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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Old 10-14-2009   #41
John NYC
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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:[email protected]/4015697548/

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

http:[email protected]/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
Asher Kelman
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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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Old 10-21-2009   #51
Asher Kelman
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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.
Yes, that background of the church window foes look a bit crystalized but one might be able to soften that with a mesh with a central aperture or else, excuse the mention of it, blurring a tad in photoshop, (is that word even allowed here??).

Asher
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Old 10-21-2009   #52
Asher Kelman
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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.
Way,

It was so kind of you and Wendy to travel all the way downtown to share your expeience with the MF Bessa III and the Mamiya VII II, both with 80mm lenses. Thanks so much!

Impressions of the Bessa III and Mamiya VII II in a brief test at Zipper Hall, The Colburn School, Los Angeles.

My need is for a quiet shutter for pictures during a live performance. So we went to the rear of Zipper Auditorium and The Colburn School. That location is rated as having a particularly highly rated acoustic quality. It's therefore not too forgiving for any added sounds. Using a DSLR, of course, is out of the question even during loud passages. It will reveal instantly even a Leica shutter. This thread on the Bessa III intrigued me, but how would it fair in practice? So we did the following simple and purely subjective test. Wendy kindly went on the stage and played piano, a fine Steinway grand.

Way and I stood in the center behind the very last row of seats. We focused on the sharp lines of the piano stool with both cameras. I used ISO 400 NP Portra (film being processed) at f 5.6 and aperture approx 1/30 sec. I fired the Bessa III first, but only realized it went off because I could now wind on the next frame. That was a much more noisey experience; one can hear some ratchet clicking on a cogged wheel. Not as loud as that in a dungeon of the inquisition, but for sure there would be screams at me if did that repeatedly during a concert. Shooting the Bessa III again, I could just make out the very understated tap, like someone softly taps the back of the fingernail against the LCD monitor, so softly that one can just make it out. That's how quiet it is. Way then fired the Mamiya VII II and this was louder than the Bessa III for sure, but quieter than the Leica CM. It could be lost in the environment of a large concert hall. The lever winding of the Mamiya VII II is much more acceptable and if one does it slowly, it could pass unnoticed. The Bessa III? forget it!!

So the Bessa III is the winner of quiet shooting. The only quieter camera is the Canon G11, which is absolutely noiseless, (with the synthetic shutter noise disabled). If one can take just one perfect shot in each movement or part of a music piece, then it will be utterly unnoticed by the entire concert hall, (delaying winding the film until the intervals). The Mamiya VII II, however, is especially worthy of consideration since it has wide angle lenses almost without peer. So there are two very great choices.

As a general comment, the Bessa III is not a light camera, it appears to be almost the weight of the Mamiya VII. However, it's well built. The setup, from closed to ready to fire, is all of 2 seconds at the most! One simply releases the catch on the cover by pressing the edge towards the lower hinge. (Obviously it will not and mustln't not open if one hit or actually pressed on the release itself as that would open up the camera in one's pocket). The lens comes forward with the bellows on a track and solidly clicks in place. There was no evidence of any looseness or lateral sway. The rangefinder is bright and easy to focus (but the Mamiya VII II is just a tad easier to use and to get into focus.) When the focus ring of the lens is turned, the lens does not move at all on the frame of the camera but stays solid as if it was just one piece.

So apart from waiting for the processed film, the testing of the Bessa III assures me that this is as stealthy as one can get with any camera outsdie of the Canon G11 and is likely to work very well in live classical music performance settings. I do caution against trying to use this even this camera in a recording studio as that so faint a Bessa III click will then cost a lot to be removed by the sound editing engineer!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman : 10-21-2009 at 21:00.
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