|my 35mm kit changes again
I went to the doctor Tuesday and now am suitably medicated and getting better (bronchitis) but still coughing like crazy. I've been trying to take it as easy as I can. That can be dangerous. You know, the thing with devils and idle hands. Living with an Alzheimer's patient doesn't leave time and mind for much picture taking but it does let me think about a photography kit that will give me maximum flexiblity for low cost for when I do have time for picture taking. I thought I had settled on three camera bodies: Leica IIIc, FED 2 (both rangefinders), and a Pentax H1a (SLR). Well, I discovered the Voigtlander Bessaflex available at Cameraquest for a very reasonable $279.
It's a modern SLR with an old lens mount. The M42 lens mount of my old Pentax H1a. It would compliment the H1a very nicely. For one it has TTL metering which would be nice for macro work. There are a number of bills to be paid off between now and delivery so it would be awhile but something to plan for. (For anyone who wants a new mechanical SLR with thousands of excellent and cheap used M42 screw mount lenses avaiable would do well to consider one of these.) Then I logged on to Rangefinder Forum last night and one of my strap customers (scroll down to Gerry M. in Medford, OR, Bessa R2A) had a Zorki 3M for sale at a very low price.
This is not the Zorki 3M I bought. This is one belongs to another strap customer of mine (scroll down a little more on my gallery page). They are like my Leica IIIc on steroids. Many (including myself) think this is the finest of the Russian rangefinders. It has a 1:1 viewfinder and speeds up to 1/1000 and slow speeds without a seperate low speed selector. Beautiful cameras. They weren't made for too many years and are the most expensive of the Russian rangefinders. The usually fetch from $100 and up. More than I can afford. But Gerry only wanted $15.
This is why. He started to take it apart to paint it and then lost interest. Fortunately he taped all the parts down. I contacted Oleg (he rebuilt my Leica IIIc) and he quoted $35 to $40 to put it all back together with a clean, lube, and adjust.
The Zorki has the best viewfinder of all my rangefinders but only for 50mm lenses so this will be my 50mm rangefinder. The FED 2 will remain my 85mm rangefinder and the Leica IIIc will be my 35mm wide angle rangefinder. Three rangefinder bodies and one SLR body is enough so no Bessaflex in my future. I just saved a lot of money!
But wait! There's more!
Yesterday one of my readers, Terry Nelson, offered me a box of old camera gear which I accepted. I inquired as to just what might be in the box and it turns out that there is a Pentax Spotmatic, an Olympus OM-2 and several lenses. It looks like I will have a Bessaflex equivalent (the Spotmatic) for nothing and have some trading gear. The OM2 is so tempting to keep but I really want to keep my kit simple and mechanical. I will have to wait to see just what he has. That which I can't use I will sell or use for trading stock. Something good happens once and awhile.