Rollei 35 RF vs. Voigtlander Bessa R2a / R2m

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Ty Madey
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Rollei 35 RF vs. Voigtlander Bessa R2a / R2m
1 month ago

Hi, I am a college student about to start an introduction to (black and white) photography this coming fall semester. I have been doing photography for about 3 years now. While I am definitely still an amateur and have a lot to learn, I do get very into the technical side of things and I spend most of my free time researching the field to learn more! Anyway, I thought this class would be a great opportunity to get into something that I've had my eye on for a while now: Rangefinder photography.

I currently have a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and have used both full frame and crop body Nikon DSLRs in the past too (I like changing my gear around to keep fresh). I definitely enjoy the xp1 a great deal but after playing around with an Epson R-D1 for a bit, I got the taste for real rangefinder photography.

So my conundrum is based on what gear to get. I definitely have a tendency to think too much about these things, but I have narrowed my choices down a great deal from the research I have done on my own. Here is where I currently sit: For the camera, I think it has to be between the Rollei 35 RF and the Voigtlander Bessa R2A (the ability to do aperture priority would make me consider it over the R2M unless I found a way better deal on the latter).

I am in the weird thought camp that would rather a 40mm lens as my standard over a 35mm or 50mm. So the Voigtlander Bessa R3A/M would be the solution if there wasn't one glaring issue with that camera: I wear thick glasses. I have come across the opinion way too frequently to believe it that the 40mm frame-lines are very hard to see with glasses. Even if I was able to see the edges, I would likely miss out on the other part of the experience that is getting to see outside the frame-lines for composure.

So, I stumbled upon the Rollei 35 RF and have heard it is the best Bessa for eyeglass wearers. The issue is there seems to be a fairly big lack of reading I can do on this camera. I am interested in how it would compare to the Bessa R2M. I am also interested if anyone has any experience with the 40mm f/2.8 Sonnar lens that can be found with it and how that lens stacks against the 40mm Voigtlander Nokton 1.4 lens.

In short, the Rollei seems like a really great solution for me to be able to enjoyably use a 40mm lens. The issue I just have is lack of knowledge about it and also the fact that it is so dang gawdy looking.

My final question is based on the R2A/M. Since I am considering just going with the 35mm Nokton 1.4 and that camera, I wonder how the 35mm frame lines would be for my thick glasses? If they are similarly difficult to see compared to the 40mm framelines on the R3M/A, then I can just forget about that option completely and go with the Rollei.

Thanks for being patient with such a long post; this community is very great and supportive of newcomers, and I really appreciate any answers! Especially considering I have a potential deal waiting for a Rollei 35 RF.

Many thanks,
Ty

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Epson R-D1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Voigtlander 35mm F1.4 Nokton Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 Nokton Classic
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