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  1. #1
    Rush2112's Avatar
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    Voigtlander Bessa R3a- My first Rangefinder

    This is also my first post here. Glad I found this forum, not as easy to find a place to discuss film photography- at least not as easy as it is to find a digital forum.

    That said, I decided to take on a new challenge and purchase a Voigtlander R3a and 40mm f/1.4 (MC), and get started in the world of Rangefinder photography.

    I have plenty of experience in other mediums over the last 20 or so years, but something new has inspired me to make photographs in an entirely different way.

    This may sound rash, but I have a new baby coming (my first) and wanted pristine and honest photographs of her in film, with a camera that takes a bit more skill to master. I've yet to define my reasoning fully for this way of thinking, yet I'm driven strongly by the desire and decided to follow it.

    My Bessa will be delivered today, as I sit here at work anxiously wanting to be there instead to recieve it. Tap tap... c'mon clock...

    I'll be running some decent consumer grade Fuji through it first as a trial run (800 Experia), and as I gain more confidence using it, the HP5 and other films I love to use will cycle through her.

    I'm extremely excited for this new adventure- to say the least. I'm sure many here can relate to that excitement and I look forward to having intelligent and helpful discussions with you all here.

    -Cheers!

    Carl

  2. #2
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new baby as well as the new camera! Welcome to APUG. The R3 is a beautiful system, and you're right, you'll have pristine negatives that'll outlast both of us. No fear of corrupt files or HDs (I work in IT and cannot count the tears from people who've lost all their data).

    Give slide film a shot. Provia would be excellent for baby photography and seeing the positive will bring a major smile to your face. For black and white consider Fuji Acros as well. Excellent tonality and cheap--never fear exposing more shots of the newborn.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Rush2112's Avatar
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    Appreciate the welcome and the congrats!

    I've got some Provia 100 (4 rolls), and several others around, not tried the Acros yet however do appreciate the tip! Any recommended max ISO with that film?

    -Carl

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    Welcome, and glad you could join us! I got my first rangefinder about a year ago, and it enlivened my shooting. I love the lack of complexity and light weight- lets me focus onthe subject, not the shooting.

    Rick

  5. #5
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    I've pushed Acros to 400 a few times and it responded OK. 200 is plenty fine. Honestly though, a small flash on the R3 coupled with that lens @ f/4 should give you spectacular results. Gah, now I want one!

  6. #6

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    'I have a new baby coming...' Great news and congratulations! Glad to hear you're getting a 'new' one...nothing worse than an old baby ! I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. And congrats on your other arrival as well.

    Seeing that you'll be spending time around the house give serious consideration to acquiring the relatively inexpensive equipment to develop your own b/w film (no darkroom needed). The look of b/w is timeless...I could go on. Paying a lab to dev/print b/w is expensive. You can burn and dev a mountain of b/w film for the cost of having a lab dev a couple dozen rolls. Oh, the beautiful rendering of that soft and smooth skin using a slow b/w film...gorgeous!

  7. #7
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    I envy you Carl, both for the baby and the R3a (in that order). I have the R2a and love it to bits. The viewfinder and rangefinder patch make up the best part- bright and contrasty. The R3a goes 1:1, the R2a doesn't.

    If I ever get a second body it will be an R3a, not a Leica or the Zeiss. Voigtlanders are for users, Leicas are mere jewelry

    Have fun and good luck with the other gift too.

    Sander.

  8. #8

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    I'll echo the suggestion of slide film. I'm so glad I took some slides when my first son was an infant. Putting those slides on the light table really takes me back, in a way that prints just don't.

    Congrats on the baby and the camera too! The Bessa is a fine camera. You'll dig it.

  9. #9
    Rush2112's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    I've pushed Acros to 400 a few times and it responded OK. 200 is plenty fine. Honestly though, a small flash on the R3 coupled with that lens @ f/4 should give you spectacular results. Gah, now I want one!
    Interesting thoughts on the film and flash idea, I do appreciate them.

    C

  10. #10
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    For a baby, I'd put a small diffuser on it, slight angle bounce, and shoot f/4 @ 125.

    I've never done this before

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