Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

Back to Pricing Advice - Camera Brands Question
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Back to Pricing Advice - Camera Brands Question Reply with quote

I have been salivating over the nice looks and good features of the Contax G1/G2 series.

However, I also see the new Zeiss Ikons, Cosina-Voigtlander, Leica M, and other brands that have nice features. I do remember enjoying the Bessa-L for a while, and now sort of wish I still had it.

Would I be wasting my money on an expensive rangefinder, as opposed to a lesser-brand rangefinder?

Of course, the aesthetics are a BIG deal to me...and the Contax, to my mind, is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the CV Bessa R-series. I have a Leica CL also but prefer the body shape of the Bessa.
The manual focus rangefinder has more appeal for me as compared to Contax G-series.
With Zeiss ZM lenses, zeiss quality and "look" is still available.
Mine are Bessa R2m's so fully mechanical shutter.
The meter is run by 2x1.5v batteries and is very good.
The R2 has a .72 finder and framelines for 35,50,70,and 90
The R3 has a 100% finder which is pretty unique framlines 40,50,75, and 90.
The R4 is made for wides and has framelines for 21mm-50mm Koji has one and hopefully I will soon.
The R4A/M make it possible to use your cameras viewfinder rather than an external one for wide angle lenses.
Since RF cameras are best suited for 50mm and wider lenses. It is a brilliant design decision.

Bessas all come in either the M or A models

For example the R2M is mechanical like mine
The R2A is elecronic shutter and has AE auto or manual operation.

The cameras are nice and lightweight without feeling cheap.
The RF patch is contrasty and works great.
One shortcoming is a short baseline that makes them not as accurate for lenses longer than 75mm in short focus situations.

All are Leica M mount and so compatible with all LTM and M-lenses as well as Contax or Nikon RF with an adapter.

My dream is to have a Zeiss ZI body.
For the price I can have 2 Bessa R's and a Bessa L instead. Laughing

A used bessa R series can be had for about $300
New ones start at $550.


Last edited by F16SUNSHINE on Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the price/performance ratio, the Contax G system is hard to beat.
Of course it has drawbacks (manual focusing is a bit awkward), but the lenses are top quality, same level or perhaps even better than ZM series, at less than half the price. Here is what I spent:

Planar 45mm = approx 140 Eur (used, mint)
Planar 35mm = 170 Eur (used, mint)
Biogon 28mm = around 200 Eur (used, mint)
Sonnar 90mm = around 150 Eur (used, mint)
Biogon 21mm = 400 Eur (maybe less, can't remember - new in box with the viewfinder)

So with a little more than 1000 Euros you can buy the almost complete set of lenses (only the Hologon 16mm and Vario-Sonnar 35-70 are missing).
Consider that 1000 Euros is the average price of ONE new ZM lens, and you see what I mean...


PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to BOTH of you! Wow, what great and concise information!

I've always wanted a good (great) rangefinder, and after seeing the DIFFERENCE in the images from both of you, the desire is become a quest! Razz

Again, GREAT information, and thanks for taking precious time to compile this for me from both of you.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not own too many of Cosina lenses and bodies, they are fairly
recommendable. I do not see too much difference about lens' performance
against leica's equivalents, of course I am not talking about so called
"signature" of lenses. In this department YMMV. Very Happy

Newer Cosina Bessas are well made, as Andy says they do not look
cheap neither. I have L, R, and R4M. If you have some concern,
you can ask Andy and/or me. Cool

I have most of common Cosina RF lenses, Nokton 35/1.2 is the best.
But any one is pretty good its own way, some day I want to get 12mm.

@Tokyo 8:30a.m.


Last edited by koji on Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:18 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

koji wrote:
I do not own too many of Cosina lenses and bodies, they are fairly
recommendable. I do not see too much difference about lens' performance
against leica's equivalents, of course I am not talking about so called
"signature" of lenses. In this department YMMV. Very Happy

Newer Cosina Bessas are well made, as Andy says they do not look
cheap neither. I have L, R, and R4M. If you have some concern,
you can ask Andy and/or me. Cool

I have most of common Cosina RF lense, Nokton 35/1.2 is the best.
But any one is pretty good it own way, some day I want to get 12mm.

@Tokyo 8:30a.m.


A beautiful description of the equipment, Koji. I very much appreciate your views on this system. Smile


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I should say is the perspective of the photographer is important.
The Contax G system is by far the very best value on the used market if, and this is the big one.
One only plans to shoot film.
I think that Orio is correct in saying that some of the G-series lenses are better than the new ZM ( the G21, 28, and 45 in particular).
The G-Planar 2/45 I love so much as to send one to Japan to have converted to M-mount.
Consider also that the system Orio described as costing EUR1000 would have cost 3 times that amount if the system was not orphaned by Kyocera.
It is just that good.

If you plan to have a have a DRF or want a manual focus system. An M-mount camera such as a Bessa is the natural choice.
Leica M mount is here to stay. All the lenses have a manual focus helicoid and therefore compatibilty with future systems. The intro of the Micro 4/3 system will find yet another "house" to mount these lenses down the road.
Not to mention the M8 and future Leica M-Digital cams. As well as my beloved RD1. Cool


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Larry prefers film, so I did not take the digital factor into account Smile


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have decided that I will try to obtain BOTH the Contax and a Bessa body. I love the looks of the Contax, and the AF can come in handy for me, as my focusing ability is slowly "going south". The Contax lenses are obviously fantastic at comparatively good prices.

I also like the Bessa bodies, and especially the LTM bodies which can be adapted for M-mount. This gives the best of both worlds. Another factor is the R4M which has an amazing set of brightlines - 21mm through 50mm in standard increments!

I am pretty confident that, after deciding which one is best for me, I should have no trouble getting back close to what I paid.

Thanks again for the varied opinions, they are REALLY appreciated, and I am grateful that you all took the time to give me good information.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurence wrote:
I have decided that I will try to obtain BOTH the Contax and a Bessa body. I love the looks of the Contax, and the AF can come in handy for me, as my focusing ability is slowly "going south". The Contax lenses are obviously fantastic at comparatively good prices.
I also like the Bessa bodies, and especially the LTM bodies which can be adapted for M-mount. This gives the best of both worlds. Another factor is the R4M which has an amazing set of brightlines - 21mm through 50mm in standard increments!
I am pretty confident that, after deciding which one is best for me, I should have no trouble getting back close to what I paid.
Thanks again for the varied opinions, they are REALLY appreciated, and I am grateful that you all took the time to give me good information.


I attempt a prediction: once you have a Contax G in your hands, I seriously doubt you'll ever want to sell it away. Wink


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing

I like Orio's prediction.
It is probably safe to say that for both systems. Laughing
Once you have a G with the Planar 45 or one of the Biogons you are lost.
Same the R4m and the ZM 2.8/25 or 2/35 you are lost.

You had fair warning Larry Twisted Evil


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

I was actually refering to the build of the camera. The G2 is simply the best built camera I ever had. Compact, sturdy, full metal, a sensation of solidity and durability that is impressive. It's quite heavy for a rangefinder, people who like lightweight cameras may have a problem with it. I personally love the sensation of deep thick metal that you have when you hold it.

Plus it is really sexy looking Smile


PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am probably going to be foaming at the mouth, for sure! Laughing

I am excited to work my way toward owning both to try out. I already have in my mind to emphasize wide-angle first, as I do like wide angle opportunities. So...the Biogon 21 will be the first, but not last, "mate" with the Contax G camera. I'm also impressed by images I've seen with the Biogon 28, and I like the 28mm field of view on other cameras.

I'm afraid, though, that Orio's statement about a heavier, solid feel will be a HUGE factor me... Surprised When I hold a camera that is noticeably solid in feel, it's hard to put it down.

With the Bessa body, it will be the Skopar 21. I had this fine lens on the Bessa L, and it was a beauty in all ways. I sold the Bessa L to start my medium format forays.

I've seen tremendous results as well, from the Nokton Aspherical 50/1.5. Though not a wide angle per se, it is hard to deny the beauty of the images I've seen. (Of course, there's also the Nokton 40/1.4 Shocked)

The main thing for me is to be careful, and not "break the bank". I will judiciously buy and sell for these.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Biogon 21mm is one of the best 21mms today. Its only problem for some
is light falloff (ie. optical vignetting), it wont go away even you stop down.
For others it may be a good thing, but today software can fix it easily.

I am converting this lens to M-mount (yes, will have RF-coupling too),
will show more of its result by my digital RF camera with 28mm FoV.
The hood is a bit problematic for this lens regardless of which camera you use,
but its flare registance is legendary so stacked filters without glass may work.

We all wait for your adventure into RF-land. Very Happy

(I started using RF-camera at age 21, so more than 40 year ago!)


PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

koji wrote:
Yes, Biogon 21mm is one of the best 21mms today. Its only problem for some
is light falloff (ie. optical vignetting), it wont go away even you stop down.
For others it may be a good thing, but today software can fix it easily.

I am converting this lens to M-mount (yes, will have RF-coupling too),
will show more of its result by my digital RF camera with 28mm FoV.
The hood is a bit problematic for this lens regardless of which camera you use,
but its flare registance is legendary so stacked filters without glass may work.

We all wait for your adventure into RF-land. Very Happy

(I started using RF-camera at age 21, so more than 40 year ago!)


Thanks for the great information, koji! I guess, at age 60, it's not too late to start using a rangefinder...

I'm anticipating holding the Contax G series. I am aware that if it feels solid/heavy/robust I'm going to be HOOKED. Shocked Surprised


PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. That was interesting and a pleasure to read!