I want a Rolleiflex; which one?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, May 22, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I want a Planar/Xenotar.

    From what I gather the difference between the Planar/Xenotar is irrelevant.

    My questions:
    1) Asides from the light meter, are there any functional differences between the E's (with removable hoods) and the F's?
    2) How is the balance of the 2.8? I shoot a lot of available light so this is one that I'm considering; however many people prefer the balance of the 3.5. Is the balance and weight enough to deter you from these cameras? Or is it mostly the price?
    3) Is there a difference between the 5- and 6- element variants?
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    the E does not have a removable hood, the F does -- all this means is that you can't use a prism finder if you want -- big whoop.

    the f uses a meter with a battery, the E uses a silenium meter -- likely not real accurate these days, but mine is, so ya never know.

    the 2.8 is a larger and heavier camera than the 3.5, but the balance of my 2.8 E is real good, it holds nicely.

    Functional differences? They both have shutter buttons and set shutter speed/lens aperature the same way, so far as I know. The m/x/v switch might be different, I dunno. Big whoop.

    as to 5 and 6 lens element variants -- no clue, I only take pictures with them, get spectacular images with the 2.8 E with a Planar or the 3.5 'Cord with a Xenotar -- I suspect the difference is like that between the planar and xenotar -- something you only see if you know in advance it should be there and you tell your brain to find one.

    Rollei didn't make any bad lenses, especially not on its later cameras. Buy less expensive with confidence. Only get an F if you really need to be able to brag you have an F -- an E is just a sweet but the Fs seem to have a cachet that adds an extra $500 or so to the price.
     
  3. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The difference between the Es 2&3 vs the F metering is only in the way the information is conveyed to you on the camera. Nothing to worry about.

    The 3.5s are a little bit lighter but it isn't really significant. The 3.5 is also a little bit wider view in 75mm vs the 2.8 80mm. To me that is more significant than the weight but most people find that difference insignificant as well. Maybe because I am so used to my 2.8 80mm perspective, I right away notice the difference with the 3.5 75mm.

    In the 3.5 they made an additional element for the early F models and there has been a lot of argument about what it was for but
    according to what I have researched it is merely to absorb some of the UV light and makes no difference in sharpness or contrast especially in black and white.

    Glad to see you want a Rolleiflex. A camera you will come to love and probably a good investment too.

    Dennis
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The F meter does not use a battery. That didn't come till the GX.
     
  5. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I have a 3.5F. It may be my imagination, but the Bay II filters for it seem to command higher prices than the Bay III, for the 2.8. They also seem harder to find. I know when I was buying my filters I often cursed the price I had to pay for the Bay II's. Someone with more knowledge could probably jump in, and say I was crazy...
     
  6. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    well, i stand corrected - and all the more reason not to buy an F.:whistling:
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    The condition is far more important than the difference in lenses or between an E and an F. Do not buy any with dented sides, bent backs or corner damage on the front plate. Almost any you buy will need a good CLA and perhaps more so take that into account. The F is nice but the E will take as good a photo. Also the E2 has an interchangeable hood though it is rarer. 3.5 vs 2.8 is not a huge difference but if you do not expect to shoot wide open nor need the extra stop just get a 3.5. I have numerous copies of both types and never worry about the weight or balance myself.

    Where are you located? Best would be to see and hold them and decide for yourself.
     
  8. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    amen to this -- i love my 2.8 e, it is an elegant machine, sort of like shooting with a Cadillac, but to be honest the 'cord Vb is a really good knock-around shooter and it's "just" a 3.5 -- the cords are actually lighter.

    amen to the comments about condition and having it serviced. Essex in new jersey just did a rollei for a friend and he says it came back lovely.
     
  9. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Condition. Condition. Condition.

    By the time you get to the 2.8C, Rollei had pretty well nailed the mechanics and design (well, the plastic bits on the C were a mistake). Meters, depth of field scales, EVS interlocks, interchangeable screens and finders- frosting of various flavors that don't affect the core camera.
     
  10. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    A 'Cord with a Xenotar?? Wow, quite the collector's item there. I thought 'Cords only came with Xenars (and a few hundred Tessars at the end of the run, I believe) :smile:
     
  11. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    Like a dagger to my heart. Have all good men forgotten the mighty Triotar?!

    J


     
  12. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    If balance (including light/quick/smooth controls) is the primary consideration, then it is worth looking at an Automat with a Tessar or Xenar. I have found that the shutter speed and f/stop wheels on my Automat have a lighter, smoother action than any E or F I have handled. Same for the crank and shutter release actions.

    I have never compared the weights on a scale, but the Automat seems more flickable on a subjective basis.

    Just two cents worth. But if you must have the Planar/Xenotar, then it is all moot.

    J

     
  13. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I'm located in Berkeley California, so if anyone has a set for me to look at, that'd be great.

    I actually have two Tessar lensed Rollei's: an MX-EVS and a 3.5T. I prefer the handling of MX-EVS but I tend to shoot with the 3.5T more... probably because it was my first Rollei? Well, I love them both but I want to try a Planar/Xenotar next.

    I don't care for a prism or light meter and would prefer to have no meter. The only accessories that I do care about is a lens cap, lens hood, and a Rolleinar I. I browsed ebay/keh.com and the price/availability for Bay II/III accessories seemed comparable and overpriced (as usual). The Bay III Rolleinar 1's; however, (wasn't paying attention to the 2's or 3's) were upwards to $200! But with Rolleinar's I kind of figured that they have larger price fluctuations. Not in a rush for Rolleinar's.

    So I guess any E or F will do for me. I guess I'll wait for a good one to show up. A 2.8, preferably, but I'm not sure if I'd pass up a nice 3.5 model.
     
  14. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I used to have a 3.5E, it's nice, but I find the meter coupling fiddly. If I were to buy again, I'd probably save some money and get one without a meter, it's probably not accurate anyway, almost certainly not good enough for slide film. The savings can be spent on a handheld meter, or a Voigtlander clip on meter, very small, and modern.
     
  15. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Whilst many will say that they get used to working with the laterally reversed image, I have never looked back since getting a prism. Some say that the resulting image is rather dark, but that's not my experience.

    Steve
     
  16. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I have a 3.5E and love it. I guess that everyone has their preferences in terms of camera ergonomics, and I don't personally find the meter or meter coupling a problem. Mine is accurate when compared to modern handheld meters [and digital gear]. I find the size of the 3.5E about perfect. I've wondered about 2.8s [of whatever variety] but never come across one at a price I can afford and in good condition.
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I live in Albany, CA right near you. I have three 2.8's and two 3.5's. If you're patient we can try to arrange a time and I'd be happy to let you see and handle a few. My schedule is really tight next few weeks though. None are for sale but if I nail a Rolleiwide I'm currently negotiating on I might cut loose one of them. Thing is most have Maxwell screens I put in and fairly recent CLAs so the price will be fairly premium.
     
  18. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I agree with Steve though most people identify using a TLR with the waist level finder. I was personally never able to use a Rollei much until I got a prism, and now it is my favorite camera. My prism along with a Maxwell screen seems nearly as bright as reality to the bare eye.
     
  19. peter_n

    peter_n Member

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    Is this just for the E? I use an E3 and it has a removable hood and no meter.

     
  20. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    As I understand it, there was a transition period when Rollei went from E to F. Not everyone was happy with losing the EV system of coupling fstops with shutter speeds and they concurrently produced the E2, E3 and F for a short while. the E2 and 3 had the new removable hood but where otherwise like the older E. the 2 came with a meter and the 3 came without. There weren't very many E2s or E3s made before they were discontinued.

    Dennis