it enough.

    --nosmok
    If you don't mind vignetting, not-so-sharp corners, flare and a rather odd (though characteristic) overall look....
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  6. #26
    arealitystudios's Avatar
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    I know this thread is a bit old but I'm going to weigh in here.

    For my part, I'd go with a Bessa. I own an R3A and have ZERO regrets about it. I too considered an M2 but quite frankly when I'm out doing street shooting I really like having apeture priority auto exposure. If I had an M2 I'd end up guessing with the sunny 16 method and I'd probably get 90% of my shots well exposed but the metering accuracy of the R3A is top notch and it helps me shoot much more quickly.

    I find the focusing to be incredibly accurate. Granted I do nearly all my shooting on the wide end and my longest tele-photo is 75mm which I seldom shoot with.

    Plus for me, something that has long made Leica bodies very unatractive the way film is loaded. It's a pain in the butt and takes forever, espcially when I'm out and about. Just give me a camera back that swings open like ever other 35mm body!

    Don't get me wrong, an M2 is a beautiful camera and deserves the huge amount of praise that people give it. But hey, different strokes for different folks right?

  7. #27
    Domenico Foschi's Avatar
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    A Leica CL would be my choice. Inexpensive, good construction aside of the meter, but who cares of the meter if the M2 could be an option. You mention that size is a factor, and the CL is great because of that. It is the best compact rangefinder in the market.
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  8. #28

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    Bessa is a good way to go

    M2 great camera in the late 1950's, it's built like a tank. That's about it. Loading is slow, they improved it on the M4, but that camera is also dated. You have a top shutter speed of 1/1000 sec, poor flash sync at 1/50 sec. cloth shutter curtains, so you have to be careful not to burn a hole in the shutter, (read up on this). In fact, Leica updated the shutter in both the M8 and M9 to Copal vertical run metal curtain shutters because they are electronic, better performance and are very quiet, (not as quiet as the old cloth shutters),Also no shutter burn, bounce or light leaks. It's the same shutter company of the Voigt's and Zeiss, The meter is dead accurate, very center weighted on the manual bodies, you will be impressed. the RF finder is bright and clear and does not flare up, the frame lines are clearly visible in all light levels. The focus patch works as a regular RF split image and also as a split focus in the patch edges. The new line of Bessa's are all metal and have a great feel to them. The lenses on the voigtlander's mount close to the film plane, so sharpness is amazing. You can't go wrong. I purchased a Voigtlander R2M last November, I have put at least 200 rolls of Tri X through it in all types of weather and it has not missed a beat. I bring it with me at all times. I haven't used my M4 since I bought the Voigtlander R2M. The R2M, R3M and R4M all have mechanical Copal Hybrid Shutter. The shutter has two sets of curtains, grey in front, black in the back. Because there is no mirror box in a RF camera light can leak over time and wear, Voigtlander uses this unique shutter to eliminate light leaks and shutter burn problems and the shutter is sightly louder than an M6.

  9. #29

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    I think the Cosina Voigtlanders are excellent lower-priced alternatives to the pricier Zeiss Ikon (and Leica).

    They're a great way to get into rangefinders, especially if you want a new camera. And no everyone wants a used camera.

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