Why Rangefinder cameras are so expensive?

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Rangefinder cameras are not so expensive

mobi1 wrote:

Do they really cost that much to build??

Is there any affordable Rangefinders available - I mean at a price similar to consumer cameras?

I assume you mean digital rangefinders and Leica is it. They are quite expensive. There are a lot of cameras like the Fuji with that retro rangefinder look, but that's what it is, just the look.

There are plenty of older used film rangefinders you can buy ranging from point and shoots to Leicas. They start pretty cheap and go throgh the roof with Leica of course.

Cosina in Japan make new 35mm film rangefinder cameras today that are excellent in quality. They make the Bessa line with Voigtlander lenses. Most are well under $1000 so that's not too expensive. There are several models to choose from and you can even mount Leica lenses on them as they use the Leica M mount. They are made with electonic or fully mechanical shutters, your choice.

Cosina also makes the Zeiss Ikon line of Rangefinder cameras and Zeiss lenes in Leica M mount to fit on them. They are a little better quality than the Bessa lineup and sells for a little more money. The basic design is very similar and you can mount Voigtlander, Leica or Zeiss lenses on these Zeiss Ikon cameras. Again, they are film only.

I've owned a Bessa R2M that was a superb camera with it's Voigtlander lens. I gave it to a friend who just had to have it. I may buy the Zeiss Ikon sometime to replace it. The wider rangefinder is a little more accurate on the Ikon. The lenses are all the same. Cosina makes Zeiss or Voigtlander lenses in Japan.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of Rangefinder camera still in existence both new and used and they aren't all as expensive as the Leica. You just have to want to shoot 35mm film. The owner of Cosina doesn't like digital. He claims to be a film purist, whatever that is.

This website specializes in Cosina cameras and lenses. It has a wealth of knowledge if you're interested in this kind of camera.


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