Well the travelling Bessa III has been slowly winding it’s way around the country it seems most folks who use it don’t want to give it back!
Recent participant Geoff Hopkinson sent us the following report.
The travelling Bessa II finished her holiday in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago and then winged her way northwards for some more Queensland lifestyle time.
Bessy stayed with me for two weeks. She got along fine with the German residents here and in turn they liked her name. We went for long walks in the sunshine together before retiring poolside for margaritas. Bessy is still a little new to this Aussie lifestyle and so only had a bubbycino with sprinkles and extra froth. Perhaps she was still full from her long lunches of Astia, Portra, and Neopan.
I thought that I would type a few user impressions for those interested.
Fit, finish and handling:
Smooth matt black, dare I say the equal of the black chrome on my Leica M. Controls are smooth and have just the right feel for me. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Grey/black rubber like grip is functional and, well, grippy. With the lens and bellows extended I found the right side actually slightly cramped to hold. A good indication of how compact the package is though. Focus by tab and very familiar to a Leica M user. In fact, your left index finger reaches it comfortably while you are holding the camera left side. The finder is huge, bright and undistorted. Again the rangefinder might be straight from Solms. 6×6 and 6×7 frames easily visible in both portrait and landscape hold for me, as is the shutter speed display. Aperture priority or manual, what more do you want?
Home sweet home!
The nice folks at Horsham Colour processed my Colour neg for me and a roll of Neopan. Thank you Michael. I got back a pile of very generous sized proofs (8×10 paper!) as well as a CD of scans and my negs of course. Worth letting your processor know if you send a mixed set of 6×6 and 6×7 as I did.
The Bessa III is great for portraits
The detail is crisp and the image are smooth, exactly as you would expect from a high quality fixed lens on medium format film. Seems to me that this would be an awfully attractive minimalist landscape kit. I largely used it like an M7. An M on steroids!
It is possible to provoke flare if you try hard. I suspect that the accessory lens shade would make that a complete non-issue for any reasonable situation.
Some typical Queensland conditions
Out of interest I shot a roll of Neopan in an old 6×9 Voigtlander folder as well. That one went back into the bottom drawer. This camera I would happily take anywhere and be confident of the quality of the results. Now if I could only figure out where the SDHC card goes, I’m good to go.
Thank You Scott . I want one!