crazy money! it costs what it costs, there nothing we can do about that (no rules against bleeting about it though
) maybe it will come down in price as time goes on, maybe not, who knows eh...for some people the price doesnt matter, they dont miss the cash, good for them, for others the price tag is just more than can be justified or close to the realms of what people pay for mild pro-gear (digital canon and nikon for instance) or any number of other options open up in this price range.
I was under the impression it was going to be about half the cost of what it is and then with the recent economic downturns expected it would probably reach A$2200 or so, but at A3200 it definately makes it not a cheap camera, not just above average either...in that area its the sort of camera i want to hold, handle and see results from before i would even consider it, even then i would have to wiegh up whether its really worth a price of A3200 against $200-400++ for some old Weltur and other 6x6's c/rangefinders available or $300-$500++ for some pretty nice 6x9 (which i think is much better), heck if your prepared to spend money friviously then you can get a bessa II with heliar (real, 5 element heliar!) in minty condition pretty easy for $700-1000+
just for kicks, points for comparison pinched from post above- so, how do the features compare to an old good working folder already
Folding camera with coupled rangefinder____No different
Film choice 120/220 film_________________Dont use 220, does anybody really!!
6x7 cm (120-10 exp. / 220-20 exp.)_____personal preferance but i prefer 6x9, this camera cant do it so i see it as a major disadvantage
6x6 cm (120-12 exp. / 220-24 exp.)_____no different to old cameras
80 mm/f3.5 (4 groups 6 elements)______lets see how good the lens performs first, but i like the look of old Tessar, Xenar, and real 5 element Heliar's , i doubt they are going to get that look
Bright frame-type viewfinder________a plus for the new bessa no doubt
Automatic parallax compensation______asumming it works its a plus, but one of things you get used to doing auto in your head without the camera doing it
Integral LED exposure metering indications_________a plus
Electronically controlled lens shutter. 4-1/500 sec, B___a plus but really only noticable if using E6, black and white and colour negs work fine with the old mechanical shutter.
Exposure control: SPD Sensor___a plus but linked to the former LED advantage
Center-weighted averaging system__a plus over non lightmeter older camera but again linked to the former
Aperture priority AE and manual switchover..if it didnt switch it would be stupid, but again this is tied to the lightmeter already mentioned several times so far
Exposure compensation approx 2EV in 1/3EV steps__uh huh, the lightmeter again, yep its an advantage
Film speed: Manual setting, ISO25-3200 (1/3EV step accuracy)__doesnt make any difference to me, does it to anyone else?
Manual film wind by winding knob___same as all old folders
Mechanical-type counter___an advantage to be sure (until mechanical breakdown), but it doesnt kill ya to wind on and count the numbers
120/220 (changeable)____a repeat from the second feature mentioned!!, but no real life advantage
6x7/6x6 (changeable) ____6x7 could be considered a disadvantage compared to 6x9
CR2 (3v) lithium battery___a disadvantage no doubt
so out of that i get the new bessa has the advantage of a light meter, wind on film counter, and bright viewfinder. all good to be sure (as the Irish say), and if using slide film it would be more usefull combined with the electric shutter, however i am not convinced slide film is anywhere near as popular or has as many practicle uses as it once did so for me a deadly acurate shutter is not needed.
so while the new bessa should be nice, and for the small gains may be worth it to some people (starting to feel like ken rockwell--cant be a good thing!), but, if your on a budget, just cant justify the price or prefer the classic lens look (not that we know what this one looks like?). then using a light meter isnt hard, its not like you have to use a light meter for every shot once you have a reading to begin with. winding on is easy enough with old folders and becomes second nature anyway, a brighter or bigger viewfinder is always welcomed but you get used to what your using, thats life.
fwiw an older plaubel kit complete with case and whole set of lenses and assessories in A- or B+ condition sold for US$250 +26%auction fees a few months back (i got a picture of it i think on here somewhere), i remember because i was going to bid on it but had my money and sights set on something else so i didnt get it, not that i didnt regret it, not a bad finishing price eh!