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Thread: Bessa R3A/R4A Build Quality/Durability

  1. #1

    Bessa R3A/R4A Build Quality/Durability

    I'm considering the purchase of one of these cameras as a present for my son. Can any of you with experience comment on their build quality relative to Leica/Zeiss Ikon?

    thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Senior Member segedi's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Calgary, Canada
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    Re: Bessa R3A/R4A Build Quality/Durability

    This response is a bit late according to the post date, but I have an R4A and used it extensively on a trip to Europe. I got it mainly to use wide lenses and a 21 and 35mm work very nicely on it. Am considering an R3A but can't justify the addition; I already have an MP!

    Build Quality: Seems A-OK to me. It's not as solid as a Leica, but it's not a lightweight in build either.

    Finder: The wide finder on the R4 is simply awesome - no need for an external finder when mated with my 21mm. The focus patch is fine, not the best I've seen, but no slouch. It does seem to move a bit depending on length of focus. I noticed this when I first looked, but never noticed again.

    Film loading: same as most 35mm systems, but amazingly in my experience, I'm better at loading the Leica.

    Dials: are perfect and there is a lock for the Aperature priority and it's super easy to do exposure compensation.

    I didn't buy the Zeiss Ikon, mainly due to my need for the wide angle, partly due to my cost vs value leanings, and I like the way the Bessa feels in the hand. I also go the grip to match and it just feels great.

    I've had no problems with my R4A and recommend it.


  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Bessa R3A/R4A Build Quality/Durability

    The bessa are loud sometimes you can find and old M for the 500 dollar range. I would go with that over a bessa

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