Bessa L

The body came in a chrome finish. It’s just silver-painted plastic, though the feel isn’t as bad as some reviews make it to be. I expected it to be poorly finished, but I’m pleasantly surprised.

What bothers me more is the shutter lock when the advance lever is not out. I like being able to release the shutter at any moment. Some argue that the shutter lock is good for preventing misfirings, or wasting batteries when the shutter release is accidentally pressed in the bag. I’ve never had a problem with the first, and I don’t put batteries in the Bessa as I prefer to use a handheld meter.

Apart from that, it’s a decent camera. The film advance is smooth, the shutter is average, sounds about the same as my Bessa R2.

While the jury is still out on the quality of the results from the lens, I can say that the handling is very nice, with the click-stopped focusing making it quick and easy for street photography.

The viewfinder is so-so; while it’s very bright and clear, I can’t see the framelines clearly with my glasses on as they are right at the edge.

Oh, and with the viewfinder mounted on the camera, rewinding is a little tricky as the viewfinder gets in the way. Perhaps I just have large fingers.