What about the new Voigtländer Bessa L, R, R2 & T?

The L and R are LTM based camera bodies built by Cosina in Japan. The cheaper Bessa L lacks any kind of built-in rangefinder, while the newer Bessa R does have a rangefinder. At a street price of only $US 250, the 'L' is particularly desireable, even if it does lack the built quality and sheer durability of the venerable Leica IIIs.

Because they have a standard LTM lens mount, the Bessa's work with either older LTM leica lenses or the new range of LTM lenses Cosina have released. Of special interest are the aspherics: the Heliar 15mm Asph, Ultron 35mm ƒ1.7 Asph and Nokton 50mm ƒ1.5 Asph.

Cosina have also released a range of accessory viewfinders and a M-Bayonet lens-mount adapter to help you mount the new Cosina lenses on your Leica M rangefinder. They also have a modern clip-on silicon-diode based lightmeter called the VC Meter which could give the Leica MR-4 lightmeters a run for their money!

The following www sites (in Japanese) are good starting points for finding out more:

cosina.co.jp/bessa-r/7.html
cosina.co.jp/l-lenses/
cosina.co.jp/vc-meter/
cosina.co.jp/angle/index.html

Whereas Stephen Gandy has set up the following online store to sell Voigtländer Bessa L & R bodies, lenses and accessories at cameraquest.com/inventor.htm.

In Feb 2002, Cosina announced the upgrade to the LTM Bessa R - the all metal, Leica M-mount Bessa R2. See the detailed remarks elsehwere in this FAQ.

The Bessa R2 supercedes the Bessa T released March 2001, which also had an M Leica bayonet lens mount and built-in rangefinder, but no viewfinder. See the remarks I have about this elsewhere…