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Voigtlander Bessa Leica Mount Cameras Made in Japan by Cosina in partnership with Voigtlander, the many modern Voigtlander Leica Screw Mount and Leica M mount bodies offer inexpensive and often unique options into entering the world of Leica rangefinder photography.

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All Voigtlander Film Cameras Sadly Discontinued
Old 09-27-2015   #1
CameraQuest
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All Voigtlander Film Cameras Sadly Discontinued

9/28/15

A few years ago Voigtlander was the only camera manufacturer EVER to have all FOUR major 35mm rangefinder mounts in production at the SAME time - Leica Screw Mount, Leica M Mount, Nikon Rangefinder and Zeiss Contax Rangefinder.

Today, primarily in my opinion due to the popularity of the so called mirrorless rangefinder like cameras, Voigtlander has announced all their remaining film cameras are discontinued due to declining sales. The Bessa R2A, R3A, R4A were discontinued about a year ago All other Voigtlander product lines are selling well. With the Zeiss ZM rangefinder discontinued several years ago, only Leica currently has film 35mm rangefinders on the production line.

Bessa R2M
Bessa R3M
Bessa R4M
Bessa III 6x7
Bessa III Wide 6x7

The last R3M's and R4M's have yet to be produced - Voigtlander will probably fill all existing orders by the end of 2015.

Many dealers still have new Voigtlander 35mm Bessa stock on hand - get them while you can!

For those unaware of it, the R4A / R4M cameras are truly unique wideangle rangefinders, with built in framelines for 21mm lenses! Even Leica never did that. Likewise the R3A / R3M cameras have lifesize 1:1 viewfinders. Again, Leica never did that.

Also discontinued were a variety of smaller accessories:

SUPER WIDE-HELIAR 15mm F4.5 Asp II (replaced by Version III)
Bessa Camera Case VC-5
Bessa CARRYING STRAP(BK)
Bessa SIDE GRIP
VM Micro Four Thirds Adapter
F Micro Four Thirds Adapter
SC E-mount Adapter
15mm View Finder (Plastic, metal remains in production)
21/25mm View Finder (Plastic)
21/25mm View Finder M Silver (black metal remains in production)
28mm View Finder M Silver
28mm View Finder M Black
35mm View Finder M Silver
35mm View Finder M Black
40mm View Finder
LH-1
LH-2
LH-20N
LH-28N
LH-40N
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Old 09-27-2015   #2
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Sad news..................
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Old 09-27-2015   #3
gb hill
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Sad news indeed. I wish I could afford to buy an R4m.
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Old 09-27-2015   #4
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My brother loaned me his Bessa T with 15mm lens. It was my first film camera and I loved it.

I then shot with the R4M for awhile and really enjoyed it too.

Sad to see them be discontinued.


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Old 09-27-2015   #5
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That is sad news, it was a great 20 years or so. I hope CV is prospering from the sale of lenses for mirrorless bodies.

Any news on servicing of existing bodies?
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Old 09-27-2015   #6
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Darn! Years ago, in 2001, I was very interested in the Bessa R and that led me to rangefinder cameras... I hope they won't give up on RF lenses after this...
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Old 09-27-2015   #7
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Ugh. I really want a III wide.
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Old 09-27-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
Darn! Years ago, in 2001, I was very interested in the Bessa R and that led me to rangefinder cameras... I hope they won't give up on RF lenses after this...
don't worry, the Voigtlander Leica mount lenses are quite popular.
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Old 09-27-2015   #9
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Too bad someone does not make a simple, non metered, roller blind shutter, M mount camera. If Leica can get away with the MA for $4.5k then surely there would be a small market for a Fed 2 type simple camera with an M mount.

It needs to be an M mount body because they will mount both LTM and M mount glass. Whereas all lenses should be produced in LTM so that they will fit both mounts.
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Old 09-27-2015   #11
Brian Legge
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I have an R4M which I love and would like to continue using for a long time. With the bodies out of production, any estimates on his long parts/service will be available?
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Old 09-27-2015   #12
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This is very sad. I don't understand why it is impossible to sell a few thousand film cameras per year on a planet with 7,28 billion people. I was already surprised earlier this year when I noticed that Voigtländer discontinued all M mount adapters. When I asked the German Voigtländer distributor, they told me that the Voigtländer M mount adapters are now made by Novoflex. Also the discontinued viewfinders will leave a gap.
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Old 09-27-2015   #13
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I think the R3x and R4x cameras was a good idea on paper, unfortunately I found the flimsy finders rather poorly executed. Still have a R3A, which is of course out of alignment.
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Old 09-28-2015   #14
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Sad, of course, and a bit strange.
Because last year at photokina Leica reported increasing sales for their film M models. Therefore they introduced another film model, the M-A.

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Old 09-28-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Sad, of course, and a bit strange.
Because last year at photokina Leica reported increasing sales for their film M models.
Buyers money went for Leica, not CV, that's the point.
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Old 09-28-2015   #16
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Sad news indeed - the R3A was my first interchangeable RF in 2005 and I've never looked back since. Sadly I traded in the camera in order to finance a Leica M2 but still have a fondness for it.
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Old 09-28-2015   #17
Eugen Mezei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
9/28/15
Voigtlander was the only camera manufacturer EVER to have all FOUR major 35mm rangefinder mounts in production at the SAME time - Leica Screw Mount, Leica M Mount, Nikon Rangefinder and Zeiss Contax Rangefinder.
What is the difference between Nikon and Contax/Kiev mount?
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Old 09-28-2015   #18
Eugen Mezei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Too bad someone does not make a simple, non metered, roller blind shutter, M mount camera. If Leica can get away with the MA for $4.5k then surely there would be a small market for a Fed 2 type simple camera with an M mount.
In the old days you made a product, payed your workers, your toolings and all your expenses and sold it so you had a reasonable profit. Reasonable enough to have it constantly. These days it is not enough to have a sound profit, at the moment your stockholders smell greater profits elsewhere they will leave you. (Btw., I'm convinced this happens with film production too. Never heard that Fuji or Kodak produced film at loss. But most probably the financial gain is bigger when tearing down the factories and sell the land. (The same happened with Forte.))
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Old 09-28-2015   #19
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I realise the market is heavy with used film cameras but I have to say I'm stunned at this news.
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Old 09-28-2015   #20
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Yes, does seem sad and a little at variance with the more confident mood within the film photography world. Perhaps CV cameras are neither trendy or blingy enough for today's film camera buyers? Certainly the CV cameras strike me as a hard sell when you can buy a decent serviced M2 for £600.
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Old 09-28-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian_watts View Post
Yes, does seem sad and a little at variance with the more confident mood within the film photography world. Perhaps CV cameras are neither trendy or blingy enough for today's film camera buyers? Certainly the CV cameras strike me as a hard sell when you can buy a decent serviced M2 for £600.

Think that you`ve hit the nail on the head there Ian.
Film cameras are , for the public at large, considered an eccentric choice and therefore blingy.



In which case Voitlander are going to loose out especially when you can buy ,as you say ,an M2 or M3 for not much more.
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Old 09-28-2015   #22
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perhaps new digital Bessa RF is just behind the corner
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Old 09-28-2015   #23
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the Bessa III too? so sad!
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Old 09-28-2015   #24
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So will Cosina not be manufacturing any cameras at all now?
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Old 09-28-2015   #25
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I can't say I'm surprised. I never see them being used by anyone here in NYC anymore. Even some of the film diehards at our RFF meeting are increasingly going towards digital.
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Old 09-28-2015   #26
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BH only list Leica, Nikon and Voigtlander for 35mm film cameras - it wasn't long ago they still had EOS 1v's available for order. So now, what 35mm film cameras are available new apart from Lomo, Leica, Nikon and the Fuji Natura Classica? Is the "new" Rollei 35 still produced?

There's something darkly funny that before long the last two men standing may be at opposite ends of the spectrum - Lomo at the bottom and Leica at the top!

This is sad news about Voigtlander. I didn't see that coming so soon.
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Old 09-28-2015   #27
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perhaps new digital Bessa RF is just behind the corner
I could understand stopping of film cameras production, but I don't understand why they never upgraded RD-1 series. Plenty of hipsters, including me , to buy one if it is bellow $2K price, FF and in the same film RF body with shutter lever.
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Old 09-28-2015   #28
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Yes, it is sad news. I bought a Bessa R2a (secondhand) as my introduction to rangefinder photography 10 years ago and I'm still using it regularly with never a problem. I added an R4a a few years ago - these are a great little cameras giving a relatively inexpensive way into rangefinders.
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Old 09-28-2015   #29
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bought and have used R4M for 2 years ... the attraction to me is the unique viewfinder

R4M is a good camera and believe its 2nd hand price will go up due to production stop

enjoy rangefinder more ( easier to focus / quiet ) than SLR / TLR ... now only still offer new is Leica i.e. MA

hope Leica can keep offering RF camera
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Old 09-28-2015   #30
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Originally Posted by Eugen Mezei View Post
What is the difference between Nikon and Contax/Kiev mount?
Nikon S and Contax/Kiev mount camera/lenses have different pitch specs. The whole story can be read on Henry's site.
http://www.zeisscamera.com/articles_cnrfdr.shtml
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Old 09-28-2015   #31
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I could understand stopping of film cameras production, but I don't understand why they never upgraded RD-1 series. Plenty of hipsters, including me , to buy one if it is bellow $2K price, FF and in the same film RF body with shutter lever.
Plus one .....
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Old 09-28-2015   #32
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Oh crap, better look at getting a Bessa III soon.
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Old 09-28-2015   #33
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Lets hope they do a full frame digital rangefinder in M mount.

Maybe I'm being naive even hoping for that.
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Old 09-28-2015   #34
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“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ...”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

“There’s a time to be born and a time to die; there’s a time to know love, and a time to cry. There’s a time to be young and fill the world with laughter; a time to grow old wondering what comes after. A time for love, a time for tears–oh well… All things in their time.”
(Lou Rawls 1976)

Cosina is a business. If there's inadequate profit in manufacturing film camera, then it's better for them to divest themselves of that costly business and put their money into more profitable endeavors.

The fact that I could buy an almost new condition, recent production Nikon F6, a top of the line camera still in production and selling for $2200, for less than 30% of that price says to me where the film camera market is. It's a tiny, hobbyist, enthusiast market nowadays. Leica's camera prices are reflective of what it costs to remain profitable given the sales numbers and the size of that market, and Cosina would not be able to sell at that pricing given the commentary I'm reading here.

Celebrate and applaud what Cosina has achieved over the past twenty years.
Look forward and hope for the new things that they might achieve in the years to come.

onwards,
G
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Old 09-28-2015   #35
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I saw that the Bessa R2A was discontinued a couple of months ago, but managed to find a new one from Adorama via Amazon.com. One of the last in stock. Glad I jumped on it, as it's a great shooter and I love the aperture priority mode. I can't afford an M7 or a ZI. Too bad this high value line of cameras is disappearing.
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Old 09-28-2015   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_rufctr View Post
Lets hope they do a full frame digital rangefinder in M mount.

Maybe I'm being naive even hoping for that.
Let's hope they don't do that, because it would be their financial death:
Millions of R&D costs needed, just to enter a tiny niche market, in which even Leica had to fight significantly decreasing sales (whereas their film Ms have increasing demand).

Not to enter the digital market with own products was probably the most wise decision Cosina has made.
I well remember a talk with a Zeiss camera salesman at a photo fair in Germany: He said the whole rangefinder market is less than 1/1000 of the SLR market.

It's just a little wonder that Cosina could produce cameras for this extremely tiny market for so long.
Don't forget: When they entered the market 15 years ago it was a total sensation! Everyone was surprised, and most thought that they will never be successful.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 09-28-2015   #37
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The fact that I could buy an almost new condition, recent production Nikon F6, a top of the line camera still in production and selling for $2200, for less than 30% of that price says to me where the film camera market is.
Then you've had very good luck. That is not a normal price for a mint used F6. Normally the price is higher.

Interestingly Cosina is still producing film cameras for other brands: Nikon FM10 and Vivitar V3800-50.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 09-28-2015   #38
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This is a clear sign of yet another nail being pounded into the film coffin.
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Old 09-28-2015   #39
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I wish cosina luck in all they do and am grateful for what has been produced over the years.
My favorite Bessa ..... The r2 in Olive has been suspended years ago. Yet copies are available.

Will service and some parts continue anyone know ?
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Old 09-28-2015   #40
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Quote:
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I actually heard this from Photo Village over six months ago, but that Cosina is the sort of company that will discontinue a product, then turn around and create another run of it for a few months before discontinuing it again. By that I'm suggesting, I suppose, that there is still a valid reason to hold on to a bit of hope, if only briefly.
This is also my impression of Cosina. Their products seem to come and go, so I'd never say never. But who knows?
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