Sad news in the world of film photography: on Monday, the Japanese camera and lens company Cosina announced that it is discontinuing the Voigtlander Bessa 35mm rangefinder camera and a host of accessories and lenses for them. The Bessa R2M, Bessa R3M, and Bessa R4M are no more.
Due to declining sales figures, Cosina is pulling the entire Bessa lineup after discontinuing the R2A, R3A, and R4A about a year ago. Many retailers still have Bessa cameras in stock, so you can probably still pick on up pretty easily in the near future if you’d like to purchase a new one.
“For those unaware of it, the R4A/R4M cameras are truly unique wide-angle rangefinders, with built in framelines for 21mm lenses,” writes CameraQuest. “Even Leica never did that. Likewise the R3A/R3M cameras have lifesize 1:1 viewfinders. Again, Leica never did that.”
Here’s the full list of discontinued products that was announced this week:
SUPER WIDE-HELIAR 15mm F4.5 Asp II
Camera Case VC-5
VM Micro Four Thirds Adapter
F Micro Four Thirds Adapter
SC E-mount Adapter
15mm View Finder
21/25mm View Finder
21/25mm View Finder M Silver
28mm View Finder M Silver
28mm View Finder M Black
35mm View Finder M Silver
35mm View Finder M Black
40mm View Finder
Voigtländer is one of the oldest brand names in photography, as the original optical company was founded by Johann Christoph Voigtländer back in 1756. It became a renowned name in the industry over the centuries, but things started going downhill business-wise starting in the late 1900s.
After a series of sales in which the brand exchanged hands, Voigtländer was sold to Rollei. When Rollei itself collapsed in 1982, the brand ended up in the hands of a company called Ringfoto in 1997. Since 1999, Ringfoto has licensed the Voigtländer brand name to Cosina, which has been making and marketing Voigtländer gear.