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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.

View Poll Results: Which of these CV Bessas is most likely to become a classic?
Bessa L 13 4.53%
Bessa R 55 19.16%
Bessa R2 22 7.67%
Bessa T 23 8.01%
Bessa R2M/A 23 8.01%
Bessa R3M/A 40 13.94%
Bessa R4M/A 77 26.83%
None. 34 11.85%
Voters: 287. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2016   #41
BillBingham2
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The L to me is the classic CV Bessa. Low cost, high value, super functional.

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Write-in candidate
Old 01-06-2016   #42
David Murphy
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Write-in candidate

Write-in candidate: Bessaflex TM
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Old 01-07-2016   #43
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The R4 has opened a better than 2:1 lead over the R. I knew that there would be a lot of votes for the R4 because it is a unique camera, but I must say i am little surprised at the way the numbers look at this point.

And where are all the doubters? The guys who don't like Cosina . . . Nice and polite this forum.
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Old 01-12-2016   #44
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I love my Olive R2 and the R4M I have is great with wider lenses. They make a great pair when I am out.
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Old 01-12-2016   #45
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Missing from the list are the CV Bessa III and III Wide.
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Old 01-12-2016   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Missing from the list are the CV Bessa III and III Wide.
This poll is in the "Voigtlander Bessa Leica Mount Cameras" section of RFF.
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Old 01-20-2016   #47
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I voted for the R, the one I have and which brought me back fro SRL to RF photography.
I still use with satisfaction beside my M7 !
robert

PS: Bessas are beautiful, here!
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Old 01-21-2016   #48
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I voted for the T.
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How many Bessas?
Old 01-28-2016   #49
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How many Bessas?

In order to contrast enthusiast (this poll) vs consumer (actual buyer) preference
it would be very interesting to see production and/or sales figures by CV model.

Care to enlighten us, Mr. Gandy?

Chris
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Old 01-28-2016   #50
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As a "classic," I voted for the Bessa R, even though I no longer own one. I think it played a major role in reviving interest in rangefinder cameras and was the first modern rangefinder for LTM lenses.

I can also make the case for the Bessa T (which I still have), the perfect and unique Barnack with Mod Cons.

Personally, I think the Bessa R2A (or *M) is an incredible value for the money.
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Old 01-28-2016   #51
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the zeiss ikon or gf670!
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Old 03-09-2016   #52
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Zeiss Ikon.
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Old 06-20-2016   #53
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I have the Bessa R, and the GFIIIW.
Really excellent viewfinders, and nice meter readout.
The metering is accurate too.

The 55mm lens on the GFIIIW is outstanding.
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Old 06-20-2016   #54
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I have the Bessa R, but I really haven't taken more than a couple of rolls with it .. so for me ... the Epson Rd-1 :-)
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Old 06-20-2016   #55
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Bessa III (667) and 667W
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Old 07-26-2016   #56
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I didn't vote because the only one I know first hand is the R. I don't see too many of them being around and working in 30 years. I liked mine, very light and compact but like others, I don't see the build quality there to make it a "classic".
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Old 07-26-2016   #57
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My R2C is still ticking fine. Doesn't get the heavy use that my ZI or MA get but it should last for awhile.

I think that anyone is expecting Nikon F or Leica M3 toughness from these cameras but under "normal" use (3 to 6 rolls per month) they should last for awhile.

I actually think that long term repair is a serious question but, unless there is a fault in a part, or it is abused, it should hang in there quite well. Believe me, I have some really questionable sheet metal stamped cameras from the 50s that I wouldn't have bet on back then either, but they continue to work.
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Old 08-06-2016   #58
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I owe a lot to Mr K. and his wonderful team.

The L started me on this mad but happy path. The R3a's got me hooked on 40s. The T is a joy because it is different. And my R4a's have that extraordinary finder. My Bessa III and ZI are a step above.

Overall, I voted R4 because in 30 years I think the unique finder will stand the test of time as a desirable "classic", but I feel the R really got the renaissance rolling.

Thank you to Mr K, Jorge, Stephen, Tom A and all the many others who have championed RFs and Cosina Voigtlander in particular.
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Old 08-06-2016   #59
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None will ever be classic. Consumer grade stuff, all of it.
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Old 08-06-2016   #60
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No choice for FM10?
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Old 08-21-2016   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
None will ever be classic. Consumer grade stuff, all of it.
seems classic to me.
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Old 12-15-2016   #62
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Quote:
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None will ever be classic. Consumer grade stuff, all of it.
A few rolls through the Bessa IIIW / 667W may challenge that notion. The lens certainly is as good as anything "professional" out there...and that in 120 format. OK, this is mostly about 135 here, but the 667W is worth pointing out.
Note: I owned and used Leica M6 and M7 as well.
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Old 12-15-2016   #63
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The one I am selling!

Since I sold my R3A, I've changed my vote to any of the R4 series.
(I don't own any).
The only 35mm RF to offer frame lines for very wide angle lenses.
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Old 01-01-2017   #64
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I own both an R & an L. love both of them but voted & shoot the R more. Classics to me.
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Old 05-21-2018   #65
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Quote:
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R3A 1:1 finder, same guts as the Zeiss Ikon.
Ditto that!
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Old 05-21-2018   #66
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I'll go totally against the tide and nominate the RD1. I know it's marketed by Epson and yes it's digital but Cosina built the cameras and when you pick one up it's unmistakably a Bessa.

I also think that in the future a clean working RD1 will be quite a prize and may command a higher asking price than they do currently. I treasure mine like few cameras I have owned and now use it infrequently without ever opening the digital screen because I know that this is their prime weakness ... when they eventually fracture the ribbon cable that connects the digital display to the camera.

The RD1 was the ground breaking camera in our RF world ... not the digital M.
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Old 05-21-2018   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
The RD1 was the ground breaking camera in our RF world ... not the digital M.
Indeed. It's often not given credit as the world's first digital rangefinder as well as the world's first mirrorless camera. The physical outlook is unmistakably "Bessa".

It's still my favourite digital M.

Cheers,
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Old 05-31-2018   #68
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It may not be a "classic," but this rig is pretty darned useful:

Camera and capuccino by bingley0522, on Flickr
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Old 06-01-2018   #69
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The long RF baseline on my T enables me to focus a Notilux with pin-point accuracy. It therefore brought something to the table that not even my M's could match. It was light and comparatively simple. With a Bessa Rapidwinder on there, it was a nice little package.
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Old 06-01-2018   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I'll go totally against the tide and nominate the RD1. I know it's marketed by Epson and yes it's digital but Cosina built the cameras and when you pick one up it's unmistakably a Bessa.

...

The RD1 was the ground breaking camera in our RF world ... not the digital M.
Yeah. Gotta give it up for this. THe RD1 put digital RF on the map when others said it couldn't be done. I anticipated that camera with fervor. I am also sad that there was no RD2, (or R2D2).
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Old 06-29-2018   #71
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The Bessa 667 Wide is awesome (the exposure indicator light is a very nice improvement over the vanilla GF670/Bessa III)...even more so after I read about the Bessa I based Ultragon wide angle prototype camera on Mr. Mechelhoff's page. It has true heritage, from not just one, but three companies - a decades old dream came true.
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Old 06-29-2018   #72
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Another devotee of the Olive R2. Whenever I am carrying it, always get the questions and admirations; " What is that?/ Cool camera/ Love the color!"
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Old 06-29-2018   #73
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Yes - the 667W!!
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Old 06-29-2018   #74
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I'll go with the L -- it started this whole craze, really, and remains a most useful mount for superwides. I regret selling my Snapshot Skopar, but right now it has the 15 Superwide Heliar on it -- great for cramped interiors. (I actually have the version of this camera that's badged as the Cosina 103 SW.)

I have had an R, R3A, T with the Heliar, and R2S NHS (the last two from Stephen) but have only kept the L. Other cameras do what the R et al. do, and they're better made.
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Old 02-14-2019   #75
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I'll go with the L and the 15 Superwide as well. Going out for a day with only that combo really challenges you, in a good way!
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Old 02-14-2019   #76
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Recently sold my Olive R2 (pretty redundant with my M6 and wasn't getting much use) but keep my Olive T. Its like a Leica IF with light meter Really have fun using it. Also, rangefinder is great for my tired eyes Focusing is a piece of cake.

So, for me, the more innovative and fun is the T.

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Old 04-05-2019   #77
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Quote:
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Recently sold my Olive R2 (pretty redundant with my M6 and wasn't getting much use) but keep my Olive T. Its like a Leica IF with light meter Really have fun using it. Also, rangefinder is great for my tired eyes Focusing is a piece of cake.

So, for me, the more innovative and fun is the T.

Regards

Marcelo
The T was my first rangefinder camera and it served me well. It really is classic in looks and had a pretty good rangefinder, though in the end I preferred the IIIf for its rangefinder, smaller size and build quality. The one thing I found surprising about the T was the mount. Why M mount and not LTM?
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Old 05-13-2019   #78
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The Bessa-T gets my vote.



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Old 05-14-2019   #79
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As always, I love when old interesting threads get resurrected.

I'd vote for the R3, for the 1.0x finder. I much prefer it to the 0.68s in the digital Ms, and seems brighter than my M5. I'd think that alone makes it very unique
Build quality is obviously not to Leica or 70s tank standards, but much more refined than the original R/R2.
As for the way earlier comment disqualifying them for being "consumer grade," there's plenty of classic consumer cameras. Nikkormat, K1000, AE-1, and I'd argue some of the later AF era cameras like the Maxxum 7000 or the N8008. Hell, some call the Holga a classic.

I'd still agree the R series renewed interest in RFs and older lenses long before the mirrorless craze.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #80
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I didn't remember this poll. Apparently, I have voted for the T, which I have always admired for its minimalist approach and long base rangefinder. In fact, I have never owned a T and the model I currently own is the R3M. Go figure!

Cheers!

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