Voigtlander Bessa R2 first look

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

Well, here's a first look at the new Bessa R2 from Voigtlander


-- Jonathan Kiu (qzi@hotmail.com), February 17, 2002


I'd heard whispers about the R-2 (I'm keeping my sources to myself) but did not expect anything this wonderful! What a wonderful camera. If it has the Bessa T's construction I'll be pleased as punch.

Now if only they would upgrade the finderless Bessa.

Gosh, what fun!

-- Alex Shishin (shishin@pp.iij4-u.or.jp), February 17, 2002.

Actually the new Bessa R2 improves on the Bessa T. Think about a complete die cast alumimum body with top plates and back door made from hardcore metal. No complaints although it will weigh more than what the Bessa T goes for.

This will probably become Vlander's biggest hit.

-- Alfie Wang (leica_phile@hotmail.com), February 17, 2002.

Looks like a very narrow base rangefinder. Should be nice for 28 to 50 (except Nocti), but not something to carry 75 f1.4 or 90F2 (or even f2.8)... To be verified.

-- Jacques (jacquesbalthazar@hotmail.com), February 17, 2002.

I like that the finder lines will only be visible one at a time, even though you have to key them in manually. If they have gotten the rangefinder down as far as being in spec with our M lenses and sturdy enough to not come out of allignment easily, I'll pick one up just for the 1/125 flash sync and to have a compact, metered body to go with my M3. I can also use it with my 40mm Rokkor with the 35 lines without having to grind anything down. I hope the body is well under $500, if it is, they will sell one to at least half the M users out there. This is the new "CL"" People hoped Leica would make, and what many of us here have been wanting to see from Cosina.

-- Andrew Schank (aschank@flash.net), February 17, 2002.

One last thing, I hate to say it, but I am more excited about this camera than the "M7", as the first new M camera I'll probably ever buy. I wonder when they will hit the US.

-- Andrew Schank (aschank@flash.net), February 17, 2002.

It looks exactly like what I suspect it is: a Bessa R with the M mount it should have had right from the beginning. Where are people getting the information that the body casing is made differently from the Bessa R? The rangefinder base appears the same, so as someone pointed out, it has limited usefulness with anything longer than the 90/3.5. What may turn out to be a bitterly ironic pill for Leica to swallow is when they discontinue the M6TTL and if the I-want-an-all- mechanical-camera dogmatists defect to the R2...at the same rate as the rest of the I-want-an-automated-rangefinder-camera crowd head in the opposite direction for the Hexar RF they've been patiently avoiding in the hopes that Leica would actually out-do it with the M7.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

I like how it appears to take the Bessa T's "rapidwinder" that, to me, is a very good thing.


-- Josh Root (rootj@att.net), February 17, 2002.

If it is even moderately well built, it solves my complaints with the M6 and I would be interested.


-- Art (AKarr90975@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

A couple of things that interest me about this camera: (1) it looks like a worthy replacement for the CL - an affordable(?), metal-body short-base rangefinder backup for the main Ms. (2) I wonder what the lenses in the "sccop1.html" photos are - any guesses?

-- Andrew Nemeth (azn@nemeng.com), February 17, 2002.

Looks to me, externally at least, that the R-2 is basically an R with M-mount and more metal. The last scoop photo shows the metal panels; the blurb on Cosina's website mentions "metal body" and alludes to increased toughness. I have no internal/secret sources, but would guess that rangefinder baseline, framelines, etc are all the same as the original R.

I've been hungering for a lower-prices, lighter/compact M-mount alternative ever since I gave up on my Minolta CLEs many years ago. I think Cosina has a real winner here, and am still a bit baffled as to why they waited so long to introduce something like this.

-- Paul C. Brodek (pcb@skyweb.net), February 17, 2002.

So does this camera take M lenses without an adaptor?

-- Phil Andrews (philandrew@hotmail.com), February 17, 2002.

Looks like that's exactly what it does. Of course, expect the same smear campaign vis back-focus to be heaped on the R2 as was done to the Hexar RF. (Nothing has ever been said about back-focus with the other Bessas because they don't take M-mount lenses and so aren't taken seriously. We all know from all those scientific tests that *only* the current M lenses need the precision that *only* a real Leica M body can provide ;>)

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

Exception to the above: the Bessa T, but it's so inconvenient to use that it isn't a threat to the M6 either.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

Does anyone know if the R2 will have a light meter that meters below 1/30 of a sec? I briefly owned a Bessa R and was generally pleased with the camera except that when I got it to a club to shoot a show I discovered that the light meter does not meter below 1/30 of a sec. (I thought it was defective at first, but this was confirmed by a Schnieder rep) I really want a affordable interchangeable lens rangefinder....could this be the one????

-- Jason Eitelbach (JEitelbach@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

This sounds good to me. I am now doing this for my own enjoyment. My philosophy is that if I am paying outrageous prices for quality lenses to attach to an inconvenient, poorly designed, hard to use body, I will buy more lenses for the Hasselblad. Since, I am home recovering from flu, I scanned in some from the 40mm FLE. Quality is good.

Now, I have been using Leica rangefinders since, circa, 1960. I love them, but the time does come. I will have a hard look at this camera. I wonít consider the M7 [or whatever it is]. I donít like the M6 and this looks like more of the same. Realize that this is just my personal preference and is not a comment on your personal preference. ;o))


-- Art (AKarr90975@aol.com), February 17, 2002.

Thanks for sharing this scoop.

Well, That's a camera I'd like to see and maybe buy. Let's hope that "metal" does not rime with heavy as lead....

Lovely. Cheers.

-- Xavier d'Alfort (hot_billexf@hotmail.com), February 17, 2002.

Everybody was so busy looking at the basic body that no one noted:

The R2 takes the Cosina rapidwinder - see pix on second panel.

2 New lenses - a 50 f/2.4 collapsible (?) Color-Skopar (Not the 'collectible' 50 3.5 for the T!!) And something with that weird-but- cool flat/curved lens hood - seems to go up to f/2 - maybe the 40?

Hmmmm - suppose Cosina makes an offer to Nikon/Vivitar etc. - to build their cheapo SLR bodies (already on the same base as the Bessa RFs) as rapidwinder-compatibles.

-- Andy Piper (apidens@denver.infi.net), February 17, 2002.

Hmmm - on second look I guess that's one new lens with a choice of hoods - a non-collapsible but very compact 50 f/2.5 or 2.6.

-- Andy Piper (apidens@denver.infi.net), February 17, 2002.

I think that cool elongated hood is for the 35/2.5 Skopar C.

I truly love the design of this thing. Seems a few ideas have been taken from their Bessa T 101 (The olive body, the silver shutter speed dial). It won't replace Leica. One thing we can be sure of is that it will have the traditional Cosina noisy shutter. And that alone will keep the silent Leica the top RF dog for years to come--or forever.

-- Alex Shishin (shishin@pp.iij4-u.or.jp), February 17, 2002.

Well Jay, you hit something there: I also find to the least irritating that the Konica is the only of those leicaesque bodies to be have been submitted to public to-the-micron examination, and that none of the semi-official gurus has questionned:

1. The precision of the focusing of Bessa R w/M39 lenses; 2. The precision of the focussing of Bessa T with M lenses; 3. The precision of focusing of Leica M with 'Voigtsina' M39 lenses + 'Voigtsina' M39-to-M adapters.

Now what was the rangefinder base of the R and the T?

We can safely assume that R2 will be the same.

-- Jacques (jacquesbalthazar@hotmail.com), February 18, 2002.

The myth of the 'silent' Leica shutter has to be the worse one of all - it is not silent or even nearly silent.

In it's day quiet yes, but the latest EOS 33 is probably quieter along with some compacts and most digitals.

-- Giles Poilu (giles@monpoilu.icom43.net), February 18, 2002.

I use the Bessa-R for my Leitz LTM lenses and the Bessa-T exclusively for my 28mm since I use it with a separate finder anyway. They are nice cameras - well made, light and reasonably priced. These cameras occupy a niche within the niche of rangefinders and serve a special purpose. Surely I cannot find a more convenient way of using old LTMs on a TTL metered body or a dedicated body for external finder challenged lenses. So what is the point of an M mount Bessa-R2? Unless it is priced wayyyyyyyy below the M6 say around $450 why buy one? I have the trigger winder for the Bessa-T and it is no way near as smooth as the Tom A Rapidwinder. Tag on that extra $200 for the Trigger winder to the Bessa-R2 and you can buy the Hexar RF.

-- ray tai (razerx@netvigator.com), February 18, 2002.

Giles, you are treading on sacred ground!

Actually, I think the myth of the silent EOS7 is just as prevalent. Any visit to a camera store reveals that the machine goes off with a distinct 'clack', with only other, higher end Canons and Nikons being louder. The Nikon N80 is noticeably quieter, going off with a 'klochuk'.

I do agree with you in that the Contax T3 is definitely quieter. As is any Rollei TLR and also the Mamiya 7II.

You may divine from the above that I am an expert mime when it comes to camera sounds ;-). Alas, that is my sole credential for opining on this matter.

-- Mani Sitaraman (bindumani@pacific.net.sg), February 18, 2002.

my digital ixus is even quieter...therefor it MUST be so much more desirable than the leica m6

-- stefan randlkofer (geesbert@yahoo.com), February 18, 2002.

Try a Hexar AF in Stealth mode and you'll agree with Giles, no question. And my Nikon FM2 isn't really much noisier than the M6, either.

-- Douglas Kinnear (douglas.kinnear@colostate.edu), February 18, 2002.

The Bessa R is about a half pound lighter than the M6. If the R2 is nearly as light, then I will put the 50 summicron on it and, when needed, use the classic Hexar with the great 35. A half pound less around the neck all day makes a big difference. if they include a 40 frame line, I'll get a 40 Summicron as my only lens. I can't wait to try the R2. I would still be using the CLE with the 40 summicron (about 18 ounces) if it it had a decent metering system.

-- jay goldman (goldman@math.umn.edu), February 18, 2002.

Does this development mean that Voigtlander will begin to offer their lens line with either a screw mount or bayonet mount or will they continue to depend upon the adapters to adapt their current screw mount to their new R2?

-- Richard Hoag (wpcdallas@aol.com), February 18, 2002.

Just to confirm - new lens is a NON-COLLAPSIBLE but compact 50 f/2.5 - with a rectangular hood that (maybe) fits the compact 35 color-skopar, as well as a short round hood like the 21/25/35 already have.

-- Andy Piper (apidens@denver.infi.net), February 20, 2002.

About the sound produced by the shutter: newer SLRs these days may have quieter shutters, but that is far from being "not much noisier" than a M6.

For a mechanical shuttered body the FM2 is fine, but I found my old Contax 167MT way quieter. My RX is even more quiet, but I still won't compare it to my M6. Yes my T3 has got an ultra quiet shutter, but after the click there's a noticable winder sound. Digital point and shoots are quiet, yes, but the long lag time and low sensitivity of consumer grade digitals immpaired them from being a useful photojournalist's camera.

Taking a series of shots at near distance with a noise-aware subject, say a child or a dog, would tell the difference between shutter noises. For me, it is the perception of noise by the subject, not the photographer, that counts.

-- tinchu ho (tinchuho@hotmail.com), May 03, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ