For this, I am using Adorama.
1. Big sensors are good.
2. Film is as good as a big sensor…
3. Fixed lenses are good.
I’m comparing the two cameras I’m thinking of getting in the next year or so — I don’t NEED them. I need a Nikon battery charger (I lose these things all the time) but I’ve been shooting Black and white film in a Voighlander Bessa R with an old Summicron F3.5 35mm today… so this at present is just an exercise.
Now the best DSLR at the present is probably the Nikon D800. Using manual lenses you get something like this…
Nikon D800 Digital SLR Camera Body, $2,999.95
Nikon 85 F2 Ais Lens *52 USED $299.00
Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 $449.00
If you want a rangefinder with interchangeable lenses you will have to go for film. An M9 body is $6,995 @ Adorama (where I am doing my costings from). A M7 is $4,995, and an M4-P is the same price. A Zeiss Z-I however, is affordable. Again, looking at two lenses — there is no point getting a zoom, but an normal lens and a reasonable wide angle…
ZIess Ikon body 35 mm Rangefinder body $1,618.00
Ziess T-Planar 50mm lens $ 781.00
Ziess Ikon with 50mm f/2.0 planar lens $2,300.99
Voightlander 15 mm F/4.5 Hellar M mount $599.00
Voightlannder 15 mm viewfinder 209.00
Subtotal $ 3108
In short, you can get a moderate rangefinder kit for around the same price as a top line Nikon Kit. If I added the 28-300mm VR zoom (if you need zooms, getting a body with less pixelisation would make more sense) you need to add about a thouosand dollars, but on the other hand, the F/0.9 Nokton is a thousand and the faster and better Leica lenses start around that price and go up. Way up.
Now… I have a functional, cheap, screw lens Rangefinder system. Upgrading the SLR would be useful for scenery, action and potraits: but continuing with a cheap voightlander when travelling and taking street shots makes sense. I’m only carrying a few hundred, not a few thousand, dollars worth of kit.