View Full Version : Bessa "T" (everyday shooter?)

06-29-2004, 05:04
Anyone have any opinions on using the "T" for an everyday shooter? How difficult is it to use? The lower price makes it very attractive, coupled with a VC 35mm or wider you can have a pretty nice kit. This camera interests me but I can't justify the price if I can't use it regularly.


06-29-2004, 09:59
Todd, there's a brief review in this same forum here http://www.rangefinderforum.com/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=3 and also I think Tom Abrahamson did a review of it after some weeks of use in cameraquest, but can't seem to find it now... (I think CQ needs a search feature :))

06-29-2004, 12:07
It's here:



06-29-2004, 12:50
Hi Todd,
I quite recently aquired a T + 35 pancake Mk 2 and the minifinder and without exception it is the best kit I have used for street/cary all the time stuff.
The sequence of focus- check exposure and compose become second nature.
I think it is one of the most underated cameras well I was going to say made, but it no longer is. I use other far more expensive rangefinder cameras but the T stays with me permenantly and I have just bought another body
Stephen Gandy at cameraquest has bodies for $185 - a snip.

06-29-2004, 13:06
Any significant advantages over the Bessa-L besides the M Mount?


06-29-2004, 16:00
Originally posted by digitalox
Any significant advantages over the Bessa-L besides the M Mount?


A much better construction and a very accurate rangefinder. I really regret selling my T101 set and its Heliar 50mm/3.5! What have I done! :bang:

06-30-2004, 10:35
Having bought and L and then a T... I think the T is a natural replacement for the L, superior in every respect. While the L is considered a good low-cost way into wide-angle lenses, we may be a bit spoiled these days in "needing" a focusing aid of some kind. :-)

In fact, look back at cameras both before and after WWII in which it was pretty common to expect the user to just estimate subject distance. Not just 35's either, but even 6x9 folders! One could buy an accessory clip-on RF as an "upgrade" or just use a knotted/calibrated string for close-distance measuring.

My point is that the L is no worse off than the above, with a normal lens at moderate apertures and guessed distances. Easier of course with wider lenses. And the Bessa-T adds a very accurate rangefinder, addressing any residual scale-focus concerns.

Both the L and T have the meter diodes located on the upper rear of the body where they're easily seen while looking through an accessory viewfinder. They're also easily (and usefully) seen without the camera at your eye, unlike the R and R2!

I like the Bessa-T a lot. I also like to have two each of favored items, so with today's prices I really wish I could justify a second T. I have to remind myself "I am NOT a collector!" Repeat 100 times. After all, I do have that L, and an M2, and a CLE, so it's not like I'm desperate for another Leica-mount RF. Sigh. :-/

I think the T is a fine "everyday" shooter, an excellent choice "on the street." The big bright accessory viewfinders make it quick and easy to frame a fleeting subject. The 35mm focal length is a great choice for this, and in decent light one can do fine with hyperfocal/scale focusing. The RF is there for close-in with fast lenses wide open if needed, and otherwise when you have the time. The rear-mounted diodes make it easy to set exposure inconspicuously. And the camera with viewer mounted has an old-fashioned funky look that may be a conversation starter too. :-)

07-01-2004, 01:28
David - What is the 28/35 Mini Finder like?

07-01-2004, 06:25
Todd, if you're going to use 35mm lens, don't you think Bessa R makes more sense? First you don't have to move your eye for focussing and composing. Second, you will never loose the viewfinder. External viewfinders aren't lockable like flashguns (AFAIK) so if it get caught by, say the strap or your pocket, you may drop it.

Only if you use 28mm lens or wider then the T makes a better option because you are going to use external viewfinder anyway.

And Mourges, here's what the mini finder look like: