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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.

View Poll Results: Which one is for you?
L 39 4.11%
T 47 4.95%
R 128 13.47%
R2 71 7.47%
R2M (Jahre 250) 15 1.58%
R2M 53 5.58%
R2A 103 10.84%
R3M (Jahre 250) 40 4.21%
R3M 83 8.74%
R3A 153 16.11%
R4M 112 11.79%
R4A 106 11.16%
Voters: 950. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2010   #81
DanOnRoute66
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You don't have the R2C and R2S on the list, and the former is the only Bessa I have. It's a crackerjack, with a bright viewfinder and RF patch.
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Old 01-06-2010   #82
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I have an R3A and love it... but the 50 frame lines are hard to see without shifting my eye around the frame... and the 40 lines are pretty much useless... damn glasses. I'm thinking of trying to trade it for an R2A but I like the more accurate focusing of the R3A.
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Old 01-06-2010   #83
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R2A for me with 35mm lens. Had a R3A but fornd the framelines too difficult to see.
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Old 01-13-2010   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas Adolfsen View Post
I would love a R4M. I just like that its mechanical and that it is for wide angle lenses...
+1 ... a wideangle users dream!
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Old 01-19-2010   #85
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I have a R3A and I like it a lot, but I´m thinking about selling it and buying a R4A because of the wide frame lines.
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Old 01-22-2010   #86
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R2C. Because of the nice focussing wheel...

Unfortunately R2C and R2S are not on the list. Therefore I voted for R4A. I like the idea of using 21mm w/o external viewfinder.

Greg

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Old 01-22-2010   #87
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R because it's SCREWMOUNT.
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Old 02-03-2010   #88
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bought an r today, from an rff member. lens shopping now.
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Old 02-03-2010   #89
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R2A!

Great camera either stand alone or as a backup to my ZI. Reasonably priced & trouble free. Now if it only came in silver.....

John
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Old 02-03-2010   #90
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I have a R great little stuff

a friend bought the R4A, impressive, the 50 frame is ok to me, not too small, and when you look trough the finder, it hasn't a so much wild angle effect, I mean you see the 21 mm frame but it looks natural quite strange

I hope I can afford a R4 soon
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Old 02-04-2010   #91
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Same for me, I want to trade my R3M for a R4 so I can have the 21mm framelines...
I'd like to shoot at 21 mm but I find annoying to use an external viewfinder
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Old 02-11-2010   #92
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I picked R4M, but the R2M would likely also suit.
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Old 02-12-2010   #93
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I love my R3a, got it because I wanted it with a nokton 40mm. It just seemed like the perfect combo for me. The framelines are perfectly visible, but I can imagine it being less useable for someone with glasses.
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Old 02-14-2010   #94
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Had an R and sold it here to make way for an M5. Which is fine, but so was the R.

An R, or alternatively an R2A, would be the only rangefinder camera I'd currently be interested in.
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Old 02-21-2010   #95
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Bessa R. Beautiful viewfinder, incredible meter, LTM, clacky shutter. Love it.
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Old 02-21-2010   #96
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I bought a used Bessa L. It worked fine for a few rolls then I noticed the take up spool clutch was too loose and it had started to rip up film a bit when it jammed. I did not pay very much for the thing so to send it out would be a little foolish, I took it apart myself.

I do not know what the other Voigtlander.Cosina cameras are like, I've never held one, but seeing what is inside this piece of plastic crap I'm not likely to.

-The base is not metal, but very thin plastic held on with tiny self threading screws. Very bad.
-The escapement has at least two plastic gears. Very bad.
-The internal metal parts I've seen so far are stamped tin.
-The top is plastic.
-All the knobs are plastic.
-The shutter is metal but really crappy.
-The advance lever is stamped thin metal covered with a thin sheath of plastic.
-The camera back is all plastic.
-I think wherever plastic could be used it was used.
-Yes I fixed it!
-It ain't a Leica M

This thing is not meant for a serious photographer. I'm now skeptical about my 15mm Heliar lens.

I will not be buying the Bessa III 667 for my trip to Scotland until I'm satisfied it is far, far better built than this Bessa L which means I probably won't be getting one soon.

Sorry, for the rant.
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Old 03-14-2010   #97
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I read on CameraQuest that the regular brand new price for the Bessa L was $250, so I think one has to accept that you get what you pay for. If you want Leica quality, it's not going to be $250 brand new.

The Zeiss Ikon is also built by Cosina, and that's an all metal, very well put together camera, so I guess Cosina built the L to a price, just like all cameras are.

Having said that, I've got 2 CV lenses, both are very well made and don't give a bit of trouble.
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Old 03-14-2010   #98
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I originally got the Blue Bessa T 101st Anniversary set. I subsequently added a rapid winder and the 1:1 50mm viewfinder and another standard Bessa T body. The standard T with the the f3.5 Heliar is my standard kit. I don't find the separate RF/Viewfinder a problem; rather I the think the 1.5 mag. of the range finder helps make the best of the Heliar's shapness. The only combination that I think would suit me better would be a Leica IIIg body with the Heliar. I would like to have the quieter shutter of the Leica.

I have considered the new f2 Heliar but given comments about its slightly lower contrast wide open (not its sharpness) I decided I would not be happy with it enough to justify its cost.

Over the years I have had a couple of Leica M series with the Summicron and 50mm f/2.8 Elmar and the Heliar is more than equal to either of them.
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Old 03-14-2010   #99
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I forgot to add that I also have the grip for my R, and that changes the camera in two ways:

1. It now hangs from the strap just like any other camera.

2. Grip makes the camera an easy one-hander.
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Old 03-21-2010   #100
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I had an R3A for quite a while and liked a lot of things about it. The noisy shutter that vibrated the whole camera, and the flaring viewfinder that made the shutter speeds impossible to see finally got to me and I sold it. Since then I've owned a few of the R's. They're neat cameras w/ accurate meters, but once again I got tired of their economy build and I sold them. To me the tragedy is that Cosina could have easily addressed the problems w/ these cameras and never did. That is sad. So, like a few others here, I went to a Leica and things are going a LOT better. Great cameras. So the R3A and R were for me, but I have since moved on.
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Old 03-21-2010   #101
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I had an R2; great feel right in your hands, but noticed that just like the other R2 I had, the frame spacing was unpredictable, which was a huge issue for me, as I scanned in batches, and scanning Bessa R2 rolls became a major PITA.

I've kept the Bessa R I've had since right after I bought my Leica M6. The Bessa R has a tinny shutter sound, but it's a great LTM camera that is 95% time loaded with slide film.
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Old 05-11-2010   #102
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R3A for the longer rangefinder base for fast normal lenses.
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Old 05-14-2010   #103
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I ordered a new R4M yesteday, so I guess that's the one for me!
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Old 06-05-2010   #104
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I don’t own one but if I did it would an R4A since I shoot wide angle almost exclusively.
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Old 06-05-2010   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinje View Post
I ordered a new R4M yesteday, so I guess that's the one for me!
If I were your mail man you would never get your R4
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Old 06-05-2010   #106
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I never bothered much with them, because I prefer the M2 or M4-2 (same general price range). BUT...I did just pick up the R4m, as it offers something that Leica does not. I've only had it a few days, but it seems pretty damn cool so far.
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Old 06-05-2010   #107
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I tried a Bessa R, but it's in the Classifieds. Like it, but with three Leicas round the house it doesn't see enough action...
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Old 06-17-2010   #108
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The R2A, the poor man's M7 alternative - and what a fantastic alternative it is in terms of appearance, handling, superb built and performance.
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Old 06-22-2010   #109
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Just one?! Too hard to choose! I currently have the R4A for its unique wideangle finder and automation and a R3M Anniversary for its lens and its beautiful 1:1 finder.

Like many others I have too many other cameras like the R2A or R2M, or else I won't have a chance to buy Leica or Konica or Zeiss bodies!
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Old 07-05-2010   #110
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I put my eye up to an r4a on a trip to Melbourne a few weeks ago (we don't get new film cameras in brisbane - everyones too busy saying film is dead)...

WOW. What an amazing finder. Even the 35mm and 50mm framelines are great, and it goes down to 21mm!!!! I'm getting one of those for sure..
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Old 07-06-2010   #111
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R4A will be my next Bessa. Will my LTM lenses work properly on it? I have the LTM to M adapter. Just want to make sure.

Ted
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R2 for me
Old 07-15-2010   #112
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R2 for me

Hello everyone
I am new here, and I am still waiting the LTM to M adapter to start using my new "old" BEssa R2 with a Jupiter 8.
I thought going for the traditional 35,50,75,90 framelines was a good idea as it's my first rangefinder
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Old 07-21-2010   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedwhite View Post
R4A will be my next Bessa. Will my LTM lenses work properly on it? I have the LTM to M adapter. Just want to make sure.

Ted
Hi Ted,

Yes, they work perfectly... I use my R4M with the (LTM) 28 3.5: Small set...

Cheers,

Juan
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Old 07-21-2010   #114
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R3A, R4A and M6.
One of them will have to go but I'm not sure which one. It won't be the R4A.
Reason for the M6 trial is (1) Leicalust, (2) I shoot mainly 25mm to 75mm and the M6 has frames that almost cover that - 28 to 135. To cover the same range I need two Bessa bodies or a lot of messing around with external viewfinders (which I have) but it slows you down seriously. I can live with a 28 instead of a 25, or just fit the 25 and know I'm going to get a bit more than the 28 frame is showing.
I also use the 15mm lens but they all need the VF for that. I like AE and the M6 doesn't offer that but on the other hand it's not totally battery dependent either. Never had a problem with Bessa/Batteries but mechanical somehow sounds better.
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Old 07-21-2010   #115
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Hey, Juan en Barcelona, thanks for confirming what I suspected. Now I can seriously contemplate an R4A purchase.

Leigh in OZ - I wouldn't have serious angst about batteries. Almost all cameras nowadays are battery-driven. In my camera bag I have extra batteries for each of my different cameras and batteries certainly don't take up much room. The only camera that's a bit tricky in that regard is my Pentax K20D. An extra battery is quite expensive, so I carry the charger which, of course, must be plugged into an AC outlet. But in the read-out on the top of the camera there's an image of a battery so you can see when it's starting to get low. Which seems to occur about every three months and, considering that I use it almost daily, is obviously not much to worry about.

In terms of a trade-off between the automation of the R4A and the fact that it's battery driven is, for me, a no-brainer.
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Old 07-21-2010   #116
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i have an mp, but i often grab for my girlfriends r3a... the viewfinder is a dream... i also do not mind shoot AE once and a while, what the heck.. its accurate!
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Old 08-04-2010   #117
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I’ve got a „R“, as I just didn’t (and don’t) have enough money for another one. There aren’t too much other RF-cameras with interchangeable lenses and light-metering around. As it also works out very well and feels good in my hand, I love it Sometimes screw mounting is a little bit annoying when you’re used to bayonet, but you have to take a compromise, when you don’t want to spend too much money.
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Old 08-21-2010   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john battaglia View Post
i have an mp, but i often grab for my girlfriends r3a... the viewfinder is a dream... i also do not mind shoot AE once and a while, what the heck.. its accurate!

Excellent pictures on your site , I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Old 08-22-2010   #119
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I have an R3M and a T. I like them both but I love the T. That magnified rangefinder is so great to focus with. Mine is getting creaky, I wish Cosina would re-make it with better build quality. Then again that viewfinder on the R3M is so bright…
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Old 08-25-2010   #120
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I'm enjoying a lot my fourth Bessa, an R3A... What a wonderful camera!

It feels great having in the street an R4M with the tiny 28 3.5 and an R3A with the 40 1.4...

And 2 Ts ready to shoot with fast and slow film and the 15 Heliar and 90 Summicron on, in a small bag... Yet I can perfectly use these last two lenses on the R4M and R3A...!

Voigtländer Bessa line = clever design!

Cheers,

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