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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Voigtlander Bessa III for USA Update SOLD OUT
Old 03-29-2009   #1
CameraQuest
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Voigtlander Bessa III for USA Update SOLD OUT

Edit: Sept 9 2009 Update:

Voigtlander Bessa III's are in stock ready to ship.
USA price $2250
see http://cameraquest.com/voigtl_bessa_iii.htm

edit: discontinued, sold out 2015

Thanks,

Stephen
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Old 04-02-2009   #2
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Updated Bessa III page up
http://cameraquest.com/voigtl_bessa_iii.htm

Thanks for looking,
Stephen
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Old 04-02-2009   #3
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I'm sure the viewfinder is bloody fantastic, but I just can't swing it.

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Old 04-02-2009   #4
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any chance you'll be importing the fuji gf670 version?
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Old 04-03-2009   #5
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any chance you'll be importing the fuji gf670 version?
No chance, and no reason. The Bessa III is the same except for the nameplate.

Stephen
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Old 04-03-2009   #6
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Do we know what the meter display is going to look like?
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Old 04-03-2009   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
Updated Bessa III page up
http://cameraquest.com/voigtl_bessa_iii.htm

Thanks for looking,
Stephen
Three questions not addressed by the updated page:
  • What is the rangefinder's base length?
  • What is the viewfinder magnification?
  • Do the viewfinder frame lines also expand and contract to account for changes in field of view while focusing or do they only shift for parallax?
Thanks in advance for answering,
Sal
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Old 04-03-2009   #8
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Can you say what the first production run will be? I'm curious how many of these Fuji plans to produce. As I've stated before in other forums, there are lots of us like me who would love to buy this camera but can't touch it for anything near the current price.
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Old 04-03-2009   #9
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Fuji is planning a run of 5000 of the 667 (Tokyo price at Yen 218 000). I don't know what the Bessa III production estimate is though - probably similar volume. Obviously there is a pent up demand for a high quality, compact folder. A lot of Plaubel users are looking to the Fuji/Bessa as an upgrade.
Dont know the base length of the finder - will try to figure it out.
The frame lines do not correct for closer or infinity focus as far as I know. They do parallax compensate and of course shift from 6x6 to 6x7 format automatically.
The viewfinder looks pretty damn close to 1:1 or thereabouts. Very bright with a sharp, well defined focussing patch too.
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Old 04-06-2009   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
Three questions not addressed by the updated page:
  • What is the rangefinder's base length?
  • What is the viewfinder magnification?
  • Do the viewfinder frame lines also expand and contract to account for changes in field of view while focusing or do they only shift for parallax?
Thanks in advance for answering,
Sal
The specs + some (German site) picture measurements by me (ED), give or take 1 mm.

Technical specifications.

Folding camera with coupled rangefinder
Film choice 120/220 film
6x7 cm (56x69 mm ED)(120-10 exp. / 220-20 exp.)
6x6 cm (56x56 mm ED)(120-12 exp. / 220-24 exp.)
Switch for frame sizes inside the body (ED)
80 mm/f3.5 (4 groups 6 elements)
7 rounded aperture blades (ED)
Close focus is 0.9 m, 3' (CK)
Bright frame-type viewfinder.
Physical rangefinder base 37 mm (ED)
Automatic parallax compensation
Integral LED exposure metering indications
Electronically controlled lens shutter. 4-1/500 sec, B
Exposure control: SPD Sensor
Center-weighted averaging system
Aperture priority AE and manual switchover
Exposure compensation approx 2EV in 1/3EV steps
Film speed: Manual setting, ISO25-3200 (1/3EV step accuracy)
Manual film wind by winding knob
Mechanical-type counter
120/220 (changeable)
6x7/6x6 (changeable)
CR2 (3v) lithium battery
Outer dimensions: 178x109x63 mm folded (ED)
and 178x109x138 mm unfolded (BJoPh)
Weight 1KG (BJoPh)

The rangefinder is in my opinion basically the one of the 35mm Bessas. While brightness and magnification will adjust for the MF size-80mm standard lens the most interesting detail will be how accurate the rangefinder coupling is on this folder. On some older folders it has been good and on other folders lousy. All kinds of designs were used to get good rangefinder precision combined with the folding construction. Mamiya Six film shift, Zeiss ikon optical wedges, Plaubel and Polaroid strut coupling, Agfa + Iskra coupled helix construction that is used in the Bessa III too. Wonder whether there is a Bendix cable used that can be adjusted for wear in time.

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Old 04-06-2009   #11
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The lens area (shutter, focusing and aperture adjustments) looks very similar to the older Fuji GS645, which seems very solid and I have had no problems with focusing accurately. I hope the Bessa III will be even better.
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Old 05-12-2009   #12
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Old 05-13-2009   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
No chance, and no reason. The Bessa III is the same except for the nameplate.

Stephen
The Fuji version seems the only one with silver and black body (I don't like all black cameras in general).
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Old 05-13-2009   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooner View Post
Can you say what the first production run will be? I'm curious how many of these Fuji plans to produce. As I've stated before in other forums, there are lots of us like me who would love to buy this camera but can't touch it for anything near the current price.
Which brings the obvious question: why isn't the price lower? Isn't it clear Fuji would make more money that way?
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Old 06-29-2009   #15
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It is now minutes from June 30.

Is this camera available yet?
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Old 07-21-2009   #16
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Just got mine today.....very excited.

Sal:
What is the rangefinder's base length? 37mm (effective bl 25.9mm) Auto parallax correction
What is the viewfinder magnification? x0.7
Do the viewfinder frame lines also expand and contract to account for changes in field of view while focusing or do they only shift for parallax? yes frame lines (left side and top ) expand and contract with focus in field of view

Last edited by thenakedlens : 07-21-2009 at 05:14.
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Old 07-21-2009   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenakedlens View Post
Just got mine today.....very excited.

Sal:
What is the rangefinder's base length? 37mm (effective bl 25.9mm) Auto parallax correction
What is the viewfinder magnification? x0.7
Do the viewfinder frame lines also expand and contract to account for changes in field of view while focusing or do they only shift for parallax? yes frame lines (left side and top ) expand and contract with focus in field of view
Thanks very much for the follow up. Here are a few more "assignments" for you.
  • Shoot a series wide open with the rangefinder focused on targets at varying distances, preferable halfway down a yardstick pointed away from the camera. This will reveal how accurately that base length + viewfinder magnification + mechanism precision focus the lens.
  • Make photographs at varying distances with the camera on a tripod so you can sketch out the exact scene edges covered by viewfinder frame lines. Compare resulting negatives/transparencies with your sketches to establish framing accuracy.
  • Determine whether, ensuring focus is set to infinity, one can non-destructively close the camera with a filter attached to the lens. Note that B+W offers "slim" filters if needed.
Thank you for continuing to ferret out details. Perhaps, after doing all this, you can write and have published a review of the camera.
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Old 07-21-2009   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david b View Post
It is now minutes from June 30.

Is this camera available yet?

Voigtlander Bessa III for USA Update 2nd Shipment August
My SECOND Bessa III shipment will start shipping from CameraQuest on or about August 3rd. It should be large enough fulfill all my orders for those who have Bessa III deposits!

If you have a Bessa III deposit, please pay your balance now so your camera can be shipped as soon as possible! For those wishing to get in line for future shipments -- which should not be that far away -- I'm taking $100 refundable Paypal deposits to [email protected] , or checks or credit card.

I'm taking $100 refundable deposits via Paypal to [email protected] for those wishing to get in line for the new Bessa III.

Thanks,

Stephen

Thanks for looking,

Stephen
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Old 07-21-2009   #19
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Sal,

eddale on this forum has already shot a bunch.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddale/...7621359684043/

It will take me 3 weeks to get back from my whirl wind tour in the NE which begins this Friday. I will put up plenty of examples when I get back.

-T
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Old 07-22-2009   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenakedlens View Post
Sal,

eddale on this forum has already shot a bunch.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddale/...7621359684043/

It will take me 3 weeks to get back from my whirl wind tour in the NE which begins this Friday. I will put up plenty of examples when I get back.

-T
Thanks for the link and enjoy your tour. While eddale's photos are interesting, they don't provide the information your "assignement" will. No rush; we can all wait until it's convenient for you.
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Old 09-14-2009   #21
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I saw the bloody Bessa III in the shop window at Westbahnstrasse, Wien and I was surprised by its size. Isnt it huge? ... and probably heavy?
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Old 09-14-2009   #22
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It is not exactly small in terms of a 35, but folded up it fits nicely in a smallish camera bag or a large pocket.
Weight is 1 kg (about the same as a M3 and 50DR Summicron!). The size takes a bit to get used to - but once you look at those 6x6/6x7 negatives you forget it!
The lens is one of the best optics I have ever used in a medium format camera, Very sharp (also helped by the bright rangefinder patch and the overall quality of the finder - easy to pinpoint focus). The AE system is great - only time I have had problem with it is when I tried to outsmart it!!!
Battery life seems very good - I have shot about 35 rolls with mine and so far no problem - but I do carry a spare in my bag, as once it dies - so does the camera!
Peoples reaction is funny, ranging from "Is it a Polaroid?" to the inevitable "Is it digital?". The shutter is eerily quiet - just a soft "snap" that you, the user can barely hear and with any ambient noise - nobody can hear.
There are some shots on Flickr under Bessa III and Voigtlander 667 - but I wish the users would put up more.
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Old 09-18-2009   #23
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Tom, are you using a Soft Release with the Bessa? Does the shutter trip when the camera is folded?
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Old 09-18-2009   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
Tom, are you using a Soft Release with the Bessa? Does the shutter trip when the camera is folded?
I dont use a Softie on the Bessa III - though it is possible. The "trigger" on the III is so soft that it is not needed. I will try it though at some time.
Once the camera is folded up - the trigger is locked.
One reason why I haven't used the softie on the III is the accidental relase. With a 35mm camera you only loose 1/36th of a roll - with the III in 6x7 mode - you loose 1/10th of the roll!!!!
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Old 09-18-2009   #25
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One reason why I haven't used the softie on the III is the accidental relase. With a 35mm camera you only loose 1/36th of a roll - with the III in 6x7 mode - you loose 1/10th of the roll!!!!
Good point!

Truth be told, I think the only accessory that would be really useful for this camera is some sort of side grip. One big engineering flaw, IMO, is that they didn't put the strap lugs on the right side (photographer's viewpoint). That way it would've been so easy to install a hand grip!
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Old 09-18-2009   #26
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I currently have one in my possession courtesy of the Oz travelling Bessa project ... about to hand it back actually.

Where this camera has it all over any other folder you can pick up is it's ergonomics IMO! It just works ... from closed to open and ready to shoot is a second or so and although a large camera it is incredibly easy to hold and focus. The viewfinder is a match for my Ikon and the build quality is fantastic.

My hat is off to Cosina for making something this good that has a classic design with just the right amount of current technology.

This camera combined with a decent scanner has the potential to make the M9's output look average ... I wish I could afford one!
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Old 09-18-2009   #27
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This camera combined with a decent scanner has the potential to make the M9's output look average ... I wish I could afford one!
I hear that! I saw one in here in Vancouver the other day - where it sells for just over $2300 CDN. A really good deal but more than I can spend on a camera now.
Maybe in a year or so...
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Old 09-18-2009   #28
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I hear that! I saw one in here in Vancouver the other day - where it sells for just over $2300 CDN. A really good deal but more than I can spend on a camera now.
Maybe in a year or so...
There at least 3-4 of them here in Vancouver already! Our Flickr site has about 60 shots done with mine in the last month. Amazing piece of equipment - rekindled my interest in 120 format. It is comfortable enough to carry around - and smooth enough to use as a "street" shooting camera - though you have to reload frequently. Hmm, I wonder if Fuji is following through with the Acros 100 in 220 format?

Last edited by Tom A : 09-18-2009 at 19:45.
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Old 09-18-2009   #29
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Hmm, I wonder if Fuji is following through with the Acros 100 in 220 format?


Now that would be useful Tom ... we can only hope!
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Old 01-05-2010   #30
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drop me a line when there's 50% off
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Old 06-16-2010   #31
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just got my bessa III two weeks ago. I'm amazed! This camera took me back to the wonderful film world. I carry it 24 hours/day with me. It's great Cosina has the courage to bring out such a camera. I hope they'll get their investment paid back. cheers, mauro
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Old 03-16-2011   #32
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Quote:
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It is not exactly small in terms of a 35, but folded up it fits nicely in a smallish camera bag or a large pocket.
Weight is 1 kg (about the same as a M3 and 50DR Summicron!). The size takes a bit to get used to - but once you look at those 6x6/6x7 negatives you forget it!
The lens is one of the best optics I have ever used in a medium format camera, Very sharp (also helped by the bright rangefinder patch and the overall quality of the finder - easy to pinpoint focus). The AE system is great - only time I have had problem with it is when I tried to outsmart it!!!
Battery life seems very good - I have shot about 35 rolls with mine and so far no problem - but I do carry a spare in my bag, as once it dies - so does the camera!
Peoples reaction is funny, ranging from "Is it a Polaroid?" to the inevitable "Is it digital?". The shutter is eerily quiet - just a soft "snap" that you, the user can barely hear and with any ambient noise - nobody can hear.
There are some shots on Flickr under Bessa III and Voigtlander 667 - but I wish the users would put up more.
Just picked one of these up from a forum member two nights ago. Yes, the shutter release is so quiet I was sure I wasn't snapping correctly. Beautiful camera... can't wait to see the negatives.
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Old 03-16-2011   #33
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How have they been holding up......I was concerned about whether a folder was rugged enough for heavy use or in fact normal regular use.....If there is a thread that addresses that I apologize in advance.
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Old 05-28-2011   #34
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It's not a camera for heavy use because of the folder mechanism. But for regular use and travelling camera it's ok.
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Old 11-06-2015   #35
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It's not a camera for heavy use because of the folder mechanism. But for regular use and travelling camera it's ok.
I'd tend to disagree. I've used mine extensively over the past 3 years and the folder is still solid.
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Old 11-06-2015   #36
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If you drop the camera it is finished. Due to the folder and R.F. system.
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Old 11-06-2015   #37
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If you drop the camera it is finished. Due to the folder and R.F. system.
in need of repair, probably -
finished not all,
just repair it.
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Old 11-06-2015   #38
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Many Zeiss folders been around for over 50 years or so, they are folders with a rangefinder. I don't see it as a big deal. Maybe you got spoiled with rigid DSLRs or something
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Old 11-06-2015   #39
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I have used the C.V. Bessa III 667 in Ukraine war area. It can have some misuse but when you have a drop the R.F. alignment is gone. So far I am very content with the camera. It is in use since early 2009. The Heliar F/3,5-80mm is very good and enlarging from 6x7cm negatives in color and B&W is without any limitation. When using my favorite Fuji Acros 100 roll film the result is a grainless photo up to 50x60cm which is the maximum format which I can handle, normally I printing in 40x50cm fitting very well in 6x7cm size negative. Before I used the Fuji Reala 100 in C-41 color, now switched to Pro 160 NS. Also here RA-4 enlargements without limitation. Using this R.F. camera in 6x7cm and iso 100 films is like using a 4x5" L.F. camera only much easier in use and even fast handling like my Leica M7 which is my next favorite camera. In Fomapan B&W films the FP 200 Creative is my favorite film. Also here really great results. I did a full reportage in Ukraine with this film which you can use between iso 100-400. Fortunately Foto-Syndicate in Odessa has a large supply of films if the taken supply dries up. You can also develop the films overthere if necessary in a small Jobo ATL machine. A good address to remember when you are in the Black Sea area.
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Old 11-06-2015   #40
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Mine is the fuji Version. I called fuji NJ when I got it and asked about service since the camera is now discontinued.
They did not know how long they would service it but said I should not expect any problems.

Robert, these things are pretty nicely made. I can't imagine there should be any concern of using it for a primary camera.
The fold mechanism is robust and very cleanly made. No binding trusses like some old folders. It's quite a machine.
RF's need adjusting it's true. I just don't see how this one is especially fragile.
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