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I'm looking for a new camera for hiking and landscape photography. I would be greatful for any advice. I think I want another rangefinder because they are better than SLRs for wide angle. I have a Hasselblad X-Pan which I like, but I frequently want to take pictures that are wider vertically than what I can do with the 30mm Hasselblad. Also, my photofinisher can't print panoramics, so I don't get to see the pictures until I scan them. I hate scanning.
I'm looking at three possibilities: The Mamiya 6 or 7, the Contax G, and the Voigtlander R2. Of course the Mamiya is "best" because of the larger format, but I'm concerned about the limited lenses for the 6 and the high cost of the 7. Also, MF would put me back to scanning the negatives.
Contax seems good, but I don't need all that automation and the cost is high. The 16 mm lens costs more than an entire Voigtlander outfit.
So, It looks like I'm getting a Voigtlander unless someone can give me good reason to consider something else.
Thanks for your help.
Dwight, I believe Voigtlander has a lens with the widest angle of all: a 12mm thing. Check that out, because you could get a Bessa body (the R version) for about $275, plus the lens (which probably requires a separate viewfinder) for a lot less that the single 16mm Zeiss lens for the Contax G.
Personally, a 28mm on any interchangeable-lens body would do, but I guess you want reeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy wide angles...
Good luck! :)
I'm leaning toward the Bessa R with 15, 28, 50, and 90mm. $1458 at Cameraquest.com.
I've heard rumors that Contax is working on a digital G camera. I don't believe the rumor, but I would lean in that direction if I thought they were going to make a digital camera that is compatable with the G. Still, I can't afford it even if it were true. I'll probably get the R (or be happy with my X-Pan.)
I think you should definetly stick with larger format. Especially for landscape. I once had a Fuji GSW690 which was incredible. I often think about buying another. My TX-1 has a new 30 which I havnttried yet. But with any luck It will give me the results I want. Good Luck !
Here's my most recent final decision: I'm going to wait a couple of months. It seems that my ideal camera was changed every day for the last week. I'm going on vacation in ten days and I think I will regret any decision that I make this fast.
This fall, Voigtlander is planning to introduce a new camera that is "totally unique." I'll wait and see what that is. In the mean time, I'll listen to anyne who wants to make a suggestion.
If you are considering MF rangefinders, dont leave the Bronica RF645 out. Mechanically, buildquality wise, it is superb to the Mamiya alternatives. Great lenses too. Not to big, not to heavy. And relatively cheap, especially when purchased from the UK.
I'll second Henning on the Bronica, a very fine camera that is still compact enough for a hike. There are three lenses, each with its own super-quiet electronic leaf shutter: 45mm, 65mm, and 100mm. These give the same fields of view as 28, 40, and 65mm lenses on a 35mm camera.
You might also take a look at the 6x4.5 Fuji cameras that have fixed lenses. The older GS645S (60mm f/4) and GS645W (45mm f/5.6) are all-manual, very light and compact. Featherweight in fact! And the lenses are outstanding. More recently discontinued are the GA645 and GA645W both with f/4 lenses, full AE and AF with motor wind and flash. The current one has a 55-90 zoom lens.
"Also, MF would put me back to scanning the negatives. "
You mean your local lab can't print medium format negs? Need to seek out another lab! My small local outfit not only prints my 645 and 6x7 negs but for only $1.50 extra provides scans on a CD.
The VC system is really the most practical fully manual rangefinder system. The lenses are mostly really great and the bodies, while not as pretty as Leica M, are really every bit as good from a functional standpoint, other than the louder shutter.
For your 50, I highly recommend the double aspherical Nokton over the other choices. A truly great lens, better than the current Leica Summilux.
For your 28, the Skopar 3.5 is a good choice.
For a body, you might consider the R2 over the R, as it is all metal and sturdier. You will have to buy at least one bayonet to screw mount adapter, however, so the cost implication if fairly significant. Another choice might be a used M6 body, which can be had for under a grand if you look hard enough. But with the M6, you will have to have the specific screw mount adapator for each lens, because the M6 has automatic frameline selection (unlike the handier manual selector in the Bessas).
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