Leon,

I own several Bessa bodies, including an R2(not A) and an R3A.

The information about the 40mm finder in the R3A being on the edge of visibility is correct. I wear rather close fitting glasses, and can just barely make out the frame if I keep my eye pointed straight ahead through the finder. If I look off-center through the finder, I can't see the frames. I don't find the shutter speed LEDs hard to see, but they're not obtrusive either. They can get lost with the eye in a specific spot, but I haven't tested that much, and don't consider it a problem. You can also buy a CV 40mm accessory finder for the hot shoe, which is very nice. I use it on my R2, T, and L model Bessas, and on my Fuji GW690II because it's within a degree or two on coverage, the same aspect ratio, and much clearer than the built-in Fuji finder.

The important thing to me on the R3A is not necessarily framing perfectly with the 40mm frames. I already owned two 40mm lenses, and the CL is one of my favorite cameras, so the R3A was a natural fit in my kit. I got the R3A for the 1:1 finder, which allows you to focus, frame, and shoot very comfortably with both eyes open, and for the longer effective baseline on the rangefinder. I always know well enough for my purposes where the R3A 40mm finder frames are, even if I can't see tham at the moment. Shooting with both eyes open is a substantial difference because you don't feel isolated from the subject or surroundings. You just have a brightline frame floating in front of you. If you're left-eyed, this is immaterial; your right eye would be blocked by the body. If you're using a 50mm or longer lens, those CV hot shoe finders are also 1:1 and sit above the camera body, so could give you the same effect whether you're left or right eyed. The 40mm and shorter CV auxiliary finders are not 1:1, so don't work well this way.

Build quality of the R3A is similar to the R2 if not slightly better, and better than the T and first R model. It's not a Leica, but it's very solid. Both the R3A and R2A have electronic shutters (autoexposure, you know) and won't work without batteries, so you won't see me getting rid of my R2. I like to be able to have a variety of films loaded.

Hope his helps.

Lee