Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/15

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Bessa-T - let me get this straight...
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 15:22:46 -0800
References: <>

Let me see if I have this straight.

A camera with no viewfinder. Every time you change lenses, you also have to
change the viewfinder. Is this correct? So instead of three pieces (35, 50,
75) I would now have six pieces to find pockets for. Now where did I put
that 35mm finder? Oh shit! I've been using the 35mm finder with the 50mm
lens. Oh well... cut off heads and cut off feet!

And to focus, you have to look through an eyepiece on the camera and focus,
and then to take a photograph, you have to move your eye to another
eyepiece, frame, and push the shutter release. Is this correct? Let's name
this ping-pong-eye-ball.

If I remember correctly, Leica lenses are KNOWN for their stellar
performance WIDE OPEN. This is why many folks like Leica lenses. Great
performance at f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8 . This I agree with. I love using my
75/1.4, 50/1.4, and 35/1.4 wide open or near wide open. Gorgeous Leica
photographs. The Leica "glow."

Was it not too long ago that LUG folks were bemoaning the fact that it is
so very difficult to take sharp photographs wide open or near wide open
with lenses longer than 28mm. Even 28mm in close quarters. Lenses must be
true to the RF. The subject must not move even an inch. Critical focus
drops off very rapidly.

So now everyone is wetting their pants over a camera that cannot possibly
(well... one could get lucky) take sharp photographs with these lenses at
wide open apertures. The very apertures that define Leica lenses. Even the
lenses supplied for the Bessa have wide apertures that become reasonably
useless when, after focusing, you have to move your eye, which gives the
subject and photographer time to move that dreaded inch or two to
completely destroy "critical" sharpness.

Now if you were to use only 12mm, 15mm, and 21mm lenses, where auxiliary
finders are mandatory AND depth of field, even wide open, will overcome
minor focus errors, I could see the point. But as a general, useful, Leica
M camera replacement... no way, Jose (Hose-A)! Perhaps this is why Leica
puts the longer lens viewfinders IN THE CAMERA and uses external
viewfinders for wide angle lenses. Sure makes sense to me! Obviously made
sense to someone else for a very long time.

People will buy the Bessa-T, find the problems that common sense should
have dictated, then try to sell them. I predict a glut of finderless Bessa
cameras on the market in a couple of years. Either that or folks will
exclaim "where's the finder?" and not buy them in the first place. Nah...
the first scenario seems correct.

So if you wait a year, someone will probably pay you to take it away. ;)

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. I'll pay the extra $600
and get the most used viewfinders built-in thank you. And have a durable
metal camera that has withstood the test of time to boot!




Replies: Reply from "B. D. Colen" <> (Re: [Leica] Bessa-T - let me get this straight...)
Reply from Dennis Painter <> (Re: [Leica] Bessa-T - let me get this straight...)
Reply from Jim Brick <> ([Leica] Re: Bessa-T - let me get this straight...)
Reply from Marc James Small <> (Re: [Leica] Bessa-T - let me get this straight...)
Reply from Stephen Gandy <> (Re: [Leica] Bessa-T - let me get this straight...)
In reply to: Message from (Re: [Leica] Bessa-T - at last! (Long))