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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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Any here use their new $90 Bessa L?
Old 04-05-2019   #1
Huss
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Any here use their new $90 Bessa L?

Hey, my 'as is because discontiued item' may have issues..

Anyone else use their's yet? First thing that happened is the shutter stuck on the first shot (dry firing) attempt. It has been cocked already (for all these years?..) and acted like it was making a time exposure. Of course it wasn't as it doesnt do that. It then freed up by itself, and seems fine now as I cannot replicate. Guess years of not being used..

But here is a potentially more serious issue. I had to load/reload the film three times because the first two times after I shot a couple of snaps I could feel the film slipping and then grabbing as I wound the lever. Like there is a film transport issue. Anyone else experience any anomalies with these 'new' cameras?
Maybe this is why they are selling them 'As is'?

Hmm, will see how this plays out. "A bargain is only a bargain if it remains a bargain.."

(I started a new thread as peeps seem to not be looking at the old one)
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Old 04-05-2019   #2
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Odd, maybe it was a batch of returns forgotten in storage.

Hope it smooths out for you and you maintain the bargain!
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Old 04-05-2019   #3
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Hmm, seems ok now. Taken 8 shots with the third loading attempt and everything is smooth and advancing nicely. I wonder if I had issues because the film in it expired in 200-something, and so it is not as flexible as it might be..

This is a neat camera, I have it paired with the CV 25 Snapshot Skopar and CV 25mm finder.
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Old 04-05-2019   #4
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Mandatory camera porn shot of your combo!
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Old 04-05-2019   #5
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Mandatory camera porn shot of your combo!
Can a $90 plastic Cosina even be considered in that way?
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Old 04-05-2019   #6
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Haha why not! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
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Old 04-05-2019   #7
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It's either a tiny camera, or the cat is freakin huge!



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Old 04-05-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Hey, my 'as is because discontiued item' may have issues..

Anyone else use their's yet? First thing that happened is the shutter stuck on the first shot (dry firing) attempt. It has been cocked already (for all these years?..) and acted like it was making a time exposure. Of course it wasn't as it doesnt do that. It then freed up by itself, and seems fine now as I cannot replicate. Guess years of not being used..

But here is a potentially more serious issue. I had to load/reload the film three times because the first two times after I shot a couple of snaps I could feel the film slipping and then grabbing as I wound the lever. Like there is a film transport issue. Anyone else experience any anomalies with these 'new' cameras?
Maybe this is why they are selling them 'As is'?

Hmm, will see how this plays out. "A bargain is only a bargain if it remains a bargain.."

(I started a new thread as peeps seem to not be looking at the old one)
Haven't put film through it yet but shutter and meter seem fine. Can't say anything about film advance though. Was planning for the same combo with the 25mm Snapshot skopar and OVF.

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Old 04-05-2019   #9
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Haven't put film through it yet but shutter and meter seem fine. Can't say anything about film advance though. Was planning for the same combo with the 25mm Snapshot skopar and OVF.

Shawn
Seems ok now. I think it was because my film was old and crispy.. Shutter did stick open on the very first shot and it was delivered cocked.
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Old 04-05-2019   #10
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Just ordered a $21 Butter Grip for it:

https://www.cameradactyl.com/buttergrip

I have one of these on my Pentax MX and it is great. Much better than an $80 fancy machined metal one I have for my Nikon F2.
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Old 04-05-2019   #11
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Huss,

Nice! Be sure to let them know if it fits they can add the L to their list lol.

Nice kitty too!
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Old 04-05-2019   #12
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Ha Ha They make a buttergrip for the Minolta SRT!! Just ordered one in Black.

My wife could not handle 35mm SLR film photography, but she loved her Bessa-L
That she could use. As intuitive as a Kodak Instamatic.
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Old 04-05-2019   #13
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Huss,

Nice! Be sure to let them know if it fits they can add the L to their list lol.

Nice kitty too!
The dood emailed me and said he was editing the description so it includes the L model, as they fit the same.
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Old 04-05-2019   #14
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The L has to be as close to a LTM instamatic as is possible!

Huss, your having to much fun out in that west coast sun buddy!
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Old 04-05-2019   #15
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i quickly took both of mine out of the box to check functionality, no issues.
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The Bessa L can do time exposures
Old 04-05-2019   #16
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The Bessa L can do time exposures

Dear Huss,

I read a review somewhere on the web today that said "T" exposures are possible with the Bessa L. Apparently if the shutter dial is set to "B" and you attempt to fire the shutter while pressing forward on the film advance lever it makes a "T" exposure. See the end of the review where the specs are provided.

https://cameraquest.com/voigtbl.htm

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Old 04-05-2019   #17
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Dear Tim



Unfortunately the camera was set to 1/125.
But it was a one time occurence, and I have since run through the gamut of speeds numerous times and all 'seems' well. I'll see when I get my film back.

Best regards
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Old 04-05-2019   #18
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Which type of batteries are best for the L and the T? SR44 LR44 ?
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Any here use their new $90 Bessa L?
Old 04-05-2019   #19
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Any here use their new $90 Bessa L?

Some caveats for all you new Bessa-L owners.

(1) Be careful winding when you reach exposure number 36. If you try to squeeze an extra frame from a roll the advance lever will usually get stuck mid-wind at about 36 and 1/2. The lever will not go forward or back and will be stuck out from the body. The meter will also be activated if shutter is depressed (wasting battery) until the lever is retracted.
In that case, press the rewind button at the bottom and wind back your film into canister.
After rewinding completely, finish winding the lever and dry-fire the shutter.

(2) Rewinding film back into canister can be super-tight and difficult as you roll the last 10 frames in. Be gentle but firm with the rewind lever so you do not break it.



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Old 04-06-2019   #20
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Update - my camera is broken. It will not advance film. On the first roll, after numerous what i thought was loading issues, it ceased to advance the film after the 22nd exposure on a 36exp roll.
I rewound the film, then checked the mechanism. With the back open and no film in it I could see that the sprocket attached to the film lever, and the gear to its immediate left rotate correctly. When I put slight pressure on the film lever sprocket, it slips and does not rotate/advance. Which is why when I put film in it it no longer advances the film as increased pressure causes it to slip. (and no, the film rewind button was not pushed in)
Filled out the return form on Amazon, will ship it back on Monday. Bummer. Thought something was up though when I received this 'new' camera with the shutter already cocked.

p.s. Hey Valdas, good thing you didn't buy it from me!!!!
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Old 04-06-2019   #21
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Damn. Got a lemon. Amazon will blend it up for ya.

Salvage the roll atleast or nah complete fatality?
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Old 04-06-2019   #22
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Huss, you're welcome to purchase one of two I received. Both seem problem free. Shoot me a PM.
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Old 04-06-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Update - my camera is broken. It will not advance film. On the first roll, after numerous what i thought was loading issues, it ceased to advance the film after the 22nd exposure on a 36exp roll.
I rewound the film, then checked the mechanism. With the back open and no film in it I could see that the sprocket attached to the film lever, and the gear to its immediate left rotate correctly. When I put slight pressure on the film lever sprocket, it slips and does not rotate/advance. Which is why when I put film in it it no longer advances the film as increased pressure causes it to slip. (and no, the film rewind button was not pushed in)
Filled out the return form on Amazon, will ship it back on Monday. Bummer. Thought something was up though when I received this 'new' camera with the shutter already cocked.

p.s. Hey Valdas, good thing you didn't buy it from me!!!!
Hey, it was not the sixth sense, believe me Those taxes make it not attractive and I still have my other Bessas (R4M/R2a)...
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Old 04-07-2019   #24
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Huss, you're welcome to purchase one of two I received. Both seem problem free. Shoot me a PM.
Thanks but I first want to see what PhotoVillage does. My request for a refund has been accepted, but they are also offering to exchange it for another.
Which is weird as their site says sold out/no longer available. So I have asked them to clarify that statement.
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Old 04-07-2019   #25
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Damn. Got a lemon. Amazon will blend it up for ya.

Salvage the roll atleast or nah complete fatality?
I'm salvaging the roll and hoping that the majority if images on it are ok, as I went on a specific trip with it. Luckily it was not my primary camera!
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Old 04-07-2019   #26
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......sounds like $90 worth of trouble.
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Old 04-07-2019   #27
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......sounds like $90 worth of trouble.
Hopefully it's only $90 worth of trouble, not more...
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Old 04-07-2019   #28
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......sounds like $90 worth of trouble.
That was your 90th post on rff.

nicely played.
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Old 04-08-2019   #29
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So the shop is going to exchange it with one they kept back for the specific reason in case anyone had issues! They said they would test it before sending it out.

As long as it plays out properly, this was a minor $90 inconvenience that was settled in a week. Unlike my $5500 Leica M-E experience that took 6 months...
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Old 04-08-2019   #30
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CameraQuest had the later black model of this in stock for many years. It was factory fresh, CQ and factory warranty, and priced little more than the $90 everybody is now so excited about. When Stephen Gandy said these were great little cameras even before considering the low price, I bought one. It has been flawless.

I learned to listen to the head bartender long ago when he said the 25mm Snapshot Skopar was a great lens with a great price. He said the finder alone was worth the price of the lens and included finder combo. He was right.
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Old 04-08-2019   #31
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Bob, your not lying!

The 25 Snapshot skopar is hands down my favorite VC lens. Ive owned it 4 times over the years 3 black 1 chrome. Its excellent on digital too! Like the M8 or Epson RD1. A go to lens for cramped streets and festivals.

I never did find a good alternative lens hood... there is a empty thread around here with me asking to the sound of crickets.

I almost purchased a L wayyyy back. I liked to see in WA so the L was my obvious lust until I started reading the head bartenders site and dug too deep into the Leica articles....
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Old 04-08-2019   #32
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There you go again B-9 and Bob, kicking up my GAS for my favorite camera combo, Bessa L and a CV 25 Snap-Shot. I had just about forgotten about 35mm cameras, damn.

B2 (;->
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Old 04-08-2019   #33
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As usual B2, Very Welcome!
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Old 04-08-2019   #34
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The roll I attempted to shoot was using the 25 Snapshot Skopar. I was having a blast until the film stopped winding!
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Old 04-08-2019   #35
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Quote:
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CameraQuest had the later black model of this in stock for many years. It was factory fresh, CQ and factory warranty, and priced little more than the $90 everybody is now so excited about. When Stephen Gandy said these were great little cameras even before considering the low price, I bought one. It has been flawless.

I learned to listen to the head bartender long ago when he said the 25mm Snapshot Skopar was a great lens with a great price. He said the finder alone was worth the price of the lens and included finder combo. He was right.
Indeed. But that was then and this is now and the next cheapest L I could find was a beat up used one for $120. So new for $90 is a deal.
Back then you could also buy a new Zeiss Ikon ZM for under $1000.


Two cameras that u put to excellent use!
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Old 04-25-2019   #36
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Voigtlander Bessa L, CV 25 Snapshot, Fuji NPS160, Z7 scan

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Old 05-09-2019   #37
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I just grabbed a used (black!!) one of the 'bay for $115, so I'll let you know for sure. Going to check the advance, but already checked the shutter speeds and they seem fine. Came with batteries loaded and the meter works, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

It pairs brilliantly with my Skopar 21/4 and can't wait to shoot it this weekend. One thing I can already tell is going to bug me is the "no firing unless the lever is out" thing. Such a habit to shoot, wind, close, then rest my thumb where the lever is. Going to search for a mod, maybe someone has done it? It looks like there's a small half-disc that slips under the release, as part of the lever, blocking the release, but I'm not sure. If it's just a physical block, filing it off would be a breeze, but it may be something electronic.

Have to see....

Either way, it seems pretty rad for the price.
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Old 05-10-2019   #38
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Aaaaaand NOPE.

This gorgeous camera has (what's the apparently common) a take-up spool with no tension. So the teeth will grab the film but it won't wind past the 2nd release, because of this. Seller offered to send me a replacement, but then discovered that one has the same issue.

Such a bummer, otherwise everything seems great with it. Going to research if there's an easy fix, otherwise it's going back. Not trying to spend hours fixing a plastic $100 camera. They offered to fix it, but honestly if I can't DIY it, I'd rather just get a refund and move on.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 05-10-2019   #39
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Corner of 14th and Q, Logan Circle, Washington DC.

The head bartender sold me a Cosina 107-SW some years ago - the precursor to the Bessa L. The above shot is with the Voigtlander 21/4 LTM. Set it on hyperfocal and blast away!

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Old 05-10-2019   #40
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Aaaaaand NOPE.

This gorgeous camera has (what's the apparently common) a take-up spool with no tension. So the teeth will grab the film but it won't wind past the 2nd release, because of this. Seller offered to send me a replacement, but then discovered that one has the same issue.

Such a bummer, otherwise everything seems great with it. Going to research if there's an easy fix, otherwise it's going back. Not trying to spend hours fixing a plastic $100 camera. They offered to fix it, but honestly if I can't DIY it, I'd rather just get a refund and move on.

Anyone have any suggestions?
Wait, so did your cameras break the same way mine did?
My replacement seems to work great, but it's only had one roll of film through it so far...
The shutter lock out is the same as my Nikon FM2n - lever has to be out. I really like the sharp instantaneous feeling shutter release on the Bessa.
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