Which Bessa Rangefinder Doesn’t Require Batteries? – All You Need to Know

Are you looking for Bessa Rangefinder that doesn’t use batteries?

Keep reading.

Which Bessa Rangefinder Doesn’t Require Batteries?

Bessa R2M Rangefinder doesn’t require batteries because of its mechanical shutter release.

Bessa Rangefinders That Require Batteries

Voigtlander Bessa R2a

Voigtländer Bessas are a far better value for money than Leica cameras. They may not be metal, bone stock, and pure like Leicas but they hold their own as being one of the most reliable Leica alternatives.


Let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of the camera.

M Mount Rangefinder

Your camera’s lens determines its overall picture quality. So if you want to get the best results from your camera, you need to invest in high-quality lenses.

You could use the money you saved by not buying an expensive camera to buy a nicer M-mount lens opening the door for a really cool photography setup.

You can choose from three different frame lines for the R2a: 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 90

Built-in Meter

It’s crazy having a built-in meter for an M-mount camera.

Aperture Priority

Besides having an ISO range from 100 to 6400, this DSLR also offers a manual exposure mode which allows the photographer to manually set the shutter speed and aperture.

It’s not cheap but if you want a rangefinder camera with some automated features then the Voigtlander Bessa R2a is one of the best options out there.

Top 1/2000 Shutter Speed

It has a fast top shutter time of 1/2000th, making it one of the fastest shutter times in a rangefinder.

If you’re shooting at f/2.8, then this could be of great benefit for people who want to shoot their lenses wide open without using an ND (neutral density) filter.

Bright Viewfinder

This camera has an unusually bright viewfinder.

It’s important to note that the Finder has a 7x magnification so if you shoot 35mm film you won’t have any trouble framing because the frame line covers the viewfinders nicely.

If you’re a new rangefinder user or an experienced one, the viewfinder won’t disappoint.

Battery Dependent

To operate the camera’s light meter and auto exposure (AE) modes, a battery is required.

It takes two LR44 batteries but it also powers the meter and AE modes. Unfortunately, it also powers the shutters.

35mm Frame lines

If you’re shooting in 35mm format, you might notice that there aren’t any bottom frames. Instead, you get two little hash marks at the bottom and then you fill in the rest yourself.

It may be difficult for someone who wants to compose or at least check out what will be the cut-off line on the bottom side of a picture.


If you want to buy a new body, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000. However, if you wait for a really good deal, you might be able to get one for less than $600.

Cosina Voigtlander Bessa T

The Bessa T35mm film cameras were made by Cosina Voigtländer of Japan from around 2001–2004.

This is a 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) digital compact system with an interchangeable Leica M lens mount. It lets you shoot with all your awesome Leica M lenses at a fraction of the price of saying the now very famous Leica M6.


  • A built-in rangefinder with +/- 2 diopters adjustment
  • There’s no built-in viewfinder so you need to attach an external one.
  • A built-in light meter (a display on the back of the camera)
  • Bessa T lightmeter batteries – 2x LR44/SR44
  • Minimum focusing distance – 0.9 meters
  • Shutter Speed – 1/2000
  • Voigtlander Bessa T weight – 385g


It seems that using the Bessa T is somewhat similar to the Leica IIIA design with it being a 2-step process.

The first step, using the rangefinder to focus

Step two, move the focus point of your camera from the rangefinder to its viewfinder to take your photo.

Negatives of Bessa T


Voigtländer Bessamatcameras don’t have a viewfinders. Instead of having a combination of viewfinders/rangefinders like a Leica M camera they only have built-in rangefinders.

You can attach an external optical viewfinder to your camera using a hot shoe mount. Many manufacturers make these viewfinders, including Leica, Canon, Zeis, and Nikon.

Flash Photography

A downside of the Voigtländer Bessamatic camera design is that you cannot mount your flash unit in the hot shoe.

The hot shoe is currently occupied by the view­finder, so you must use it for composing your photos.

If you’re using a computer-synced camera, you can connect a cable between the camera’s USB port and the computer’s USB port. However, if you’re using wireless flashes, I recommend using wireless trigger systems instead.

Viewfinder Parallax Error

With most basic Hotshoe viewfinder systems, if you use a lens that has a focal length greater than 50mm, then focusing closer than infinity (as for portrait shots) will result in an inaccurate composition.

The Voigtlander Bessa L

For the uninitiate, the Voigtlander Bessa L is a manually operated, through-the-lens metering, Leica thread mount, single lens reflex (SLR) digital compact system.

It was in actuality Cosina Voigtlanders’ first SLR digital compact system and was designed to be utilized with a series of ultra-wide angle lenses Voigtlanders had available at the time of its launch.

The Bessa L was a very basic, inexpensive bike that felt somewhat cheap in its construction. It was certainly not as good as the later R2a models.

That being stated, although inexpensive, it doesn’t necessarily seem poorly built. Lightweight but functional is probably the most appropriate way to describe it. It has a very lightweight feel too.

The Light Meter

The camera includes a light sensor that reads the ambient light level using reflected light from the camera’s vertical metal blade shutters.

With the metering mode set to Center Weighted Metering, the metering system measures light from the center of the frame.

For taking photos, this is useful because it takes less of a bright sky into account and meters more from the floor. There is a diagram illustrating this on the Nikon D3S user manual page for Metering Mode.

Wide Angle Photography

As mentioned, the Voigtländer Bessamatic L is a wide-angle lens.

With its early threaded lens mount, it makes for a really small, lightweight wide-angle camera that is very capable of taking excellent photos.

Other Features

There really is very little else to say about Bessa L.

  • It has a hinged film door with a small viewing hole to look at the film inside.
  • Shutter speeds also range from 1/1000 to 1/2000.
  • It also has a nifty little shutter lock on the lens cap that prevents you from accidentally taking pictures.
which bessa rangefinder doesnt require batteries

Which Bessa Rangefinder Doesnt Require Batteries?


The Bessa rangefinder cameras are a good option for people who don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands on a new camera or a high-end zoom.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.



  • Sarah Wilson

    Sarah is a content consultant at The Outdoor Stores where she is ready to guide you through the features of a good firearm for your outdoor activities and hunting hobbies. Her expert knowledge and intellectual skills have helped The Outdoor Stores greatly.

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