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Voigtlander Bessa III / III Wide Celebrating the two modern Voigtlander 120 film cameras, the 667 Bessa III and Bessa III Wide.

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Bessa III/Fuji GH667 - durability of black vs. silver finish?
Old 09-06-2011   #1
toronto416
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Bessa III/Fuji GH667 - durability of black vs. silver finish?

The Voigtlanber Bessa III and Fuji GH667 MF 6x7 rangefinder cameras, with either 80 or 55mm lenses, are made in the same Cosina factory in Japan and branded as Fuji (with a silver finish) or Voigtlander (with a black finish). Other than cosmetics, both versions at each focal length are identical.
As there is no distributor in Canada, I would have to order either from the US or from the UK, and hence both finishes would be availble to me.
I am very tempted by the wide version with a 55mm lens, and I am not sure which finish is preferable and which is more durable.
Silver is very classic looking, but black would be more unobtrusive for street shooting (but this is not my prime activity).
Does anyone have any opinions about the two choices of finish regarding quality or durability?
Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2011   #2
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I don't know about the finish, but I do know that the Fujifilm versions are cheaper than the Voigtlander versions. So unless that's changed, I'd go with the silver.
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Old 09-06-2011   #3
netoga
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I went for the Fuji version 1 year ago. (It is GF670, not GH667).
It was $400 cheaper than the Voigtlander then, so it was a good reason for me.
I love the camera, quite robust mechanism.
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Old 09-07-2011   #4
toronto416
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According to the UK distributor:

"The Voigtlander Black body is powder coat and the Fuji Silver body is silver paint".

Powder coat is a more durable finish than paint.
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Old 09-07-2011   #5
mel
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Maybe so but not worth the differential.
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Old 09-07-2011   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toronto416 View Post
[indent]Silver is very classic looking, but black would be more unobtrusive for street shooting
You're going to walk around with a honking medium format bellows camera in front of your face. Do you really believe that you'll be more unobtrusive if it's black?
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Old 09-07-2011   #7
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Do you really believe that you'll be more unobtrusive if it's black?
Maybe at night because he can completely hide behind it?

In any case, I used to have the black Bessa III (at the time you could only get the Fuji in Japan) and liked the finish. It must've been quite robust as I didn't get any scratches on it. That being said, for the price difference I'd go with the Fuji today.
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Old 09-08-2011   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

I don't hide behind my cameras - I shoot with them!

;-)
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Old 09-13-2011   #9
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I have the GF670; the finish is durable enough. The main durability concern is the mechanism that holds the lens in position when extended. The hinges get damaged easily if you are not careful and forget to set the focusing ring to infinity before trying to fold it back in. Don't drop it or hit anything while the lens door is open.

That said, I couldn't be happier with the camera.
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Old 09-17-2011   #10
toronto416
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Excellent!

The wide angle version has a fixed (non-folding) 55mm lens and hence it sounds like a fairly robust set-up.

With a black powdercoated finish and a 55mm lens, this should be a durable choice.
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Old 09-19-2011   #11
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Looks like there isn't (yet) a Fujifilm version of the wide. Say, what does 55mm in medium format translate to in 35mm format in terms of angle of view? I forget....
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Old 09-19-2011   #12
furcafe
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Roughly 35mm.

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Originally Posted by goo0h View Post
. . . Say, what does 55mm in medium format translate to in 35mm format in terms of angle of view? I forget....
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Old 09-19-2011   #13
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As there is no distributor in Canada, I would have to order either from the US or from the UK, and hence both finishes would be availble to me.
Camtech in Montreal sells both, though it seems the 55mm version is in very short supply; Camtech has none at the moment. $ 2,245.00 (CAD) for the Bessa III www.camtech.com

http://www.bigcameraworkshops.com/ in Burlington is an authorized Voigtländer dealer. Neither of the two cameras show up on his website, and there are only a couple of C/V lenses listed. It would be worth emailing Rob.

Both places are good to deal with, and there's no customs BS to deal with. Canada Customs has had a lens I ordered from Popflash on its shelf since Sept. 11. Do they fondle the gear?

I've bought from both; no other connection.
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Old 09-19-2011   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe View Post
Roughly 35mm.
umm... should be 28mm I think...
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Old 09-19-2011   #15
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Thanks. Apparently there is no longer a Voigtlander distributor in Canada, and Rob cannot obtain them. Until the importer/distributor issue is solved, Canadians have to order from either the US or the UK etc.
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Old 09-20-2011   #16
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Quote:
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umm... should be 28mm I think...
In 6x7 format - near 28mm, in 6x6 - about 30mm. Isn't it?
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Old 09-20-2011   #17
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http://www.voigtlaender.de/cms/voigt...pa_bessaw.html


77 degrees (6x7cm) or
72 degrees (6x6cm) angle.

The price in Europe is around Eur. 2250,00 in Black. The (optional) lens hood is Eur. 150,- which is a lot.

regards,

Robert
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Old 09-21-2011   #18
furcafe
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My bad. I always forget about the wider view of the square (for 6x6) & squarish (for 6x7).

Quote:
Originally Posted by serge`vl View Post
In 6x7 format - near 28mm, in 6x6 - about 30mm. Isn't it?
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Old 09-21-2011   #19
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Quote:
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My bad. I always forget about the wider view of the square (for 6x6) & squarish (for 6x7).
You get your 35mm back in printing when you crop to a non-square format.
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