Voigtlander Bessa I & II
Folding Cameras
I like my Bessa I with the Color-Skopar lens
almost as much as the Bessa II. I did some
casual tests one day, shooting the same scenes
on the same type of film with a Bessa I and
Bessa II (both with Color-Skopar lenses) and I
really had a hard time telling the transparencies
apart (yes, I used a tripod). Both cameras made
impressively sharp and rich images. The
Color-Heliar lens, on the other hand, really does
have a very different look than the Skopar.
There's plenty of subjective descriptions of this
on the 'net; suffice it to say that I agree with
most of them.
These are very popular cameras yet, like the Graflex XL, they attract a lot of gloom-and-doom
pronouncements. If you tell someone that you just bought a Bessa II over the internet they'll probably start
saying how you wasted your hard-earned money on an overpriced camera with a wobbly front standard, and
they'll tell you pathetic stories about "bent tongs" and other doomsday scenarios. Well, those people are
not entirely lacking credibility, but I can say that having bought a total of 4 examples of the Bessa II over
the internet, only one of them was such a wobbly, angst-inducing beast. And that one was sold to me by a
"professional" camera dealer who specifically described it as "in perfect alignment and ready to shoot." In
my experience, the ethics of a lot of camera dealers are shakier than the front standard of any Bessa II.
Bessa I w/Color-Skopar
Bessa II w/Color-Skopar
Bessa II w/Color-Heliar
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