First Rangefinder Purchase?
I posted a similar thread in the Leica M forum when I was only considering a Leica. Given the opinions there I thought it would be wise to broaden my choices.
First some background on me:
I have been out of the film loop since the early 90's when I worked PJ for Gannett news. I got married, had kids and sold my professional gear to buy a house. I currently run a Canon DSLR system as a hobby.
I have been a math and scince middle school teacher for the last 12 years and to exercise the other side of my brain I am taking a History of Photography class at a local college. The class has awakened my desire to shoot film again. We are currently teaching digital in my class, next year I would like to have a darkroom on site.
I don't want to shoot a film SLR. I want something more compact that the FM2 I used to lug back in the day so I thought why not a rangefinder. Web searches for info brought me here. Very nice site.
My first thought was to invest in a used Leica and shoot exclusively with a 35mm or 50mm exclusively. I was then enlightened with other choices, mainly the Bessa series or a Zeiss Ikon.
How is the build of a Bessa? I realize glass is the key part of the system but I would need something I can count on if I invest $800-$1500. Remember I am a teacher and that is a sizable investment.
How does the Bessa compare to the Ikon? I read here they are made in the same factory. Does the Zeiss name command the extra dollars?
I still like the Leica, mainly for the historical value. Any M series would suit me, the M6 having a meter is a plus.
I want something I can count on using for the next 10-20 years. Thanks in advance for all opinions.