View Full Version : Bessa T Discontinued
Announced today on the CVUG by Steven Gandy, the Bessa T has been discontinued. A well built M mount rangefinder with a longer effective finder length than the its Bessa sisters and Leicas, short of the .85 magnification finder models.
Close out pricing is now $229, @ a $110 markdown and $20 less than the current price of the Bessa R.
Out with something old, I wonder if something new will soon come around the corner (finally).
I read that today as well. Hopefully the Bessa R3 is on it's way!!!
I'd like to have a bessa with Aperture Priority, Exposure compensation and DX coding! What features are you hoping that Cosina will put into a new Bessa.
AP would be nice, though I am slipping into a "basic is best" mood lately and I can live without that. Adding this and the exposure comp would probably mean loosing the mechanical shutter, which although that is not a big deal, I would prefer to keep the ability to shoot at all shutter speeds with no meter if my batteries die.
Along that line, I would hope for a longer baseline rangefinder for more accurate focusing. That would require a newly designed body though, something that Cosina has not done yet. Keep the M mount. How about improved meter with TTL flash and continued refinement of the product, closing the quality gap a little for those who are concerned with that. I actually like the manually chosen frame lines as opposed to the automatic ones on the Leica. Better to have choices and risk user error in my opinion.
In the end, Leica may be right when it comes to rangefinder cameras, basic is best. Up until the M7, every M body is basically as piece of simple beauty. Take out the meters in the M6 models and you have an M4. Just change the frame line options if you want an M3 or M2. They just keep it simple, and charge a premium for it. Of course, they offer simply perfect quality too. And, well, to make up for the sin of the modern M7, they introduced the MP to get things back to what, the basics.
I read on the CVUG, or Rangefinder list speculation too that Konica-Minolta may introduce a new rangefinder in October. Hmmm, a new Hexar, or CLE? Either way that camera, if it is real, surely will have all the bells and whistles you could hope for.
I like simplicity too, and hope any new bells & whistles will be kept out of my way. :-)
The Bessa-T has the most RF accuracy in the Voigtlander lineup due to the viewfinder magnification... With this odd camera model discontinued, I have a bit more hope that the "R3" might have variable finder magnification. This of course is used in the Contax G1/G2, but wasn't there an old Canon RF camera with this feature too?
This is a great time to pick up an(other) Bessa-T body, but I'm not really sure I "need" a second one!
I was never that impressed with the T. Changing viewfinders for every lens is tedious. The R and R2 make much more sense.
Mike, it sure is a personal and peculiar choice, which may have led to its short manufacturing run. But if you like to go out with one lens, you do get that accurate RF and a big bright lovely finder. Or two lenses, if you set up with two finders in the double shoe adaptor. Of course you then still have the oddity of using separate windows for viewing and focusing. Certainly some embrace this kind of thing (and it's more apt for certain kinds of work) while others don't! :-)
Doug, I know what you mean. Magazine writer Roger Hicks often writes that his wife raves about this camera.
The two viewfinders definitely is an acquired taste.
In pondering this a bit more, I can add that the T is much more versatile than the L, replacing it in every way. They both have the handy exterior metering diodes, but the T takes both screw and bayonet lenses. And with its top deck still pretty low, the T does have that precise RF. And better build.
In use, the T is no less handy than the R or R2 with lenses 25mm and wider, and can additionally focus longer lenses 100-135mm.
It is less convenient with lenses for which the R/R2 or M-series has framelines. But even there, where the T forces use of an external finder, that is also a bigger better brighter finder than the built-ins. And the 75 VC finder is 1:1 life-size (I think the 90 is too).
Now as an alternative to the R/R2 and others, with lenses in their range of viewfinder framelines, the T is an odd duck indeed. It is slower where they're handier, when you quickly focus and shoot.
The T's better areas are in the extremely fast hyperfocal point'n'shoot, and in the more deliberate critical focusing range at wide aperture/dim-light/long-lens work where its magnified baseline helps and the slower use of the big bright external finder works well too.
I don't have any really fast RF lenses. So far I've used the Summicron 35, VC 75mm and Tele-Elmarit 90mm on my T. I look forward to seeing how well the Pentax-L 43mm fits with the T. Mine has a trigger winder on it too, another good idea resurrected by Cosina!
From Leica to Speed Graphic, there's a lot of history with non-combined range/viewfinders, and the T is just the most recent chapter!
Marked down again by Steven Gandy, now they are selling for the low price of $175.
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