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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.

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RF newbie..bit of a dilema.
Old 08-22-2005   #1
DanK
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RF newbie..bit of a dilema.

Hello all,

What a great forum! I have recently been smitten with the idea to pickup a rangefinder and get back to some basics. I have been into photography for over 10 years and never owned an RF....I know, I should be shot on principle. However I am looking to make amends and the Bessa seems to fit right up my alley. However since this is going to be my first....I am having a bit of a dilema in which to start with.

First is the L which for all intent and purposes would fit fine for the kind of shooting I wish to be doing at the moment with the camera. Plus its extremly LOW price is very enticing seeing as I am now a homeowner and rarely get money for toys. The next step would be to the R....a natural progression I feel, and quite inexpensive as well.

The R2 or R2a are a bit more then I am looking to spend plus the lens...puts me over $800 which is unfortunate but since this would be my first I think, from what I have read, that I could be very happy with an L or R.

I have to make my way down to B and H to get the feel for the camera itself and play with it a bit but is there anything that I may be over looking? I have two SLR's currently, one 1N and one 10D and am reluctant to sell the 1n since I bought it as a graduation gift for me 6 years ago( Im a sap huh lol) although I feel that if I do start to enjoy shooting with a much lighter, unobtrusive, and quick little RF then the 1n will be collecting even more dust then it did last year as I did most of my work digitally.

But I have been missing the yearning for shooting film again. The bug has bit me again as if to say *** are you doing...you are forgeting the joy of shooting by being able to see what you have captured so quickly. Some of the magic has gone and I think its time to get back to some of that---for my own creative good.


Ok enough rambling. I guess Im looking to see if any of you have gone through a similar experience and maybe a good swift kick in the tail lol.

Thanks again and I look forward to enjoying this site much more in the future.

Dan
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Old 08-22-2005   #2
Roger Hicks
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L, 25, scale focus: d-o-f will carry it. Back to basics at next to no cost for first-class lenses.

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Old 08-22-2005   #3
BJ Bignell
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I haven't used the L, but I'd get an R and a 21 (I love my 21...) and then look for a cheap used 50, maybe a J8?
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Old 08-22-2005   #4
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What kind of shooting do you like? If you shoot primes, which ones, otherwise if zooms, are you at the wide end, long end etc?

The majority of RF style shooting can be done with a fixed lense RF as well, and they're _cheap_ and good. A Canon GIII QL17, Yashica GSN, Konica S2 etc can be a very good introduction with good lenses, fairly decent builtin meters, good viewfinders and you'll see how much you like RF shooting.

The major advantage of a Bessa R is the viewfinder (very good) and the ability to use interchangable lenses.
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Old 08-22-2005   #5
captainslack
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If you're looking to spend that much money, got for the Bessa-R kit with the 35mm f/2.5 lens at CameraQuest. At $399 it's a steal and I promise you'll love the camera.
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Old 08-22-2005   #6
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I guess taking the L looks like the most radical change, coming from (D)SLR. Between the R and the R2A its mainly just whats in your wallet or if it matters you how the camera feels.
I haven't tried out the R2A, but I am very happy with the R.
Lenses is the same. If you want the extra stops of the below f2 lenses, or if you are comfortable with the slightly slower ones.
Best go to B&H and try them out.
The deal at CameraQuest is really go though.
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Old 08-22-2005   #7
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I would strongly consider a T.
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Old 08-22-2005   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Prince
I would strongly consider a T.
T's are great cameras!
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Old 08-22-2005   #9
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Look at Leica CM. Or Contax T3. Ultimate lens quality, rugged.
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Old 08-22-2005   #10
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If you want to go really wide only, then the L with a 15, 21, or 25mm lens would be right for you.

But, if you want to use anything longer, like a 35 or 50mm, then the R is a far, far better choice.

Oh, and welcome, BTW!
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Old 08-22-2005   #11
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I started out with the L + CV 25/4. Great set but with only a super wide angle a bit limited in its use.

Later I got an R. Got a Jupiter-8 50/2 as well. Great set and a set I've been using ever since. Very versatile, and the J-8 is a great lens for very minor cost. The set offered at Cameraquest can't be beat.

I now have an R-D1. I'm using the CV 25/4 on it, the J8, the M-Rokkor 40/2, even the J-12 35/2.8. Also sometimes using a Meyer Lydith 30/3.5 with M42 adapter, and just this weekend I got me a Zenitar 16/2.8 fish-eye (that one will take some getting used to!).

The L got me into RF cameras. The R got me going. The R-D1 is taking me further and further. ot just into F cameras but also into digital. My experience with the R-D1 is making me shoot my Eos 300D more. I'm all most completely digital now (though I'm gonna order a Kiev 4AM one of these days ) and learning to combine RF and SLR, which is working fine for me.

Go for the R, Dan. Stick on the CV 25/4, or get the offer with the 35. Find a cheap J-8, and you're all set to go.
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Old 08-23-2005   #12
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Wow! Thanks for all the ideas everyone

The T is an enticing option also--Just not sure how comfotable it is to shoot with 2 different finders.

I do plan on using this camera mostly for street work so shooting wide angle will be the majority of what I will be doing. However, I have seen some beautiful portraits done with the 75/2.5 Heliar. So this camera may serve more then just a street camera. Im going to B and H on sunday to play a bit....but I think I have narrowed it to either a r or maybe a T if I can find more feed back on how comfortable the dual finder works for people. Pity noone local carries it....

Again, thanks a lot to all. Ill definatley be sharing once I get whatever I get.
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Old 08-23-2005   #13
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Ahhhhh...Very good point--Hadn't relized that. Thanks Manolo.

The R seems to be tipping the scales now...
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