Rollei 35 RF vs. Voigtlander Bessa R2a / R2m

Started Aug 22, 2014 | Questions thread
Phil1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,406
Re: Rollei 35 RF vs. Bessa R2a / R2m OR Leica CL of Minolta CLE 40mm

The classic 40 mm lenses are the 40mm Leica Sumicron for the Leica CL camera or the even better (so some say) Minolta 40 mm for their wonderful CLE cameras (basically a much improved version of the Leica CL. I had both & only sold them with great reluctance because of the advantages of digital. If you are working with film at least give them a look. They were the pinnacle of compact rangefinders (apart from the Leica M series of course but these are bigger and heavier. The Minlta CLE was truly a fantastic camera to work with and cost somewhere in the region of £1600 when it was introduced: Ca. £7000 at today’s prices (it seems a bit too much but you get the idea - it was top quality! An M3 in decent condition would be about the same price now I guess.

Most of the current fab voigtlander lense fit the CL & CLE. I had the 15mm and the 90mm (with 'M adapters): both really good lenses. The cameras can be found on eBay but I'd prefer a good and knowledgeable dealer who would give a guarantee as they are getting on now. Watch out for the CL meter cell which often fails with age. I had to have mine replaced. The CLE doesn’t have this problem as far as I know. The Rollei and Bessa are newer but buy from a dealer if you can as before

I had glasses but not very thick ones and I had no trouble but you'd need to check.

For more info see the very detailed reviews on the Cameraquest web site and Ken Rockwell's website (just Google these names).

Happy hunting! I'd love to know how you get on!


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