I recently picked up a Voigtlander Bessa R3A with a 40mm f/1.4 Nokton. I think I have finally found my end-game camera for 35mm shooting. Well, at least for now. I know many people say that the build quality and shutter sounds between the Bessa and the Leica M series are almost incomparable in the Leica’s favor, but I don’t think I’ll be jumping ship any time soon despite the fact that many people make the jump from Voigtlander to Leica. I am entirely satisfied with the sharpness of the lens and the comfort of the camera in my hands. The only issue I have had with the Bessa I picked up was that the film winding lever is a bit loose and flips out quite often. It ended up getting stuck while trying to advance the film and I ripped the film a bit, creating an accidental double exposure that has become one of my favorite images I’ve taken. Luckily, I didn’t have any issues ratcheting the film onto the development reel and had a successful development with the first roll from my R3A.
An issue I noticed on my last black and white roll (see photos in my last post) as well as this one, was a sort of horizontal banding that only showed up in my black and white film. I wasn’t sure if this was a Pakon issue or a development issue, but upon further investigation, it turns out I have been scratching my film pretty bad while squeegeeing it prior to hanging it to dry. I suppose the color film appears safe from these scratches due to the Digital Ice technology in the Pakon, but shows up on the monochrome film because you can’t use the infrared-based feature with black and white film, this leaving more imperfections than the C41 color film. Needless to say, I decided to pony up and buy a bottle of Photo-Flo so I do not have to risk severely scratching my film anymore.