Compare: Hasselblad, Rollei SL66, Rolleiflex?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jordanstarr, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I'm know I'm seeking an objective answer to a subjective question here, but I'm wondering if anyone has shot with all three of these and what their thoughts are on how they compare in different fields (sharpness, tones, durability, functionality, etc.).
    It figures that as I finally complete my Hasselblad system, I'm looking into Rollei and Rolleiflex systems. I know the only real way to do this is to borrow or buy them, but considering I live in the most Northern metropolis in Canada, it's unlikely that there's people up here that have that equipment to trade for a couple weeks and I don't have thousands of dollars for experiments.
    Any advice? Is there a good site even that compares and shows examples of different lenses and films? I know photosig.com has some, but no one there shoots film anymore, so the examples are never updated.


    I know there will be lots of comments on this one, so thanks in advance....Jordan.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm not as convinced as you are that there is really something to discuss here. Both Zeiss and Schneider optics in cameras of this class are superb. You can look for yourself to find MTF data, etc. but you'll probably not be able to find any significant differences. Same with sample pictures... probalby won't really tell you much. A lot depends on how the camera was used (tripod, etc, etc). There are many variable that will make visual comparison difficult or impossible. It might be better for you to compare 'ergonomics', cost, and availability. On those criteria, I'd say 'Hasselblad'.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If your about to complete your Hasselblad system what do you want to achieve by comparing to Rollei's/Rolleiflexes, the optics are all equally as good, any minor differences not really worth bothering about.

    Do you want to find the Hasselblad inadequate :D

    Ian
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    Jordan,
    As I have just purchased a Hasselblad 905 SWC, I am still curious about a Rollei.

    But I honestly feel that the Hasselblad system is the best medium format set up there is for just about every kind of photography.

    If you are looking to get down to bare minimum and just use one lens, one back kind of thing, get a 60mm for the Hasselblad and you will be very happy.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... and as counterpoint to David... My most frequent one-lens-one-back solution is A-12 and 150mm on a 501CM. Different strokes, I guess!
     
  6. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    All the names at the table are top quality optically speaking, they share the same optical manufacturer and the rollei add Schneider Kreuznach to the game.

    As far as I´m concerned, the SL66 is far superior to the Hasselblad in close range, but the swedish system is lighter than the SL series.

    Rolleiflexes are wonderful cameras, but of fixed optics, therefore, lose to the flexibility of the interchangeable V system and SL one. On the other hand, it's much lighter and portable.

    If you wish metering, the Hasselblad has more options in their line-up, the SL66 had one low run produced model I think, but quite difficult to find nowadays and with an amazing price tag on it.

    Just some examples of how the names you mentioned, can be superior or inferior to each other, depending on what you favor to suit your needs.




    Good luck




    André
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2008
  7. aparat

    aparat Member

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  8. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I don't have Hasselblad, so I will speak to the SL66 and Rollei. The SL66 is great on a tripod, the 80mm Planar is more than sharp enough, the view screen is a pleasure, I use the front tilt feature regularly, and closeup work with the one lens is a breeze. My tlr is a Rollei with Tessar 3.5, and gives a sharp, but more old-time look to the photos than the Planar. With the tlr, I can load up a roll of HP5+ and shoot handheld on a hike with a rig that is lighter than my Canon F1. The tlr also works well on the tripod. So for me, these two cameras serve different purposes, and I enjoy them both.
     
  9. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Rollei SL66 negatives are bigger then Hasselblad's, 5,8 square cm versus 5,5 square cm .....

    JJ
     
  10. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    With your setup nearly complete I wouldn't change now. There's just not enough differences in the capabilities of the systems (without counting metering or the AF Rollie) to spend the money. I've shot two of three. Personally I think the SLR Rollei is a better machine except for that dang noisy motor drive unless you really need it. I preferred my Hassy in that respect. The Rollie GG is bigger and better and the incorporated metering great. The Hasselblad body and lens gave me too much forward weight in the hand whereas the Rollei sat more upright. I also liked the incorporated dark slide with the Rollie. Overall getting used Rollei stuff, if you go that way, sometimes isn't too easy, or cheap. At least with Hasselblad you can rent easily and there's plenty online to buy.
     
  11. TimVermont

    TimVermont Subscriber

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    If you have a need for speed, the modern 6008AF Rollei will win hands down, and the auto focus works as focus confirmation with all of the older lenses, which can be a great help in certain situations. The Schneider 90, 180 & 300 and the Zeiss 60 are all extraordinary. The Rollei lenses also have a clear future path to that D thing we don't talk about.
     
  12. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Jordan,
    I´m really fascinated by Rollei and especially the SL66,
    but I can only agree with the ones posted previous that if you call a nearly
    complete Hasselblad outfit your own, it would not make much sense to switch.
    Optics for the SL66 and Hasselblad are COMPLETELY identical (the only exception
    are the 50/4 Distagon to which FLE was added in the 80s and the 40/4 Distagon
    which was redesigned some two or three years ago. The FLE version of this
    has already been available for the SL in the 80s). The T* coating is COMPLETELY
    identical to the Rollei HFT, they just named it different in cause of legal issues.
    To make complex things short:
    SL66 is good for macro/landscape.
    Hasselblad is more suitable for flash photography.
    Rollei 600* is fast, modern and all electronic but depends on batteries.
    All of them are great cameras to use and capable of producing high quality pictures.
    My only advice would be to add a Rolleiflex TRL to your Hasselblad outfit,
    because they are small and lightweight. Older models are mechanical marvels,
    newer ones offer multicoating and built in lightmeters.

    best regards, Benjamin
     
  13. milosz

    milosz Member

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    Hasselblad (and possibly Rollei SL66, which I know only by reputation) and Rolleiflex TLR are totally different cameras when it comes to pretty much anything apart from picture quality…These are so different in nearly every way….get your hands on a Rolleiflex TLR and you will immediately see what I mean…
     
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  15. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I think all of us photographers have a phobia that once we have a "complete" system that meets our needs, we retreat into some kind of psychological state that negates this satisfaction and we start looking for "the next big thing" and get scared that we'll be stagnant with one system forever.

    Sounds like relationship crisis.
     
  16. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Speak for yourself, mate!:surprised:




    André
     
  17. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    If you'd like some hand-on exposure to the SL66 and the SL66E contact me in Lethbridge. morryk@telus.net
     
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I agree!
     
  19. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I think you need a thousand rolls of film and some time to yourself, not another system and I hope I don't offend you by saying this.
     
  20. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    Perhaps when comparing quality systems the questions should be 1) does the system have what I need and 2) does it feel comfortable to use. You are asking about systems comparable in quality so IMHO these questions may be what you are really needing to think about. I went through 3 or 4 large format cameras (all well used) before I found one that both fit what I wanted to do and felt good to operate. My final choice was not any more expensive than one I did not like but in better condition and somewhat more movements. I was lucky in that I got to try out a Hasselblad system before spending any money on one and found I really did like using it and am almost at what I think of as a complete system(one more lens and a step up ring). I knew that I loved using it but had also used a Mamiya 645 years ago and have had a Rolleichord for three decades. It could also be that MF is not for you or that the 'blad is not right for you but I would not worry about it not being of sufficient quality as decades of pros using it would indicate otherwise. Perhaps a trip to the south to take Morry up on his offer would answer your question.

    If you bought all your equipment used and paid reasonable prices you would not lose that much money re-selling your system and getting a new one but then there is the shipping and time and money spent on learning and testing the new stuff.
     
  21. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I find the Rollies very difficult to use hand held. With the focusing knob on the side I find that I always have to switch hands to wind the film.

    I hold my Hasselblad in my left hand with my finger on the shutter release, focus and wind the film with my right hand. I can look through the magnifier in the hood and shoot an entire roll without having to take my eye off of it.

    I do, however, miss the swings and tilts that you get with the SL66. A Hasselblad arcbody is out-of-the-question expensive so for serious work where I'll need to correct perspective distortion I use a view camera.

    As far as the optics are concerned, I don't think that there's a particle of difference in quality between any of the 3 cameras.
     
  22. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Not me. My Hasselblad is as much a necessary accoutrement as my watch or my wedding ring and feels just as much a part of me. For anything other than view camera work, it's the only camera I ever care to use. I'll only consider the "next big thing" when I can longer buy film for the 'Blad.
     
  23. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    None taken. If this wasn't my thread I might say the same thing. I think it's just a bug I got seeing a lot of good photos from people using rolleiflexes and most recently the SL66, so it got me thinking.

    At the end of day, it really just comes down to being able to use your equipment well and finding what works for you. I think right now I'm just doing a lot of experimenting and I'm not really sure where I'm at, hense my ambivalence.
     
  24. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Contact with german photo magazines , they test , compare everything to everything. Photo tecnic or photo technic magazine , they sell old issues and I am sure they did what you are after.
    I read M6 , Hassy Planar 80 and Mamiya test. Zeiss was sharpest but mamiya was best for the colors !
    This is very interesting. They test tens of different films in one time.
    Fuji is excellent and their 6x17 camera is great.
    I dont know photograph is your hobby or business but I have to say Schneider is totally different design.
    May be you buy a cooke xv with a view camera and forget everything .
    If you want to change something without risking your business , I advise you to start alternative photography.
    Trust german magazines.
    If you have very less money , buy a rolleicord with schneider and compare with your zeiss.
     
  25. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I think it is an interesting hobby to test out different cameras. It might be compared to trying different mediums of art. Doing some ceramics and some oil painting and some music and some collage and some photography. So? try different cameras then sell them on ebay.
    Dennis
     
  26. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I am one of those that has all tree..

    used them all.

    Rolleiflex SL66 (and the Rolleiflex SL E)is by far my favourite MF camera. it is a little heavier than Hasselblad, but you then don't have to carry all kinds of extra gear (extension rings and so on)...

    Rolleiflex TLR is a fine camera, and as said so many times before, good for traveling.

    Hasselblad makes my girlfriend look sexy..... (which is a fine thing..):wink: