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# Voigtlander Bessa R3M Leica M 35mm Rangefinder - BLACK PAINT

# Voigtlander Bessa R3M Leica M 35mm Rangefinder - BLACK PAINT
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Price: $899.00
Product ID : 8689012

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Description

 Voigtlander Bessa R3M
IN STOCK!
classic style mechancial 35mm Leica M mount rangefinder camera

 


 

Classic black paint Voigtlander Bessa R3M body

Mechanical shutter, life size 1.0x viewfinder, 40/50/75/90 framelines, match LED TTL Metering


 
Originally introduced in the 250th Voigtlander Anniversary sets, the beautiful classic black paint R2M and R3M bodies were continued as standard production bodies in the Cosina Voigtlander lineup!
The R2M / R3Ms are the cameras Leica should have made 20 years ago as a high quality mechanical reasonably priced first cameras into the Leica M System!
Today the Voigtlander R2M, R3M, R4M and Leica MP are the ONLY classic mechanical Leica M mount rangefinders in production!

classic black paint Voigtlander Bessa R3M body

 

 
Classic black paint Voigtlander Bessa R2M body

Mechanical shutter, .7x viewfinder, 35/50/75/90 framelines, match LED TTL metering

- the only difference is the finder magnifications and the framelines -

 

Classic black paint Voigtlander Bessa R3M body

Mechanical shutter, life size 1.0x viewfinder, 40/50/75/90 framelines, match LED TTL Metering

 

 


 
  • Leica M mount 35mm film cameras with metered manual exposure

  • Classic Black Paint in standard or Anniversary editions, Silver Paint available only in Anniversary editions

  • The finder is very bright, with a very bright RF focusing patch, as well as bright easy to see framelines. 

  • R3M Finder 1:1 life size, 40/50/75/90 framelines

  • Rangefinder Base length of 37mm: This translates to an effective rangefinder base length of 37mm for the 1.0x magnification R3A, and 25.6 mm(37mm x .68 magnification) for the R2A.   In other words, the R3A's rangefinder is 74% as long as the standard .72 Leica M finder, while the R2A's rangefinder is 51% as long as the standard .72 Leica M finder with EBL of 49.32.

  • R2M / R3M Rangefinder coupled close focus is .7 meters.  If a particular lens allows closer focusing than .9 meters, set focus using the distance scale focusing on the lens barrel.  
  • Mechanical Shutter, 1-1/2000 plus B manually selected speeds: the shutter works without batteries

  • Electronic Flash sync 1/125th, via hot shoe or PC connection at the end of the camera near the rewind lever.  It is worth mentioning the PC connection is much better located at the end of the camera, then at  the middle of the back of the top plate where it is continually in the way on the Leica M series.

  • With a mechanical shutter, if the batteries die you lose the meter, but can still take pictures. The batteries are easy to find (SR76), and the camera has low electricity  consumption.

  • Two 1.5V Alkaline batteries(LR44) or Silver batteries(SR44).  I like the meter being powered by only two small easy to find LR44 batteries, not the often hard to find  Lithium batteries used by some camera manufacturers.

  • Centerweighted TTL Metering for ambient light read off the outer light tight shutter curtains, with a more heavily center weighted pattern than previous Bessas.

  • The meter display activates after the shutter is advanced and the shutter release is pressed.   The display goes out after you shoot,  or about 10 seconds after  you remove your finger from the shutter release.  The red LED readout at the bottom of the finder is easy indoors, but still very usable outdoors.

  • Low Batteries are indicated by blinking LEDs at the farthest ends of the shutter speed readout.

  • EV1-19(ISO 100, F4, 1 sec.-F16, 1/2000 sec), ISO 25-3200

  • Manually set Film Speed ISO 25 to 3200, no DX

  • Manually selected framelines, like the R/R2/R2A/R3A.  The R3M has 75, 40/90, 50 combinations.  The R2M has 75, 35/90, 50 combinations.

  • Diopters: the new Bessas take the same eyepiece diopters as the Nikon FM3A

  • Ratcheting film advance, 45 degree standoff and 120 degree advance stroke

  • Unlike the AE R2A/R3A/R4A, there is NO shutter lock on the R2M/R3M/R4M. 

  • Size: 135.5(W) x 81(H)x 33.5(D)mm, 430 grams.  Side by side, the R2M / R3M are the same size as the previous R2/R2A/R3A.   Both are slightly shorter than a Leica M body, and slightly taller.  The Bessa R2M/R3M use the previous Bessa RF cases.

  • Takes standard Bessa Accessory Grips and Bessas Trigger Winder.

  • The machined rewind lever is much heavier and stronger than the cast R/R2 rewind lever.  To rewind the film, push in the rewind button on the camera, and rewind the film by first raising the end of the rewind lever.   When the film is rewind, pull back the lever at the base of the rewind knob, raising the rewind knob to open the camera back.

  • Camera Film Back release is a lever located at base of rewind knob.

  • Film reminder window on camera back

The  R2M/R2A/R3M/R3A/R4M/R4A cameras have a more heavily weighted center weighted meter pattern than previous Voigtlander Bessas.

 





Keeping the same 37mm rangefinder base length as R/R2, the R3M's increased magnification to 1:1 means an EBL or Effective Base Length of 37 mm
.   That is less than the Leica  M .58 finder at 40.16 mm, but it is a substantial improvement over the R/R2/R2A/R2M at 25.16 mm.  For more info on Rangefinders, Viewfinders, and Effective Base Length see  RF/VF.  

If you are new to rangefinders, or have never tried a 1:1 RF finder, you might not realize what a BIG deal the R3A 1:1 finder is.  In practical terms the 1:1 finder just makes shooting and composing tremendously easier and faster because you can always keep both eyes open.    Again, the R3A/R3M are the only M mount film cameras EVER with a 1:1 finder!  Yay Mr. K!   

The only previous Leica mount M film camera to leave the factory with a 1:1 finder was the Voigtlander R3A, whether made by Leica, Konica, Minolta, or Cosina, although the .92 magnification Leica M3 was close.  The R3M turns out to be the first mechanical 35mm film camera with projected parallax corrected brightlines in a 1:1 finder.   There are comparatively few quality interchangeable lens 35mm RF's with 1:1 finders.   No other Leica made M film camera, or M clone from Minolta, Konica, or even Cosina Voigtlander has a 1:1 finder.    Classic Nikon rangefinder fans are lucky enough to have 1:1 finders in the S2, S3, and S4, but they don't have the luxury of projected bright lines or parallax correction.   No classic Zeiss Contax had a 1:1 finder.  Classic Leica mount Canon fans enjoyed a 1:1 finder with the Canon P with parallax corrected framelines, but with a mediocre flare prone finder.  

 

 

The Ultimate R3M Accessory?  Perhaps the Voigtlander 28/35 Minifinder which adds 28 and 35 framelines. The tiny  black and chrome   are shown here with the larger 35 and 28 Voigtlander finders.  Alas, these fine 28/35 mini-finders are discontinued.  Only a few chrome ones remain in stock.

 

 

This is the BEST Metered Manual LED exposure readout in any of the Voigtlander Bessa Cameras. The 9 LEDs at the bottom of the finder indicate over / under exposure in half stop increments over a two stop exposure range.  I always liked the LED readout in the Nikon FM/FM2, but wanted more than Nikon's five LEDs for a  full meter readout.  Like the R2A/R3A, the metering range is EV1 to 19, or EI 100 f/1.4 at 1 second to 1/2000th at f/16.  Film speed is manually set, with an ISO range of 25 to 3200.  Left to Right, the red LED readout is -2 -1.5 -1 -.5 0 +.5 +1 +1.5 + 2  

Rangefinder Baselength of 37mm: This translates to an effective rangefinder baselength of 37mm for the 1.0x magnification R3M, and 25.9 mm(37mm x .68 magnification) for the R2M.   In other words, the R3M's rangefinder is 74% as long as the standard .72 Leica M finder, while the R2M's rangefinder is 52% as long as the standard .72 Leica M finder. 

 

Voigtlander 50/1.1 Nokton on standard production Voigtlander R3M.  Notice "R3M" on face plate instead of "Bessa R3M" and "Voigtlander Bessa" on top plate instead of "Voigtlander 1756-2006 250 Jahre" as on the silver Anniversary Bessa shown below.    This classic style shiny black paint finish is a first for Cosina Voigtlander Bessa bodies. 
 

 

The R2M / R3M have a double folding film rewind crank which I find a bit more convenient in use than the previous designs.

 

 

Like the Bessa T, R2, R2S, R2C, R2A, R3A and Bessaflex, the trigger operated Bessa Winder can be added to the R2M / R3M for faster shooting.  This is one "motordrive" that works without batteries.  Some shooters find the Grip A makes operation more comfortable.  When the trigger is retracted into the body, the camera is still fully operational by the normal film advance.

 

Pulling the lever forward at the base of the rewind knob and then raising the rewind knob opens the easy to load camera back

 

What Lenses DON'T fit:

  Due primarily to the possibility of hitting the Bessa outer shutter, these lenses are NOT recommended:
Leica Hologon 15mm F8
Leica Super Angulon 21mm F3.4
Leica Super Angulon 21mm F4
Leica Elmarit 28mm F2.8 (first model)
Leica Dual range Summicron 50mm F2 -- won't mount properly due to internal body restrictions
Russian 20 and 35 screw mount lenses protrude too deeply into the camera


 

There are probably other lenses which could damage the Bessa's  shutter, so exercise good sense and caution when mounting ANY deeply recessed lens or collapsible lens for the 1st time.

Collapsible Lenses

Inside the lens chamber  you will see round cut out ledges at the top and bottom , about 3mm in front of the shutter.  These cut outs are apparently designed to act as a "lens stop" when a collapsible lens is pushed back into the body.   Note it is just a metal shield.  Push in collapsible lenses GENTLY.  If you really slam lenses in there with some force, it's my guess you will eventually get some metal shavings stuck in your shutter. 

I'm told the 50/2 Collapsible Summicron and current version of the new version 50/2.8 Elmar can be collapsed into the Bessa body without any damage to the camera or lens -- but be careful since there are lens variations.   

The original version 50/2.8 Elmar can also be collapsed, but not completely.  The telescoping barrel will make contact with a ledge inside the lens chamber, stopping the lens 3mm short of collapsing completely.  

The 50/3.5 Elmar screw mount (1954) will collapse, but stops about 1/4" out as it hits a ledge inside the lens chamber.   There are many collapsible lenses, so be careful when collapsing a lens the 1st time least you damage camera or lens !!

Personally my favorite collapsible Leica lens is the uncoated 50/2 Summar, made between 1933 to 1940.  It gives beautiful semi-soft focus effects and muted colors wide open to about f/4 -- great for landscapes or women.   Happily,  the Summar fits just fine on the Bessa (with a screw mount to bayonet mount adapter), collapsing almost completely into the body. 

There are probably some collapsible or deeply recessed lenses which could damage the Bessa's shutter, so exercise good sense and caution when mounting ANY deeply recessed lens or collapsible lens for the 1st time.    Even the collapsible lenses listed here as being OK do have an unknown number of variations.   Remember to push in collapsible lenses GENTLY to avoid problems. 

The collapsible Voigtlander  50/2 Heliar introduced with the 250th Anniversary kit  CAN be safely collapsed into ALL Cosina Voigtlander Bessas.



 

Bessa R2M or Bessa R3M ?

The R2M / R3M bodies are identical, except for the viewfinders.  The R2M has a .7x magnification viewfinder with 35/50/75/90 framelines.  The R3M has a 1.0x magnification viewfinder with 40/50/75/90 framelines.

The advantage of the R2M is the 35 frameline, and that IF you don't wear glasses, some people use the full frame of the viewfinder for an approximation of a  28mm field of view -- although the hot shoe mounted 28 accessory viewfinder does a better job.

The advantage of the R3M is the life-size 1.0x magnification viewfinder.   This means that if you focus with your right eye, you can shoot with both eyes open, giving you full periphery viewing far beyond the framelines with less eye strain.  And of course, the 40 frameline mates perfectly with the very popular Voigtlander 40/1.4 Nokton.  With the higher magnification, you also get slightly more accurate focusing as the R3M has a longer effective rangefinder baselength than the lower magnification R2M.   IF you don't wear glasses, you may find it useful to use the entire full R3M viewfinder as a 35mm field of view.

The disadvantage of the R3M to some glasses wearers is trouble seeing all four edges of the 40 frameline.  This problem increases with the thickness of your glasses.  Yet many people who are bothered by this are expecting SLR like viewing accuracy from the framelines.  In fact framelines in all Leica mount cameras (regardless of camera manufacturer) are more like approximations as they show the minimum you will get on film when the camera is focused at its closest focus distance.  At infinity, you always get more than what the framelines show.  Bottom line, it depends upon your glasses and what works with you.  Even if you wear thick glasses, you will likely have no problem seeing the 50/75/90 R3M framelines.

R2A /R3A vs. R2M / R3M?

These four cameras are produced in the same factory on the same assembly line by the same personnel, using the same body casting.  They differ primarily in their shutters and Aperture Priority Exposure vs. Metered Manual Exposure.

The R2A / R3A have electronic shutters which makes possible your choice of either metered manual metering (you adjust the f/stops or shutter speeds to match the finder readout) or Aperture Priority Automatic Exposure (you choose the f/stop, the camera automatically chooses the shutter speed) with AE exposure lock.  The R2A / R3A offer faster shooting with Aperture Priority -- a big plus for street photography or quick moving events.  The disadvantage is like virtually all other electronic shutter cameras, dead batteries mean a dead camera.

The R2M / R3M have mechanical shutters, which means no Aperture Priority AE.  Dead batteries mean no meter, but you can continue to take pictures by setting the exposure yourself.  In my opinion the R2M / R3M have the best metered manual metering display of ANY Leica mount rangefinder.  In addition, the R2M / R3M shutters are noticeably quieter than the earlier mechanical shutters of the Bessa L, T or R2, but yet not as quiet as the cloth shutters in the Leica M series.

The R2M / R3M 250th Anniversary cameras are relatively rare limited edition cameras produced in either silver paint or classic black paint.  The R2A / R3A are standard production cameras, produced in either black splatter paint or gray paint.  The R2M / R3M have a LED meter readout in plus / - half stops from -2 to +2.  The R2A / R3A have a LED meter readout indicating the closest selected shutter speed.

All of that said, on a personal note I have to say that I prefer classic mechanical cameras over electronic cameras.  So my pick would be the R2M or R3M over the R2A or R3A.  I just like the sound of mechanical shutter camera better, as well as preferring the classic metering readout.

 

 Which to Choose?

Buy the Bessa which suits YOUR needs best.  Only you can decide that.  The best Bessa for your best friend may or may not be the best camera for YOU.


 

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