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Voigtlander Bessa III / III Wide Celebrating the two modern Voigtlander 120 film cameras, the 667 Bessa III and Bessa III Wide.

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Old 10-05-2009   #26
Stephen Best
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Originally Posted by degruyl View Post
How is the film advance on this camera? It looks like a knob on the top where you line up the frame numbers in the window in the back, or is there a ratchet type system?
The Bessa III has really amazing technology. You wind the knob until it stops. Take a picture. Wind the knob again. It's even clever enough to know that you've already taken a picture and won't let you take another until you wind the film on. There's a nifty window on the top to tell you the frame number. And when you come to the end, it keeps on going until all the film is on the take-up spool. I hope Fujifilm have patented all this otherwise every manufacturer will be doing it and digital will die in the bum.
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Old 10-05-2009   #27
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Originally Posted by Stephen Best View Post
The Bessa III has really amazing technology. You wind the knob until it stops. Take a picture. Wind the knob again. It's even clever enough to know that you've already taken a picture and won't let you take another until you wind the film on. There's a nifty window on the top to tell you the frame number. And when you come to the end, it keeps on going until all the film is on the take-up spool. I hope Fujifilm have patented all this otherwise every manufacturer will be doing it and digital will die in the bum.
All kidding aside from Stephen, everything is perfectly human-proof. You simply can't expose the film except for at the obvious times you'd be using the camera (i.e., it is open, on an unexposed frame and ready to shoot).
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Old 10-06-2009   #28
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Fantastic. Still, no lever... But otherwise a modern system you would expect from an expensive camera. Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2009   #29
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It actually makes sense that there's a knob instead of a lever. Firstly, there's no shutter to be cocked so you don't need the force and single stroke a lever would allow. Secondly, and more importantly, due to the switchable format size of 6x6 and 6x7 the film needs to advance differently for each format which would result in the lever stopping at different positions. That would be very awkward.
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Old 10-06-2009   #30
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I was told the knob was used to reduce the force put on the film.
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Old 10-09-2009   #31
John NYC
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Hope you enjoy and use your Bessa III as much as I have! I haven't any negative feelings about the bokeh of the lens when wide open but it probably isn't as beautifully smooth as the Hassy's 80mm at 2.8. Here's two shots showing the Bessa III wide open. Sorry for posting these again but it's just to illustrate a point about the bokeh.



Compare a recent Hasselbald with same type of forward subject with distant background. In my neophyte opinion, the OOF is better on the Hasselblad.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3394602...69744/sizes/l/

I love this camera, but it definitely (for me) doesn't replace the 'blad. Does it really have to?
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Old 10-10-2009   #32
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I love this camera, but it definitely (for me) doesn't replace the 'blad. Does it really have to?

I love mine too but its quite a different beast to a Blad.

Just shoot and enjoy it...
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Old 10-10-2009   #33
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Just shoot and enjoy it...
Yep, I've got two more rolls ready to be taken to the lab next week!
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Old 10-13-2009   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Way View Post
Hope you enjoy and use your Bessa III as much as I have! I haven't any negative feelings about the bokeh of the lens when wide open but it probably isn't as beautifully smooth as the Hassy's 80mm at 2.8. Here's two shots showing the Bessa III wide open. Sorry for posting these again but it's just to illustrate a point about the bokeh.
Ah, NOW I understand what everyone is talking about. The background looks agitated, disquiet. Yes, definitely the out of focus areas on the Plaubel 670 are all silk in comparison. The older I get the more I'm aware the Plaubel is a work of genius.

On the other hand there is definitely a place for slightly "nervous" backgrounds.

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Shutter Sound?
Old 10-14-2009   #35
Asher Kelman
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Shutter Sound?

John, Stephen and anyone else with the new Bessa III, how quiet is the shutter? Can you say it would not be heard in a classical music performance? I'm impressed with a remark that the shutter was so quiet that one isn't sure it fired! That sound promising and how true is that statement?

Thanks,

Asher
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Old 10-14-2009   #36
Stephen Best
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John, Stephen and anyone else with the new Bessa III, how quiet is the shutter?
Quieter than some of the programme fiddlers and lolly paper unwrappers that I've had to put up with over the years! I reckon you'd get away with it. It's not a sound that anyone would recognise as a shutter so if the person just in front heard it during a pause in Cage's 4'33" (joke) they probably wouldn't twig. Cameras aren't allowed at most concerts I go (or rather used to go) to though.
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Old 10-14-2009   #37
Asher Kelman
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Quieter than some of the programme fiddlers and lolly paper unwrappers that I've had to put up with over the years! I reckon you'd get away with it. It's not a sound that anyone would recognise as a shutter so if the person just in front heard it during a pause in Cage's 4'33" (joke) they probably wouldn't twig. Cameras aren't allowed at most concerts I go (or rather used to go) to though.
Thanks, Stephen,

How would you compare the shutter sound to that of Leica's or other quiet shutters you might reference? At the moment I'm using a 5DII but have to wait between the music pieces or get them to replay at the end after the applause and the folk are leaving! Some of my work is here. I am thinking that a stealthy MF film camera might allow me to shoot during the performance. The 80mm means I'd have to do it close to the front but, that's do able.

The other issue in shooting concerts is the massive dynamic range but overall low light. The stage lights are overhead. By eye, everything looks fine. In pictures, if one doesn't use -1.5 Ev the heads, shoulders and arms vanish as they are over exposed to white out! So I guess I'd do the same with film. If the Bessa III is really quiet, it might be a great tool for music performance photography.

I appreciate any further ideas you might have.

Asher
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Old 10-14-2009   #38
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hi Asher,

I also enjoy photographing classical musicians in rehearsal and performance (if allowed). I agree that the clothing and lighting make for difficult metering. The DSLR's ability to crank up the iso is really helpful in these shots. You photos wonderful and I see that you often use iso 2000 or higher so I don't know if using film will yield less grainy results, even in MF. Also with the Bessa you will not be able to focus closer than about 3 feet (as in your oboe picture).

I think the shutter of the Bessa III is one of quietest that I've heard, even more so than the Leicas. It would work great for a classical music setting BUT the shutter sound will not be the problem. It's the ratcheted film advanced that will be heard and that's even worse because even though it's not terribly loud, advancing the film takes a few turns and that "zzzzzzit - zzzzzzit - zzzzzzit" sound lasts longer than a little "click".

The DSLR's are very useful for your shooting. iso 4000 looks pretty darn good! You're already using the high end of the DSLR cameras and seem to be doing a fine job. I would keep trying to improve your technique in getting the exposure right and that way you reduce the noise problem. If possible it might be best to get handheld meter reading of the stage before hand, use a grey card to make a custom white balance, and shoot in manual mode. If you're shooting Raw than you can always fix the WB later but I like to get the WB right at the time. Sometime it's difficult to do this because the venue will not light the stage until the concert begins. But if the WB is really off you can always convert to B&W - always a good look for classical performances . In a classical music venue the lighting will stay consistent (unlike a rock concert) so once you set the exposure manually you can pretty much forget about it and just shoot. But the great thing about digital is the ability to immediately see your results and fix your exposure accordingly. Check your histogram.

If you really want MF and a quiet shutter (film advance), then maybe the Mamiya 6 or 7/7II is the way to go. You can also change lenses and all of them are outstanding, especially the wide angle lenses. If you want a quiet 645 camera then the Bronica RF645 is also scary quiet. Good luck!
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Last edited by Way : 10-14-2009 at 05:49.
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Old 10-14-2009   #39
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Leaf shutters are extremely quiet. (I have a Mamiya 7, which you might swear was not clicked, even if you pressed the button. If there is any other noise nearby.)

SLRs, not so much. The mirror tends to make a lot of noise.

Winding, not so much, either. Although I would not consider the Mamiya loud.
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Old 10-14-2009   #40
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It's the ratcheted film advanced that will be heard and that's even worse because even though it's not terribly loud, advancing the film takes a few turns and that "zzzzzzit - zzzzzzit - zzzzzzit" sound lasts longer than a little "click".
I agree. The winder would be the main issue here but you could muffle this somewhat by wrapping the camera in your jacket (or whatever) for the wind.
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Old 10-14-2009   #41
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
John, Stephen and anyone else with the new Bessa III, how quiet is the shutter? Can you say it would not be heard in a classical music performance? I'm impressed with a remark that the shutter was so quiet that one isn't sure it fired! That sound promising and how true is that statement?

Thanks,

Asher
It's very quiet. And as Stephen says, it really doesn't sound like a typical shutter. Hard to describe. It sounds something like a quiet "tsk" you might make with the tongue on the roof of your mouth. But the sound would definitely be picked up by the high quality Scheops or DPA or Royers used to record concerts. I personally would ask for permission before the concert before risking it.
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Old 10-14-2009   #42
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It's very quiet. And as Stephen says, it really doesn't sound like a typical shutter. Hard to describe. It sounds something like a quiet "tsk" you might make with the tongue on the roof of your mouth. But the sound would definitely be picked up by the high quality Scheops or DPA or Royers used to record concerts. I personally would ask for permission before the concert before risking it.
I don't think the sound would be picked up if we're talking about taking pictures from an audience point of view.

I also don't think winding is that much of an issue if you wait for the louder parts

Of course, both these remarks are related to concert hall venues.
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Old 10-15-2009   #43
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I don't think the sound would be picked up if we're talking about taking pictures from an audience point of view.

I also don't think winding is that much of an issue if you wait for the louder parts

Of course, both these remarks are related to concert hall venues.
If you are listening to Beethoven no, if you are listening to a Morton Feldman chamber piece, it is very likely. I happen to own a pair of DPA 4006-TLs (mics often used for recording classical records), and I can tell you that coupled with a high quality pre-amp like a Millennium or comparable, it is AMAZING what is picked up.

That said, people shuffling around in their seats would be louder by far than the shutter sound. And as I indicated before, no one would have any idea what the sound is, I would think.
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Old 10-15-2009   #44
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That said, people shuffling around in their seats would be louder by far than the shutter sound.
That was sort of my point. I'm not doubting that a mic could technically pick up the sound but I think anyone who is going to record a classical concert will make sure not to pick up this kind of noise from the audience.
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Old 10-15-2009   #45
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- I'm not sure if my technique is bad on the focus aspect (first rangefinder I've owned) or if the camera is out of alignment from the get go. In the sample picture above, I THINK I was trying to focus on the horse foliage (difficult with the rangefinder square because there were no lines to align) but instead the light leaves just in front came out most in focus. In the picture of the ties on my flickr site, I was definitely focusing on the wooden separator, which should have been easy, however, I feel like maybe the ties just the left could be slightly more in focus. It is hard to tell because this photo came out a little flat, though the color is SPOT on with what I saw in the store. If I am right about the focus on the ties (and remembering correctly the focus on the horse), this would be weird because it would be the opposite focus misalignment as in the horse picture. So, I'm thinking it might be a user error problem. I have taken with my current roll (still in camera) a picture of some bricks at medium close range at f/5.6 that should definitely decide the focus issue. More on that later in this thread when I get those developed... which might be a while as I take in a load at a time.
Just to follow up on this... my bricks and one other test shot came back showing that my rangefinder patch is dead on.

Some more shots coming once I do some scanning. I think this last batch turned out much better than my first roll. I might actually be getting the hang of non-TTL picture taking.
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Old 10-18-2009   #46
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Last shots I'll post on this thread, as I think (no, I know) I have beat this to death.

I'm finally figuring out this camera and what (for me at least) it works best for.

The smoothest bokeh I've been able to coax out of it...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33946021@N04/4015697548/

... but I really think it does the sharp thing better...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33946021@N04/4024905622/

(and those are 800 ISO!)

I also have some night shots with Ilford Delta 3200 that came out pretty well (of friends... something I don't post). Focusing it in the dark is amazingly easy! So much easier than, say, my Nikon FM2n.

Verdict? It is definitely my new walk-around camera for NYC. I am also going to use it in conjunction with my Hasselblad for an upcoming series project. I love that I can switch it to 6x6 and interchange the camera usage in this way.
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Old 10-18-2009   #47
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Thanks John, Jamie and Stephen for the helpful and informed replies. Yes one does have to get permission but that's what I do, photograph classical music performances. I'm wondering if one of those glove/blimps might work. The Jacobson's blimp is too big and wouldn't allow rangefinder focus but one of the glove designs might work if there's one available?

I wonder if anyone has one near the Los Angeles area and might want to meet for coffee? If I take even one good picture, I can rewind later. So that's one shot at least per movement. Not bad really.

Anyone know how load it is compared with a Leica or a Mamiya 7?, if that wasn't answered already?

Asher
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Old 10-19-2009   #48
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Hello Asher,

My wife and I are violinists and have had several students attend the Colburn school's orchestras so we are quite familiar with the school and venue. I could meet and show you the Bessa III and Mamiya 7II. Loading of the Bessa or Mamiya is no different than any other modern swing door camera. Please PM me if you are interested.
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Last edited by Way : 10-19-2009 at 05:37.
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Old 10-19-2009   #49
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@John: I think the Bessa III does pretty well wide open but you need to know its weak and strong points. If you have anything with lots of high contrast details (like e.g. the leaves of a tree or the church window in the above picture) in the near background it will look a bit busy.
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Old 10-19-2009   #50
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@John: I think the Bessa III does pretty well wide open but you need to know its weak and strong points. If you have anything with lots of high contrast details (like e.g. the leaves of a tree or the church window in the above picture) in the near background it will look a bit busy.
Nicely put rule-of-thumb for this camera!
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