An advanced medium format rangefinder camera, the beautiful Voigtlander Bessa III was the product of the joint efforts of two prominent camera makers. Find out which in this installment of Lomopedia!
One of the youngest members of the film camera world, the Voigtlander Bessa III is a medium format folding rangefinder camera designed by Japanese camera companies Fujifilm and Cosina and introduced in 2008. Two prototypes — one in silver finish and another in black — were unveiled by Fujifilm at the PMA salon in early 2008 in Las Vegas, and exhibited at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany in September of the same year. It was also announced that it would be known in the Japanese market as Fujifilm GF670 Professional, and Voigtlander Bessa III for export.
There are only two differences between the Fujifilm and Voigtlander models: first, the markings/inscriptions on the top cover (either FUJIFILM 6×6/6×7 or the Voigtlander logo + BESSA III); and the lens name — Fujinon for Fujifilm model and Heliar for Voigtlander model.
The Voigtlander Bessa III boasts of an 80mm f/3.5 lens, a coupled rangefinder, aperture-priority autoexposure, manual exposure mode, and exposure compensator. Those familiar with Bessa folding cameras will also notice that the front standard has the same shape as the Bessa II from the 1950s, the most renowned of all the “Bessa” cameras.
- Type: 6 × 7 type rangefinder folding camera
- Film format: 6 × 7 and 6 × 6 by selector switch; 6 × 7 size: 56 × 69mm; 6 × 6 size: 56 × 56mm
- Film: 120 or 220 roll film
- Frames: 6 × 7 (120 – 10 shots, 220 – 20 shots); 6 × 6 (120 – 12 shots, 220 – 24 shots)
- Lens: HELIAR 3.5/80mm, 6 elements in 4 groups; Angle of view: 6 × 7 size = 57°; Angle of view: 6 × 6 size = 53°
- Focusing: Manually controlled helicoid
- Focusing range: 0.9 m – infinity
- Finder: Coincidence type rangefinder with bright frame and automatic parallax correction.
- Macro ratio: X 0.7
- Diopter correction: Eyepiece diopter (19mm thread) can be screwed on.
- Indicators in viewfinder: LED; Aperture Priority Auto Mode and properly set shutter speed indicator light; Manual exposure mode; Battery consumption warning
- Shutter: Electronically controlled lens shutter. Shutter speed 4s – 1/500 sec.
- Exposure control: Center weighted average metering. Exposure compensation: +/- 2 by 1/3 steps
- Film speed: Manually set; ISO25 – 3200 by 1/3 steps
- Film winding: By film advance dial
- Film counter: Additive type with auto reset, automatically switched to 120 or 220 type synchronized with film type selector switch on film pressure plate.
- Battery: X1 CR2 Lithium battery
- Size: 178mm x 109mm x 138 mm or 64mm (closed)
- Weight: 1,000g