Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

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Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:57 pm

The top Voigtlander rangefinders were traditionally medium format 6x6 and 6x9 folders. The great Bessa RF from the 1930's was replaced by equally great Bessa II after the war. Cosina is showing a new medium format rangefinder at its booth; the Bessa III 667. It's a very portable folder, like the previous Bessa, capable of 6x6 or 6x7 and takes both 120 and 220 film. The lens is a 80mm f/3.5 Heliar. It will be available in the spring of 2009. There will be a twin Fuji branded model sold only in Japan.

RFF member Ath took photos:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=901550&postcount=48
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:09 pm

I was waiting to see what they'd have up their sleeve! I was expecting a new lens or two but not this.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:03 pm

I'll be surprised if there isn't a new 35mm Ultron. They're missing a 35mm between the Nokton f/1.4 (which I don't like) and the Skopar f/2.5.

Fuji showed a prototype of the medium-format folder last year that had lots of RF'ers gassy beyond belief, including yours truly. I'm not surprised that Fuji would team with Cosina to build this. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Kobayashi-san was behind this from the start, after all he is THE MAN when it come rangefinders right now. The original Fuji prototype looked very much like an old Bessa II, in my eyes.

If I were to buy any medium format folder, it would have been a pre-war Bessa RF. Both the 105mm Skopars and 105mm Heliars have such a nice, classic rendering on the 6x9 format. Both the Bessa RF and later Bessa II's were built to very high standards and may have even rivaled Leica in terms of build quality. I almost bought one with a Heliar on eBay two years ago but lost out in the last second to a sniper. Now, with the Bessa III, I don't know. I'll have to see how the 80mm f/3.5 Heliar performs.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:15 am

Looks like Ken and I are probably the only ones that are able to see the photographs on the RFF site. I didn't realize that a login was required.

Here are the same photos on a blog:
http://davidbram.blogspot.com/2008/09/fuji-gf670-is-new-voigtlander-667.html
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:36 pm

I'm pretty sure no one cares but you and me, too Very Happy
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:32 pm

Perhaps true, I'm afraid. Sad
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:21 pm

I was reading it may be Japan-only... hope that's not the case.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:27 pm

The Fuji-branded version is Japan-only. The Voigtlander-branded version will be sold outside of Japan. Same deal as with the Fuji/Hasselblad XPan.

Edit: Just saw a thread on RFF where Stephen Gandy (Voigtlander's official N. American distributor) said that it may or may not be sold outside of Japan. Boooooo..... (Chances are that it will be sold here though.)
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:51 pm

Yah that's what I had read before I made that comment. Say it ain't so, Mr. K!
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:37 am

A video:

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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:19 pm

Well, we have the first solid indication of pricing. Japan Exposures (formerly known as Megaperls) is taking pre-orders for the Bessa III 667's identical twin; the Fuji GF670. The price advertised is 220,000 yen, which is roughly $2400USD or $2950CDN with today's rates.

http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=259&osCsid=6e21ba30224a9d9e50e5831785907768

(The Fuji version is for Japan only but Japan Exposures will ship anywhere. This is also the place to get the Japan-only Fuji Natura 1600 ISO film)

I expected the price to be about this but I was hoping that it would be lower. For a while, rumours of a $3000+ USD price tag was discouraging. As of now, I still feel that getting a used Rolleiflex TLR (with a faster 80mm f2.Cool or a used Mamiya 7 (with interchangeable lenses) seems like a better option for a quiet and compact MF rig. Now, this camera still has to prove itself. Knowing that TomA had some sort of consulting role in the development of this camera goes along way.

I'm curious to see how the 80mm f/3.5 Heliar performs. I've liked the Cosina built Heliars; the 75f2.5, 50f3.5 and 50f2. I very much like my 75mm and the 50f3.5 is known for its extremely high resolution and unique lens signature. Good chance that the 50f3.5 will gain "lens legend" status if it hasn't done so already. The 50f2 is neat but I've been put off a bit by its performance wide-open. It's bokeh not as nice as I expected and the its isn't as sharp wide-open as I hoped. Not a bad lens though. The 12mm and 15mm are Heliars by name only and are actually Biogon-based designs.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:15 pm

I have to agree that a Mamiya 7 seems like a better buy. I've heard people complain about the build quality on the Mamiya though, it would be interesting to compare them.

I just scanned my negs from the hockey game where I was using the 75mm Heliar and they surprisingly came out really nice (surprising because I was manually-focusing hockey). I didn't really get any good peak action but I like what I did get.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:34 pm

I have a feeling that the build-quality of the Mamiya would be close to that of a "pro" level 35mm SLR. If you're talking to the typical rangefinder photographers that are used to Leicas or medium-format photographers used to Rolleiflexes and Hasselblads, then the Mamiya 7 would be considered a significant step down in build quality. However, the Mamiya 7 has some extraordinary lenses. They're a bit slower than I'd like. Standard 80mm is an f/4. Also, with 6x7, it would have been better if Mamiya offered a 90mm as the standard normal as an 80mm is like a 39-40 equivalent and its a bit close to 65mm standard wide, which is like a 32-33 equivalent.

I wouldn't mind seeing how those Greyhound photos turned out.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

Post by Nando on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:18 am

Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest is now taking pre-orders Bessa III 667. Shipping will be in June 2009 and the price will be $2250; a bit less than expected. As far as Canadian sources go, Rob at BigCameraWorkshops might be able to get them too but there is no mention of the camera on his website at this point.
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Re: Cosina shows Voigtlander Bessa III 667 @ Photokina

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