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Archive 2013 · Voigtlander R2M
  
 
Edwin Ho
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p.1 #1 · Voigtlander R2M


While I own an M9, I am considering a film RF camera. Is there anyone who has experience and own a RM2. How would this camera compares with the more expensive Leica M range finder - M6 TTL.

I will be using a mix of Leica and VC lenses and the choice of the R2M is simply because it is affordable and I do appreciate that is is manual.

Comments and advice are very welcome, thank you.



Feb 04, 2013 at 02:00 PM
mawz
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p.1 #2 · Voigtlander R2M


Cross-posted from your other thread:

I've shot extensively with the R, which is essentially an R2M with an LTM mount and a lighter build. Nice camera, nice finder. Beware of focus accuracy with faster/longer lenses, it will do fine with a 50/1.4 but you likely will have issues with the 75/1.8 or a 50/1.1 as it just doesn't have enough RF baseline to handle fast & long (the R and R2's share the same finder and RF system, including baseline).

I had issues with the 85/2 I had, just could not nail focus at apertures larger than f3.5 or so.



Feb 04, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Edwin Ho
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p.1 #3 · Voigtlander R2M


mawz wrote:
Cross-posted from your other thread:

I had issues with the 85/2 I had, just could not nail focus at apertures larger than f3.5 or so.


Wow, this is pretty serious .



Feb 04, 2013 at 02:10 PM
ISO1600
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p.1 #4 · Voigtlander R2M


The bessas are the best current production film RF for the money.

Think about that statement for a minute.
The only other cameras in the category (that I can think of) are the Leicas ($$$$$) and the Ikon (2.5x price of Bessa?)...

Honestly, the build and user experience, IMO, is crap- compared to the Ikon or M. Using a M and a Bessa side-by-side is nauseating.

NOW- on the positive side.... the R2M has a quite good finder. Easy modern loading method.
That is about all the positive I can think of. haha!

The RF mechanism on these cameras is pretty fragile, it'll get bent out of shape easily. The camera feels like it's made out of recycled soup cans. Strap lugs are in the wrong place.
I'd say get an old/user M2 or M4, and either learn to read the light (sunny 16, etc) or get a cheap handheld meter. M2's are so so wonderful, it is a better camera in every way. Factor ~$600 for a chrome M2, ~$1.25 for a Coke, and the smile is free.



Feb 04, 2013 at 03:08 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #5 · Voigtlander R2M


A friend of mine sells Zeiss and still has a few Ikons in stock (aren't they now discontinued?). I had a look through the viewfinder of one - my first time. All I can say is - wow. I wish the M9's view was that big and clear. Other than that, the camera felt kind of boxy and a bit light for the size. The M2 or M4 option sounds logical.


Feb 04, 2013 at 11:32 PM
mawz
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p.1 #6 · Voigtlander R2M


Edwin Ho wrote:
Wow, this is pretty serious .


The Bessa's were designed with the original LTM CV lenses in mind, so they had no need to be able to focus anything faster than a 50/1.5, 75/2.5 or 90/3.5. For fast/long lenses you want an M or a Zeiss Ikon, which have much longer RF baselines and therefore can accurately focus long/fast lenses.

RF's are somewhat the opposite of SLR's in terms of focusing accuracy, the longer or faster the lens, the more difficult for an RF to focus with it for a given baseline.



Feb 05, 2013 at 12:37 AM
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p.1 #7 · Voigtlander R2M


re: Ikon

Oh yeah, i think they are discontinued. Ikons have been going for $750-$1100 on RFF the past few months. Big range, seems to be totally irrellevant of the condition or included accessories too. Anyways- yes, the Ikon has an amazing finder. It has a super long baselength, so it can accurately focus just about any lens you throw at it. The only "modern" 35mm RF with a more accurate finder is anything with the M3 finder in it. The Ikon has a good meter, a very nice AE Lock implementation, and as previously mentioned, an amazing finder. I really miss that finder hahaha!

But- it is a die-cast aluminum frame, IIRC, and is VERY light. Does not have the best feel.
A real Leica (M2, M3, M4, old MP) would be the most enjoyable experience.

Once they started putting zinc and meters in the M cameras, the experience and the camera changed. Get a 30+ year old brass M with brass gears and a shutter speed dial that is the right size and that turns the right direction. If you NEED a meter, get a "classic" M6, not the TTL.
My buddy Nate (TWOK, MisterE, NateVenture- all his online/photo forum alias') has owned just about every M camera imagineable, and IIRC, his most enjoyable cameras were the BP (black paint) M2/M4. They just have a perfect look and feel to them.

The problem(s) you'll encounter with an older M (2/3/4) are commonly:
1) finder/patch haze or misalignment
2) shutter speeds off, damaged curtains
3) questionable history?

Even with those potentially large problems, I would still ONLY reccomend a classic M for a film RF. The user experience is just SO much better than the other cameras (Bessa, Ikon). The only thing that has come close, for me, was a Canon P (LTM), which can be had for very cheap.



Feb 05, 2013 at 01:40 PM
mawz
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p.1 #8 · Voigtlander R2M


I should note that personally I find the Bessa R and derived cameras (All Bessa's and the Ikon) to be a better user experience than the M's due to the more refined ergonomics, especially the FAR superior film loading and metering setup which was actually designed rather than added onto a 30 year old design. But the M's have a massive tactile advantage, they just feel better.

If you're looking for the classic RF experience, buy an M, no question. If you want a great shooting camera that happens to be an RF, or are used to modern MF SLR's (circa 75-90) then you'll probably be more comfortable with the Bessa's or Ikon.



Feb 05, 2013 at 01:54 PM
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p.1 #9 · Voigtlander R2M


I think regardless of the modernizations that the Bessas have, the M's are both a better RF experience, and a better photography experience. Both emotionally and technically. Even with the fiddly bottom-loading.


Feb 05, 2013 at 02:12 PM
dasrocket
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p.1 #10 · Voigtlander R2M


mawz wrote:
...For fast/long lenses you want an M or a Zeiss Ikon, which have much longer RF baselines and therefore can accurately focus long/fast lenses...


On the subject of short RF bases, My Epson R-D1 was similar as it was based on a Bessa. I had issues with focusing my 50 1.2 Serenar.
However, I bought an aftermarket magnifying eyepiece that screwed into the VF rear and it really made a difference with faster glass. I think it was a 1.25x or something..



Feb 05, 2013 at 04:28 PM
 

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mawz
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p.1 #11 · Voigtlander R2M


dasrocket wrote:
On the subject of short RF bases, My Epson R-D1 was similar as it was based on a Bessa. I had issues with focusing my 50 1.2 Serenar.
However, I bought an aftermarket magnifying eyepiece that screwed into the VF rear and it really made a difference with faster glass. I think it was a 1.25x or something..


Note that effective baseline controls focusing accuracy and it is the viewfinder magnification multiplied by the physical baseline. So increasing the viewfinder magnification will indeed improve focusing accuracy on an RF, generally at the cost of visibility of the wider framelines.



Feb 06, 2013 at 12:24 AM
mawz
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p.1 #12 · Voigtlander R2M


ISO1600 wrote:
I think regardless of the modernizations that the Bessas have, the M's are both a better RF experience, and a better photography experience. Both emotionally and technically. Even with the fiddly bottom-loading.


It's a case of to each his own. I sold my M3 and kept the Bessa R, preferring the latter for its conveniences. I might have made a different decision if it had been an M6 though.



Feb 06, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Edwin Ho
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p.1 #13 · Voigtlander R2M


mawz wrote:
It's a case of to each his own. I sold my M3 and kept the Bessa R, preferring the latter for its conveniences. I might have made a different decision if it had been an M6 though.


Mawz, are you suggesting the difference in user experience is narrower in the M6/Bessa R than M3/Bessar R. And if so why?




Feb 06, 2013 at 02:04 PM
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p.1 #14 · Voigtlander R2M


M6 has a more comfortable finder magnification for a wider variety of lenses, a meter, and more modern loading than a M3.

M3 is a "better" Leica though....

I GREATLY prefer the uncluttered finders of the older M's. I LOVED the simplicity of my M2's. The M2 and M4 are so good to shoot a 35/50 combo.



Feb 06, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Edwin Ho
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p.1 #15 · Voigtlander R2M


Hi All,

It's been four months since I last posted the orginal thread. I have since sold some of my old gears and have raised A$1800.00 and likely A$2500.00 when the last lens is sold. The available cash gives me a much wider option which will mean an M6 is within range. For those of you who owns an M9 as well as an M6 classic, does opposing difference in shutter dial direction post an issue. Personally I would prefer the M6 TTL simply because the shutter speed dial moves in the same direction as my M9.

Having said that, I have been practising hard shooting my M9 and Canon 5D using "sunny f16" and is pretty comfortable doing so. As in this case, it will not be too much an issue for me if I purchase an M6 classic as the shutter speed dial is a non issue. I plan to shoot "sunny f 16 whenever possible with the M6 be it classic or TTL. Of course the classic is more affordable.

I am considering the M6 over the M2 simply of the available of frame lines. I do own now 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm lenses.

Your comments are most welcome.



Jun 06, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Spyro P.
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p.1 #16 · Voigtlander R2M


Ι've owned 3 Bessas (not the R2M though), an M6 and a zeiss Ikon.
However, keep in mind that although I love rangefinder cameras and lenses I actually hate focusing a rangefinder so I simply avoided it, I just shot them wide and scale focused by feel. So don't ask me about difference in focusing, I wouldnt know.

The M6 gave me RSI
I walk and shoot long hours, always one handed with a wrist strap, and the camera was simply too overbuilt for that (I know you're used to holding a leica, but add cocking it every few seconds). And unnecessarily overbuilt in my opinion, I take photos with my cameras, I don't bang nails.
No go.

The bessas were nice, simple, light, ergonomic, and they worked. It was actually refreshing not having a couple of grand hanging from my wrist, and even better having a second camera with a different type film in the bag, and a 3rd one with a 1:1 viewfinder. All for the price of the M6. I hated the sound they make though (same for the ikon).

The ikon is basically a glorified bessa. But, it has the biggest and brightest viewfinder I've ever seen on a rangefinder, and I found it has a very attractive design. In all honesty, don't decide until you hold one of those babies and look through it. It feels like you can almost walk into that VF
Actually try all of them if you can, they all feel different.

edit: I just realised I wrote a whole paragraph and probably didnt say anything valuable to you, sorry



Jun 06, 2013 at 01:27 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #17 · Voigtlander R2M


i've owned a classic M6 for about three months now. i do not find the smaller shutter speed wheel to be an issue. it's the opposite direction of my fuji, but i can keep this straight in my head it seems.

i went with the M6 because it had an internal meter, but can operate without a battery unlike the M7. the batteries are easily found at the drug store, and you get about three of them for $10. seems like they'll last forever.

one thing about the viewfinder in the M6: do you wear glasses? if so, the framelines in the .72 finder can be tricky with 35mm lenses, and 28 mm would be very difficult to see the frame lines. if you don't wear glasses, don't sweat this. but i tend to shoot 35 and the .72 finder is barely acceptable with my glasses on. if i could do it again i'd find one with a .58 finder, which is geared towards wide angle lenses (nothing over 50mm, i believe?) and easier to see the wide frame lines with glasses on.

other than that, i love this camera. the feel of it is unparalleled; it just hangs off my shoulder like a little brick. the clack of the shutter, the way the advance feels and snaps back, the feeling of the shutter speed dial. it's incredibly satisfying to use.

i recommend a domke gripper strap, which are small and unobtrusive, and it really keeps this body glued to my shoulder. loading film is a breeze once you get the hang of it. just waste a roll or two fiddling around with the mechanics of the camera... load a roll, shoot it to get a feel for the advance, rewind it and shoot it again, etc. open it up - bottom off, lens off, and shoot it and see how it works. it's fairly easy to understand (at least that which you can see) and there's just something about having a camera where you understand how it's working, and you don't worry about the damned battery running out, and you don't worry about whether or not it's on, or will wake up, or.... well, anything really.... no stupid menu system, no constantly fiddling with this setting or that. it's just there, ready to shoot.



Jun 06, 2013 at 02:06 PM
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p.1 #18 · Voigtlander R2M


Goose brings a great point- do you wear glasses?
If so, forget any standard finder (they are all .72 unless marked otherwise, or M3) if you want to shoot 28mm and actually see what the lens covers.

Even the 35mm FL's on a M2/4/6 .72 are at the very edge of visibility when you have glasses. In all honesty, glasses kinda ruin the RF experience. I enjoyed shooting RF MUCH more once I got LASIK. Being able to see the whole finder does a lot more for the experience.

You don't need all the FL's of a M6 to shoot those lenses.
M2.... without glasses....
28mm = whole finder
35mm framelines
50mm framelines
i can't remember if the next set is 75 or 90?



Jun 06, 2013 at 03:03 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #19 · Voigtlander R2M


i have contacts and it's definitely more fun with them than with glasses. but i wear my glasses most of the time.

the fuji x100 has a .5 viewfinder - closer to leica's .58 - and that's very easy to use with glasses @ 35mm, imo.



Jun 06, 2013 at 07:06 PM
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p.1 #20 · Voigtlander R2M


the magnification alone is not the full story. Finder design and eyepoint/exit pupil, have a lot to do with it. PLUS- a .5 finder is worlds different from a .72....

The Hexar RF is ~.64 iirc, and was comfortable to use with glasses at 35mm, but a .72 Leica M2 had the 35 frames out near the edges when i had glasses.
In my opinion, and many other share this, the Zeiss Ikon has far and away the most glorious finder ever.

Personally, I think if you're going to get a metered M camera, get one as similar to your M9 as possible. M6TTL would do nicely, having the same feel and controls.



Jun 06, 2013 at 07:18 PM
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