View Full Version : Silver Bessa R2?
Has anyone heard anything about Cosina releasing a silver Bessa R2 in the future? I want an R2 bad, but am holding out for a silver model because I don't like the current black body and think the olive body is just weird. I mean, both silver and black lenses just look ugly on the olive body. What were they thinking? Anyway, if you've heard of any rumors or news please let me know. Thanks.
There have been teases for over a year now that Cosina planned on introducing a new film rangefinder camera. There really are no details as to what it will be or when at this time. Have you considered the Bessa T? It has a longer effective rangefinder baseline and I do believe it is made in a silver model. It is in effect an R2 without the viewfinder.
Originally posted by jbtran
... I mean, both silver and black lenses just look ugly on the olive body. What were they thinking? ...
I've got a black RF camera and have been known to put silver (and they're not even really silver, just matte aluminium) lenses on it. Looks awfull, I know, but the pictures it takes are excellent. And to me that's all that's relevant. :)
Stil, pvdhaar, you admit that silvery barrel lenses on a black body look awful, don't you? :p
I saw once a photo of a black Leica M body with a long (like a 90mm) silver lens and it just looked terrible. In fact, it was the least discrete camera anybody could imagine.
I liked the Bessa R2 in olive, but don't despair; it looks pretty cool with black lenses. :)
One of my Leica bodies is silver chrome, and my black lenses make it look interesting... ;)
Oh, well... One man's camera...
If you really want a silver Bessa R-2, then you could always buy the Rollei 35 RF -- a rebadged Bessa-R2 with Rollei markings.
The camera has a silver powder-like finish with gray coverings, rather than olive.
Very pricey, however.
Originally posted by ZeissFan
...you could always by the Rollei 35 RF...
Remember though that the framelines are slightly different in the Rollei (e.g. there is a 40mm one).
A silver R2 is a Rollei 35 RF,asking 193,000 Yen w/a Made in Germany 40mm/2.8 Sonnar.
1 dollar is around 108, 109 Yen today.Street price should be a lot cheaper.
Olive ones are quite handsome I think,military color.
The camera has framelines for 40, 50 and 80. With a 35mm or 75mm lens, you could simply estimate. With rangefinders, you end up doing that a bit anyway.
I'm sure I've seen a few RARE silver R2s. I think Steven Gandy (www.cameraquest.com) had a second hand one on his web page for sale last year... gone now. And there was one on eBay as well. But the asking prices made a M6 look cheap.
Or bite the bullet and go for a silver Bessa R (Unless you REALLY need the M mount). And if you ask me the Bessa T is just wrong (sorry T owners, I like having ONE viewfinder).
Also the green R2 is strange colour for a camera but it's easy to maintain, a model paint compnay called Humbrol make green paint(code# 155) which is a perfect match. So if you mark or scratch your camera, it's easy to cover up!
I've got a Silver Bessa R and it looks great with both chrome and black lenses. I'll upgrade to a R2 as soon as they do a common silver model.
I've been curious about why the price of the Rollei is so high ($1250) if it's just a rebadged R2. I wonder if Rollei uses different materials. In the Rollei brochure, there is a picture of the body elements & it clearly shows all metal body parts - body of die-cast aluminum & metal shell of magnesium alloy. The weight of the R2 & the Rollei are identical (425 gm), however, suggesting that they are the same. Clearly they are the same design if not the same materials.
Of course, the addition of Rollei as a middle man would by itself increase the price since Cosina distributes from Japan directly to its retailers in other countries. This is 2 layers of middle men because there is Rollei in Germany & then there is Rollei-USA, for example, before it gets to the retailer. This may actually be a good thing because right now there are no manufacturer's service centers outside Japan for CV products. Stephen Gandy does his own repairs to support the warranty, but Photo Village in New York collects CV cameras needing warranty repairs until it has enough to make it cost effective to ship them to Cosina in Japan. In the latter case, this can take months. In the case of Gandy & other independent repair technicians, parts can be difficult to come by. Warranties in these cases are with the retailer & not the manufacturer. Rollei is providing a layer of support that does not currently exist for Voigtlanders.
We are beginning to see Rollei prices come down - just as R2's did. Adorama currently lists the Rollei kit as an "overstocked" item with a price of $1699, down from the previous price of $1899, for which it is still selling at B&H.
One additional thought . . . B&H currently sells the R2 for $499, but it sells the R2 versions for Contax & Nikon mounts for $699. Clearly there were some re-design costs that accounted for some of this higher cost, but it probably is also an issue of these models simply fitting a smaller niche in the market than the basic R2. The same can be said for Rollei - some redesign costs (not the lens mount but the framelines & the cosmetics) & most importantly a smaller market niche. Perhaps Cosina is just socking it to Rollei to recoup its own initial R&D costs. If the Rollei sells well (unlikely), perhaps we will see the costs come down as Cosina can make more from volume. If not & if Rollei abandons the project, then we may well see a siver Bessa R2.:)
Originally posted by jbtran
I don't like the current black body and think the olive body is just weird. I mean, both silver and black lenses just look ugly on the olive body. What were they thinking?
I guess beauty's in the eye of the beholder. IMO the silver lenses on the olive body is the cat's meow.
I like the silver and black on the olive body too.
I talked to Rollei USA about the differences between their 35RF & the CV Bessa R2. They are the same camera with the same mount - different framelines in the viewfinder, different rubber grip, different lens mount button, differentshutter speed dial, different paint job/cosmetics. Absolutely nothing to justify $1250 for this body! :(
Then why would they do this? :confused:
Only if the lenses can justify their price - & Rollei is just not interested in selling the body as a separate item. Like . . . "Here you can have it if you want it but we'll charge you 2 1/2 times the price."
One would have to be sold on the idea that the Rollei/Zeiss lenses are world class lenses. The 40mm/f2.8 Sonnar lens that comes with the body sells for $1000 at B&H. If this price can be justified & if prices drop - as Rollei tells me they will within the next week, then the cost of the body as an add-on to the lens becomes more reasonable. The price is already down to $1699 at Adorama, making the body a $699 add-on to the lens, same as R2 in Nikon & Contax mounts.
This Sonnar lens fills an interesting niche. In a moderately wide lens, Leica does not make anything slower than the 35/f2 & it is $1699. If the Sonnar lens is equal to Leica optics & is of Leica build quality, this offers a nice alternative if you don't need f2. Leica does offer both the 28/2.8 but it costs $1795 & the cheaper 50/2.8 @ $695 but without that little bit wider angle of view. Price wise the Rollei fits in between the other alternatives.
The Sonnar is a complex lens design with unique optical fingerprints. Even Contax no longer uses it on their normal & wide angle lenses, opting for the easier to build Planar design - except on the 35-70 vario-sonnar and it costs $999, same as the Rollei but it's slower at f3.5-5.6.
When I called Rollei-USA, they told me that they are willing to deal with the sale of this item direct to the customer. Very unusual. With the price coming down, this could represent an additional cost saving. So, Zeiss optics & Rollei build quality on a lens with a unique & classic design. Not a bad combination.
Something that has held me back from the purchase of CV products is the fact that there is no manufacturer's warranty or factory support for service & repairs outside Japan. Obviously that doesn't bother everyone - & shouldn't. Just me. Rollei provides both of these (2-year manufacturer's warranty). So, the Rollei offering intrgues me. I'm going to look at the lens next week & find out about pricing. I'll update you & tell you what I think of the build quality.
I have a growing suspicion that Cosina will not release a silver Bessa R2 while Rollei is offering its 35RF in silver. My humble theory is that this will steer people like myself (who want a silver R2) toward the 35RF. Also, since Cosina is quite prolific in its output of products/accessories, the fact that it has not yet introduced a silver R2 seems to indicate to me that it has no plans to do this. Is my logic wrong?
JB, I agree with you. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the initiative for the Rollei 35 RF didn't come from Mr. Kobyashi (sp?) at Cosina as a way of reaching out with his product to a more up$cale clientele & that he sold the idea to Rollei. Since the body was already developed & they decided to use lenses already in the Rollei stable, there was no R&D needed for this project, minimizing the up front investment. Therefore, little to lose.
Like you, I'm smitten with the look of the silver R2 with the Rollei name plate. I'm viewing it as a "limited edition" Bessa R2. Like all LEs it is at a premium price, but the opportunity to recoup your investment later on will also be high since the supply will be so limited given that many fewer Rolleis have sold than Bessas. My only debate right now is whether to get it with the 40/2.8 lens or to get the body & a faster Voigtlander lens.
In many ways, any of the CV products have to be viewed as "grey market" since they are not brought in via a domestic distributor with manufacturer's warranty & domestic service/repairs. Thus, a truer price for a "US" version of the Bessa R2 would be closer to $600, which includes a 2-year warranty. If you like the improved fit & finish of the Rollei version, that would raise the price further to probably around $650. If the Zeiss lens is comparable to the Leica 50 Elmarit, which is currently selling at B&H for about $750, that would make the package worth about $1400. I have found a kit for $1600, so I'm thinking I'm paying the extra $200 for an LE version. I'd like to pay less, but it's not so bad all in all.
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