Bessa R2a

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by ian_kie, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Hi, all
    I am thinking to buy a Bessa R2a or Leica M .
    I'm wondering if I use a leica M lens and make a 12"x16"print , would there be any difference
    between I use a R2a body and M6 body ?
    I'm trying to save some money : ) thx
  2. The lens is what makes a photo sharp and contrasty at a large enlargement, not the camera body.
  3. "The lens is what makes a photo sharp and contrasty at a large enlargement, not the camera body"

    Agreed, but the rangefinder mechanism of the camera has an important roll here and on that basis I would go with the M6! Also the long term reliability and build quality of the Leica offsets the initial cost saving of the cheaper camera .... depending on usage of course.

    Plus if you buy carefully the Leica will be easier to sell down the track if you decide the rangefinder route is not for you!
  4. You can make great pictures with either body. My son makes great images with a $20.00 fujinon 35mm that he picked up at a yard sale...nolan
  5. 'Course; he's your son!
  6. It's a legitimate question. Here is my feedback from using both cameras:

    There is no question in my mind that while the R2a/R3a are both very nice cameras, the M6 is a superior piece of gear. It is more solidly made, and quieter.

    The ergonomics are much better on the M6, the viewfinder/rangefinder is generally better, with the exception that the rf patch on the M6 has a tendency to flare out and become unusable if light hits it at just the right angle. However, I believe this can be easily fixed by shading one of the windows on the front of the camera.

    However, the R2a or R3a can be had for around 3-350 dollars, in very good condition, less than a third of the cost of an M6. And they do beat the M6 in a few ways. The R3a has a lifesize finder which is next to impossible to find on an M6, the best you can do is find a 0.85 finder version. And lastly, but very importantly it has ttl auto metering. This is a very big deal. I speeds up shooting, especially in quickly changing lighting conditions, or in low light.

    I had considered dumping mine, and using the money for an M6, but it actually fills a very important niche. Kind of like a Nikkormat used to versus the Nikon Fs, etc.

    As for your lenses working, they will all work fine on a Bessa. The focusing accuracy is perfect on these. The only problem I noted was that the rf goes out in the vertical plane but that does not affect focus, just viewing, and I believe it can be easily and permanently fixed.

    One final note, the strap loops on the Bessa re idiotically placed forward on the camera causing it to tilt way back at an angle when around your neck. I hope to solve this by using Lutz Konnerman's LINK and STRAP options, which make use of each strap eye sererately, so this thing would not be an issue. I hope to make a report on this soon.
  7. I don't read the question as: Which piece of gear (body) is better using
    a Leica M lens?, but rather Would the final prints be noticeably different? Strap lugs, shutter noise, etc. are gearhead issues. This poster is seeking an answer about the results, in this case 12"x16" prints. All conditions of film, exposure, shooting and printing being equal, I would venture a guess that the prints would be almost if not completley indistinguishable. From examples I've seen using a Leica lens and either body on this very forum I think most would probably agree with this. (Though knowing this forum I'm sure they won't.)
  8. Geez... I use both R2a and an M6 (as well as an M2) with both Leica and VC glass. As much as the "M"s are very nice pieces of equipment, until youre using a 75 Lux or 90 'cron wide open you wont notice any difference (barr the Bessa is noticeably noisier).
    People will speculate about RF base lengths, etc but in practice Id challenge anyone to show a difference. Oooh... and apeture priority is a pleasant change on the Bessa; and unlike an M7 the camera is working as soon as you turn it on!
  9. Sorry about that, my answer was implicit as opposed to explicit. I told the op that his lenses would work fine on the Bessa. The rest of the info was aimed at helpin him make a choice between the two, based on my experience of using both cameras.

    Ian, your prints will be the same on any M mount camera, it's the lenses that make a difference. Having said that the Cosina VC lenses are wow, really nice. At least the 40mm that I use is really excellent, easily on a par with anything from Leica and for less than a third of the cost.

    Still, if I had the dough, I would stock up on some real Leica glass, but then again if I had the dough, I would also us VC, they are that good, not a poor mans version at all.

    The camera is just a light tight box, but features like TTL and TTL auto do make a difference. Even AF makes a big difference. The only M body that could arguably affect your outcome would be the Konica RF models. There is an ongoing debate whether they are compatible with regular M mount Leica lenses as opposed to the Konica M mount lenses. I have no idea about this camera and if you are not plannning on getting one, I would not worry about it. The Konica RF is a nice camera but the finder is far inferior to any other M mount camera out there, so I would not consider it.
  10. In what way is the finder on the Hexar RF inferior?

    I use a Hexar RF regulary and also an M2 and M4, I cannot really judge any noticable difference on the quality of the finder between them. Granted, the M2 and M4 have not been CLAd recently.

    From my experience, I have not noticed any difference between the end results quality wise either depending on which camera I have used (I have a Bessa T also). But I am not really testing or looking for it either.

    On the other hand, handling sometimes makes for better pictures. For example, after taking a bird picture with the Hexar RF, the moment later turned out even better and thanks to the motor drive, it was ready for that second shot. AE can also be a time saver in situations where light conditions change constantly. But also, a mechanical meterless Leica M can sometimes (quite often actually) be just what I want to use.

    There are many parameters involved in getting technical good end results, like exposure, lighting conditions, film, lens, developement, printing technique, etc... The camera body has little to do with it, provided it works properly.
  11. As an owner of both there are times when I reach for the R2A over the M6 and times when I reach for the M6 over the R2A.

    R2A: it's biggest bonus for me is that it has a much less flare prone rangefinder than an M6 - I've never yet lost the focus patch of the R2A, however brightly backlit the subject, but it happens all the time with the M6. There are photographs I literally would not have been able to focus with an M6 that the R2A is fine for. I got the M6 after the R2A and frankly the focus patch was a disappointment.

    The M6 is the better build quality though. A few weeks ago my M6 and R2A took a tumble from maybe 6ft up in the same padded bag. The rangefinder alignment of the R2A was knocked out slightly while the M6 is fine.

    I would say if it's your first ever rangefinder and it's for general use then the R2A will do you proud. If you plan to have it in your bag and thrown around a bit and don't want to have to worry about it then get an M6 will have more future resale value too.
  12. I have no specific knowledge of either camera but a good lens is a waste on an improperly machined camera body.
  13. I would wait a couple of months, as soon as the M8 is readily available M6s should only run between $5 and $10.
  14. " The Konica RF is a nice camera but the finder is far inferior to any other M mount camera
    out there, so I would not consider it."

    Far inferior? It's slightly dimmer and less contrasty. On the plus side, there's no finder flare,
    and shutter speeds are displayed. "Far inferior" seems a bit hyperbolic.
  15. Hey I wanted to like it, but it seemed very wide, curved view, and a blue cast. IMNSHO
    inferior. To me the Bessa is just about everything the G series should have been. Those
    lenses that came with the Contax G are to die for.
  16. but the rangefinder mechanism of the camera has an important roll here​

    Don't mean to toast you, but that buttery comment is undercooked.
  17. The Haxar is a great camera. You can get them for around $700 in top condition, but finding servicing may be difficult and expensive.
  18. jtk


    The drawback to Bessa (other than its bulk) and Hexar is that nobody will pay to repair them in a couple of years, not to mention that nobody will have the skills and parts.
  19. I'd disagree. There are people today who can fix Canon FD-series cameras with embedded electronics, there shouldn't be trouble getting someone to fix a Bessa.

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