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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Need advice for a second body/lens to supplement my current setup

    I considered the bessa r2a, with the 50mm zeiss planar...but i decided to instead go for the m6 with the 50mm summicron. i don't regret my decision...but now i'm planning to get a second body, with a 35mm lens...and looking into the r2a again.

    Here's the situation: I have an olympus xa, which has focal length of 35mm. I have become very accustomed to this FOV, and also very comfortable with pre focusing with it. The same cannot be said for my 50mm summicron. Back to the m6...I sort of miss aperture priority mode...the light meter indicator does help, but it's more of an 'extra step', which can sometimes cause a delay when taking a photo.

    Here's my solution: I'm thinking of getting a r2a, and sticking the 50mm summicron on it...and then getting a 35mm lens, which I'll attach to the m6.

    Here's the reason for doing so: On the r2a, I'd primarily shoot in aperture priority mode...and only have to worry about focusing! And on the m6, because I have a wide 35mm lens, its much easier to prefocus...so I only have to worry about metering!

    Here's the problem:...I don't want to spend more than $1,000 on the R2A + 35mm lens combo. From what I've seen, I can get a used R2A for about $500, and that leaves $500 for a 35mm lens.

    Here's the question:...Is my logic for getting the r2a and a 35mm right? Would it make a good combination? Or is there something else which I am overlooking? Its just that currently, the m6 without aperture priority, and the 50mm lens which is hard to focus, does take a bit of time to get use to. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a blast using them, its just that in my mind a rangefinder camera needs to be placed to the eye, and the shot metered, focused, and taken in less than a second...and my reason for the r2a and 35mm will sort of allow that to happen, for both setups.

    Also, was wondering which sub $500, 35mm lens you'd recommend? I was looking at the color skopar II, and it seems like a good choice. Are there any others you'd recommend?

    I still use my olympus xa...but I'd much rather have a 35mm lens on the m6, and the 50mm cron on an aperture priority body.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Dublin/ Waterford, Ireland
    Multi Format
    I would try to learn to meter the light, so you fall into the habit of subconsciously adjusting your M6 as the light changes. That way, you are not taking a fresh meter reading when you lift it to your eye. You can meter, as you compose, but it is slower and it really necessitates learning to be comfortable adjusting the shutter speed when the camera is to your eye, likewise the aperture ring. This should help speed up your usage of your M6 when you have a 50mm mounted. Likewise, with a 35mm it should be quite nippy, as you are already quick to focus a 35, and once you can set the exposure the same way, shooting should be fast.

    If even with the above, you find manual is still too slow, and you need aperture priority, then I would consider an aperture priority body like the bessa. If going down that route, consider the R3, which with its higher magnification finder may be a good compliment to your M6, especially for mounting a 50mm on.

  3. #3
    OldBodyOldSoul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Just get a Konica Hexar AF and get it over with.

    edit: I sort of missed the point here. Disregard the post..
    Last edited by OldBodyOldSoul; 12-22-2011 at 02:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Medium Format
    I'd go with Damienm's suggestion. I understand what you're saying as I have an M6 and a Bessa R4A. I used to have an R3A as well but sold it when I got the M6. I also miss the AE feature on the M6. And the shutter lock!
    I have the CV 35/1.4 Nokton lens pretty well permanently mounted on the M6 but if you didn't want a lens this fast then the Color Skopar you mention is also a good one. (I have the 28/3.5 and the 50/2.5). I kept the R4A because I like to use wider angle lenses and often use 25mm or 21mm which the M6 viewfinder frames don't accommodate. If I was going to use a 50mm lens often I'd also suggest the R3A as the viewfinder on that camera is wonderful for that focal length.
    Leica M6,
    Bessa R4A,
    Rolleiflex(s) 2.8/80, 4/135, 4/55.
    Nikkormat FTn
    Fuji X10

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Multi Format
    a number of years ago I swapped my nikons SLR for an MP - no AE, all manual requiring 'heavy' work for each exposure. It did'nt take too long to learn and to adopt as my natural way of shooting. I feel it obliges me to think about light levels and tonalities in a way unknown when I was on the automatic nikon wagon. when I wanted a back up for the MP I couldn't afford a second MP and therefore turned to BessaR2a new - which three years ago was ca. 550eur. I had the Leica 35, 50, and 75mm and used them extensively on both cameras.
    It immediately turned out that the light meters are different-the Bessa covers a larger area and is therefore less precise, it was confusing! Then I took it out for a three day hike in the Belgian Ardennes. It was freezing cold, and the relative light weight of the Bessa cnfused me once more: many of the shots I made are unsharp! So being spoiled with a Leica in conclusion it's hard to accept a lower quality. I plan to sell the Bessa and if I win the lotto a second MP will find its way to my table!
    cross my fingers



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