Aahh.....! Which Rolleiflex 2.8F to buy?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Helinophoto, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Hi

    I am in the marked for a Rolleiflex and I am currently looking for a Rolleiflex model 2.8F incarnation.

    I see on the "Date my rollei" page that the "last" Rolleiflex 2.8F series started in 1969 ( http://www.rolleirepairs.com/models.htm ).

    What I don't quite understand is; How _long_ was this line produced, before being replaced? (was it replaced by the GX and FX?)
    While scanning eBay, I've yet to find a Rolleiflex from the 70's, 80's or 90's (what is the name of the models produced then?), I only find stuff from the 40's to late 60's.

    I am, off course, looking for a camera in good working and good cosmetic condition, but I am not looking for a piece to display in my living-room, I actually plan to shoot with the thing.
    Looks like a reasonable price to pay for a version from the 60's is around €1200-€1500 in Europe, depending on condition and accessories I suppose? (after comparing prices)

    So, I'm thinking that newer is always better, as long as the condition is good........or is it?

    I was planning to go for the Planar version, although I get from various discussions that xenotar may be just as sharp (or even sharper some say).

    I like the look of the Classic 2.8F, but why aren't there any Rolleiflex 2.8Fs' around for sale from the 70's, 80's and 90's ?
    - Did rolleiflex quit the whole thing between 1970 and 2000-something, when they came out with the GX version?

    Any Rollei-nerds around with some clarification on this? :smile:
     
  2. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    According to the Rolleiclub site: http://www.rolleiclub.com/cameras/tlr/info/A-F_tlr.shtml there were Fs (Model: K7F4) being produced through the 70s and 80s. There are also various special edition 2.8Fs from the 80s and later, GXs beginning in the 80s.

    If it was me I wouldn't worry about using a 60s one if it was in good condition. I have a 3.5E from the late 50s which I use regularly, and I can't fault the quality of the photographs (or the accuracy of the meter, for that matter).
     
  3. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Yes indeed, i bought an old 3.5 in Tokyo for $50 last month, viewing lens has loads of fungus, the body is very worn and not very nice to look at, viewfinder dim as heck. But the taking lens is clear and the shutter-mecanics still works well, with fair timings on slower shutters, body still light tight.

    - It's just too cheap to get fixed up, so I suppose this camera will be a display-piece mostly. :smile:

    The photos from the camera, though, are actually amazing (i think my 3.5 is from the early 50's). I'm very impressed and indeed with Rolleiflex as a whole, thats why I am looking for a "good one" and F2.8 F. ^^
    (I don't care so much for the newest GX/FX ones really)

    The only thing that was wrong with my 3.5, was faulty focus.

    I fixed that by opening up the front and screw-adjust the viewing lens, while correlating by viewing trough the taking lens on bulb exposure, using a Hasselblad focusing screen and a negative magnifier.

    After the adjustment, it was spot on and, as mentioned, very sharp. ^^
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2012
  4. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  5. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    The 2,8F was made from 1960-1981. During the 70s however, demand for Rollei TLRs declined and fewer cameras were made. Rollei also got into financial troubles during this era. From 1973 on the camera was only available with Xenotar lenses. (According to "The classic Rollei - a definitive guide"). It will be quite difficult to find a camera from the 70s, but this does not matter at all, except for collectors. I would rather buy based on condition than on production year. Rolleis dating from the 60s are perfectly fine, if well cared for.
     
  6. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    Hi
    If you're in Europe I would look to leicashop.com or maybe contact Jürgen Kuschnick (THE great rolleiflex repairman in europe)to see if he has any for sale to be sure to get a good one.
    on leicashop.com there doesn't seem to be any 2.8f's for sale at the moment, but there's this: https://www.leicashop.com/vintage/rolleiflex--p-3531.html

    Which seems to be a rolleiflex E2. So you can interchange the viewfinder and focussing screen as with the F.
     
  7. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    Oh and buy the way, it doesn't really matter if it's a planar or a xenotar. As long as the lens is in good condition, any of them will be more than adequate (and way more at that!)
     
  8. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    There's no reason to over-pay for an F, get and E, or E2 if you want interchangeable screens. And the condition overall is more important than if its a Xenotar or Planar (I've got 2 of each, trust me, it does not matter). And I second contacting Jurgen. He's a good guy. Worked on some stuff for me years ago when he was here in the states.
     
  9. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Long long ago I had a 3.5F with a Planar lens Absolutely brilliant and could not for the life of me think why anyone would go for the 2.8F. As said before even the meter was accurate too. It was stolen and although I wanted another The insurance they offered me would not even come close to the price they had escalated to in the meantime.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Yes, excellent idea. Get an E
     
  11. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    IIIIh....!

    No, don't say E's and such.....aargh, now I gotto start my thinking all over again! :smile:

    Thanks for great tips and links ^^
     
  12. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    The D is pretty uncommon but if you found one in good shape no reason not to grab it. The E's are extremely similar to the F just slightly older and the E2 and E3 have interchangeable screens, as mentioned.

    It's the C that has some plastic parts and differing (but minor) controls but certainly not to be scoffed at, again if in good condition. My 2.8C Xenotar is by far my most clean and best-conditioned Rolleiflex I own. My 3.5E3 Xenotar the "roughest" but a joy to use. And my 2.8E Planar (snagged in a Beijing alley antique shop for $150 back in 1999, it's been through heck) has minor fine scratches on the shooting lens but the slightly more moderate contrast as a result makes it my fav of all for portraits, and with a hood and not shooting into the sun is a match in every way to any of the others. All shoot great images. There's little research to be done other than paying the right price (see link above) and finding one in good condition. For some reason the F's are more in demand and go for more yet the others fantastic shooters.
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The Rolleiflex production fell of dramatically in the late 60s as news photographers all went to 35mm as well as wedding photographers. Studio photographers using 120 would generally use hasselblad. There was still some production though. If you see the serial number that starts with 295...... it is from the mid to late 70s even to the very early 1980s. At that point Rollei started making a lot of collector cameras and especially expensive cameras... the Platin and the Aurum and GXs commemorating years as well as GXs intended for use. In the early 2000s or maybe very late 1990s they started making the FX very expensive but intended for the most part to be used. The Asian market became the top market for Rolleis and is to this day with the new FX-N, FT and FW which are all still available new. I am not sure if the recently introduced FX-N means that the previous FX is ended. Certainly the new FX is still available from dealers.
    If you want to buy a Rollei and you don't care about a removable finder and using a prism then condition is the issue more than model. The lenses remain the same until the HFT coating on the Platin and the GX/FX. The meter is drastically improved starting with the GX but it is electronic and needs a battery. Otherwise the older F every bit the camera and arguably more than the FX since the FX has no self timer and no locking pc connector.
    So if all you care about is the single coated lens and waist level finder then you might as well save yourself some money and get an E or even older. Condition is everything in that regard.
     
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  15. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Alright, this became a little difficult, I did look around a little more to see what was out there concerning the E version.
    I did see some E's out there (and even an overpriced F from the 70's in Hong-Kong), but they were almost at the same price-level as the F's I've seen (especially in good condition), and then I stumbled over this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/17082654494...l?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=170826544940&_rdc=1

    £ 1181 or €1475 or $1886, depending on what you use.

    And I bought that. I like the price/condition combination, but I also like the fact that it comes with a few accessories as well, most other stuff I've seen on-line is just the camera, nothing else. (not even straps or covers).

    Hopefully the camera is in as good a shape as the seller claims, the scuff-mark on the meter and a few marks on the metal edges on the back is ok by me, as long as everything works nicely, glass is clean and the body over-all is in nice condition. (I'm buying the camera to be used, as previously mentioned, if it was super-mint, I would just get all anal about using it).

    The seller is also reputable, so it _should be_ pretty safe and as-is and no fuss, lets hope. :smile:

    I like the idea of having the option for f2.8 if I need it, also, the lens should be a bit sharper and more contrasty at f3.5 than a native f3.5 rollei, wide open at f3.5.

    (my gut also wanted the 2.8F the most, hard to explain, my brain does understand that the E's are probably just as good, but still....you know how it can be :smile: ).

    Looking forward to try it out, that's for sure!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2012
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Beautiful! Well done. Good that you got the lens shade and cap as well.
    That is an early version 2.8F with the half moon strap connector and real leather covering rather than the later leatherette.
    It looks like it was hardly used at all. If it needs new lube and adjustment it is definitely worth it. Make it like a new camera.
    Congratulations.
    The only problem is that now you don't get to spend months pouring over ebay ads to find the cheapest deal.

    Dennis
     
  17. RobertoMiglioli

    RobertoMiglioli Member

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    I was going to give my thoughts untill I read you already purchased a Rolleiflex. Congratulations. Eager to see some pictures soon.
     
  18. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    (Update)

    Finally, after four seasons and two decades in the customs department, I received my camera.

    Indeed, a very nice specimen, looks very clean and esthetically very nice.

    However, it seems like the camera has been sitting around for a while, so I need to send it for a CLA (the film-feeder feeling mechanism isn't triggering on Acros or Tri-X, only Fomapan), this isn't really unexpected at all so......next step is to try and find a service-person with a pretty quick turnaround. Harry Flenoor has a 11 week turnaround and although he is probably _the guy_, I'm currently checking out a few faster alternatives. (nothing wrong with the camera really, just need a cleaning up AFAIK).

    Anyway, the ever-ready case, filters and the lens shade was all in very very nice condition as well, the original diffuser for the light meter was included under the flap in the ever-ready case and I also have straps both for the case and if I want to use the camera without the case, so I feel that I have a really nice package here. Looks like the previous owner took really good care of his camera =)
     
  19. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Is everything else working? Have you been able to shoot and develop any film? A quick, temporary fix for the film trigger that sometimes works: put a layer of tape around the upper feeler roller. This increases its 'sensitivity' and can make it trip for thinner emulsions. No answer in the long run but it will let you test out the rest of the camera if it works.
     
  20. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    You just obtained yourself an absolute masterpiece that can last you a lifetime. Do not skimp on service or let slight impatience rule you. Send it to Harry and have it fully looked over and everything fixed, lubricated and adjusted by the absolute best. Take it from me: someone who for years used others due to impatience and to save a few bucks only to send most of my Rolleiflexes to Harry in the end when those same cameras developed issues or problems not found or simply not done well by others. Wish I'd just done that in the first place. Would have saved a lot of time, frustration and money.
     
  21. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Forgot you're in Europe. If Jurgen can be found use him.
     
  22. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Unfortunately Jürgen don't service cameras outside the EU (Norway is in Europe, but we are not a EU member), but I sent a mail to Mr. Mickleboro in the UK to see if he is willing (I've red some great reviews on him as well).

    Harry could do the job, so I do have the option to send the camera to the US. :smile:




    Yep, I did try the tape trick on Saturday (actually, i just put a piece of extra tape over the original tape on the film) and the camera operation, shutter, transport, frame spacing, focus etc is all golden :smile:
     
  23. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    Jurgen's site says he does service on a worldwide basis. If B. Mickleboro doesn't work out I recommend Jurgen based on the service he did for me on my '37.
    Good luck.
     
  24. freecom2

    freecom2 Member

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    Brian is recommended - his turnaround was quick, he was extremely helpful and informative over the phone and most all did a quality job on my 3.5F.
     
  25. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Well, I sent him a mail and explained everything, but he was very clear that if I was not within the EU, he could unfortunately not help me. (complicated paper work and so on).

    He explained: "Since I am retired and not active in the repair shop anymore I have to decline the repair unless you can send it from within the E.U."
     
  26. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Update:

    I got the camera back from Mr. Mickelboro (he was really quick), he did some adjustments for me and serviced the camera, good man.

    Unfortunately, the winter is hellish over here now, so I've not been able to go outside to do some real photography with the camera (only test-shots so far).
    - Choosing between shooting in -15 degrees celsius with clear skies or -2.5 degrees and heavy now isn't really an option for me, I'll wait for the spring :smile:

    Anyway, I made a blog entry about the camera here if anyone is interested:
    http://helino-photo.blogspot.no/2013/01/rolling-with-rolleiflex.html

    Looking forward to some practical shooting with the camera asap \o/