Autocord vs rolleiflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by icono, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. icono

    icono Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukrain
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    hello!
    i'm the happy owner of minolta autocord, it's really great, i love it for it's sharpness, bokeh, it's ergonomics, it's everything (except for, maybe, it's fragility, or, rather, delicacy). here's some photos done with minolta http://www.flickr.com/photos/icono/sets/72157622630702399/

    Although i like experimenting and "finding". and i'd also like to try legendary rolleiflex. i'm thinking about 3,5E or F.
    but as it's quite costly and quite rare, i want to understand the real advantages i could get using it.
    For example i know it's reliable in terms of.. "hardware")) but what concerns optics - are there noticable differences, and, mainly, advantages?

    maybe there are some forum members who have both autocord and one of these rolleiflexes and could just give me some comparison and opinion?
     
  2. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

    Messages:
    571
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't own an autocord but I would advice to also look at the Rolleicord if money is an issue.
    They are the same build quality as the Flex. Also much cheaper. The Cord does not have Planar or Xentotar lenses so wide open I suppose they are not as good.

    r
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just got a Rollei and I can see why it has become such a popular machine. It is amazing.......
     
  4. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Location:
    Oceania
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Well my Autocord is just as solid as my kiev. I think the focus sweep issue is overstated by careless people.
    About a 1/3 of a stop is one advantage, and if you carry both loaded you got 24 exposures . can`t think of any others.
    regards
    CW.
     
  5. lilserenity

    lilserenity Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    All I can say is having used a fair few TLRs and sold them all, including a Rolleicord, I was never disappointed with the build and quality of the Rolleis. The reason I stuck with the Autocord was its focusing lever, never caused me a problem and I find it so much easier to use than the knobs on other TLRs.

    YMMV however.

    That for me is the Autocord's sole feature that keeps me with it, and it's a good job the Rokkor lens is bitingly sharp and renders just beautifully.
     
  6. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

    Messages:
    1,934
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A lot of people would consider that a reason not to get a autocord. :smile:

    Mike
     
  7. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I liked my Autocord. Compact and light. Decent lens. The focus lever was wonderfully convenient. And constantly needed repair. I must add, I bought the camera well-used for 35 bucks.

    I never had a speck of trouble with any Rollei, 'flex or 'cord. I was told, many years ago, that the very best bang for the buck in a TLR was a clean Rolleicord III or later.
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
     
  9. icono

    icono Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukrain
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    what he probably meant was that his Minolta is as durable and "unkillable" as Kiev (which really is), not speaking of it's optics or shooting quality.

    thanks for your words. i'm only a newbie)
     
  10. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wouldnt call the Rollei's "rare," but they are costly. On the other hand, just like Leica, you can buy a Rollei, use it for years and usually resell it for the same price you bought it for - so from that perspective, they are cheap...

    See here for my Rolleiflex Price & Information Guide

    http://antiquecameras.net/rolleiflex.html

    Dan
     
  11. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

    Messages:
    584
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Northeast U.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Posted wirelessly..

    It seems to me that clean 3.5 and 2.8F's have even appreciated in value over the last few years, while a lot of other MF gear hasn't.
    Rolleis are certainly great, but if you're happy with your current TLR why not broaden your knowledge with a different format or style of shooting (e.g. Large format or an MF rangefinder or slr). Shooting different systems has always been very rewarding to me (albeit frustrating while you're on the learning curve). Best of luck either way.
     
  12. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto ON
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "but what concerns optics - are there noticable differences, and, mainly, advantages?"

    Icono,

    Not an Autocord, but I have a Yashicamat- and a Rollei 3.5F. I find that they are both excellent and deliver great image quality. Autocord are known for good lenses. The Rollei is special though. Corvettes and Porsches - two very fast cars that feel very different.

    Your photos are beautiful.

    Jeff
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,120
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can't see anything wrong with the shots that the O.P has taken with his Autocord that that could be improved by shooting them with a Rollie at several times the cost, If it was my camera and I wanted to spend some money, I would have the Minolta given a complete service and just enjoy it.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have 2 Rolleis, a 2.8C and a 3.5F, two Autocords (one with the selenium meter), and an Ikoflex. The Yashicas have long since died and gone away. While I consider the 3.5F as the ultimate picture making machine, I would have to say that a good Autocord is the most undervalued camera I know of and I have never even thought about getting rid of mine. The ergonomics are great and the lens is as good a Tessar as you can get which means it is a very good lens. The Planar may be sharper at the corners and at wider apertures but the Tessar produces a lovely image, which is why I also like to play with the Ikoflex. If you really want to try a Rollei, be sure to get one with Xenotar or Planar so that you have a meaningful difference, but, be warned that you may actually like the Autocord's signature better.
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I purchased a Minolta Autocord new in the 50's (I was about 11 and my uncle loaned be the money) and within a few years, the shutter crapped out. The estimate of repair was more than the value of the camera so I traded it in on something else.

    I found that happen with most low price copies over the years. When I purchased my first Nikon SLR in the seventies, things changed for the better. Still have the Nikon Nikormat EL, still works.

    I would prefer a used high end camera, Rollieflex, Leica, Nikon, and plan on getting a CLA if needed. These cameras are made better and more likely to last longer.

    That said, if your Autocord is working, would not worry about it. The image quality was never a problem. That was mostly true with most of the lower price camera also. The longevity and consistency is what was gained.

    JMHO
     
  17. AmsterdamMartin

    AmsterdamMartin Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Amsterdam, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My only TLR is a rolleiflex-T.
    When I look at your photo's I am amazed by the high quality and talent.
    I guess Rolleiflex is a better camera but for you, you will not notice the difference.
    Perhaps it is time for you to try something totally different, like a graflex.
    If you get a Hasselblad, you WILL notice the difference with your Minolta TLR.
     
  18. icono

    icono Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    Kyiv, Ukrain
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    All right, thanks you everyone. Again, the reason for wanting (not buying yet)) the rolleiflex is just to search and eventually find out what is really "mine", you know..
    oh, yes, i had this focusing lever issue and i got it fixed about half-year ago, but it seems to be loosing again... or it's just wasn't CLA'd well, i don't know..

    so i think if i find a rolleiflex bargain - i'll get it. if not - i'll wait for a bargain))
    maybe you could advise on some stores or any place where already CLA'd film cameras are sold (except ebay and keh)?

    p.s. btw - i do have a hasselblad, i've only tried a couple of films, and i did notice the difference. and i must say that so far this difference is not in favour of hasselblad. yet. but winter for me - is not the best time of the year to shoot, so i hope to disclose H's power in a couple of months)
     
  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,211
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Judging by the chicken and the stripped kitten and the pink flower, I would say that the Minolta must have a closer focus capability than the Rolleiflex. I am pretty certain to do those pictures with a Rollei you will need to put on the closeup Rolleinar.
    Dennis
     
  20. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    All I can say is WOW!!! I went out today with the Rollei for the first time and it is at the top of my favorite camera list. It was such a pleasure to shoot with! Now to develop the film and see just how good the lenses really are.....
     
  21. AmsterdamMartin

    AmsterdamMartin Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Amsterdam, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To me CLA or not is not important, the question is CLA by whom. I mean a name and surname.
    Problem is that the people who know what they are doing on these oldies, are getting fewer and fewer.
    In my country I know 1 professional who is allowed to touch my old cameras. He keeps records of his work (so potential buyers can verify a CLA claim), and gives you personal guarantee for 5-10 years (Rollei, Hass, Leica).
    Even in professional shops I found "CLA'd" equipment, in which I quickly found some problems (and during real CLA it turned out that wrong lubricants were used etc.)
    Still more reason to get a bigger bargain on it and bring it to the right person afterwards.
     
  22. tac

    tac Member

    Messages:
    246
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Appalachia
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Beautiful photographs
     
  23. AdrianW

    AdrianW Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have to agree with outwest's response. My 2.8F Rollei TLR is one of the most amazing cameras I own both in terms of engineering, build quality and photo results. But for one sixth the price of it my Autocord III may be the best bargain. The Autocord's focusing screen is darker and there isn't the automatic parallax that the Rollei has, but the camera is lighter and the Rokkor lens is incredible.

    The achilles' heel of Autocords seems to be the fragility of the focusing lever... forcing it after the lubricants have dried up can cause it to snap off. Be sure to have a proper CLA done every few years and keep that gem alive!
     
  24. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I still have the Autocord which I must have bought at least 25 years ago. It replaced a Yashicamat 124G. The Yashinon lens on the Yashica was very sharp but the camera was not built very well. I got tired of fixing it. Both cameras take 120 and 220 film so that wasn't an issue. The lens on the Autocord wasn't any better than the Yashinon but the rest of the camera was much better made. Most of the medium format shooting I do now is wth SLRs. If I were to buy another TLR I think I would look for a anything from a late model Rolleicord IV to a late Vb.
     
  25. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    While we're on focus levers: the most convenient I ever used was a Richo Diacord TLR. It had some kind of arrangement were there was a focus lever on both sides the taking lens. Cradling the camera in both hands, the fingers on each hand fell naturally on the focus levers, which moved up and down.
     
  26. mablo

    mablo Member

    Messages:
    389
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Anscojohn, you propably mean this one, Diacord L. It is a gem of a camera. Lens is in the same league with Autocord, it has a nicely working light meter and those handy focus levers are just great to use. It takes Bay-1 accessories.
     

    Attached Files: