Love my Flex; Need a longer lens...which to choose? Hasselblad or Rolleiflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, May 16, 2013.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    So far I shoot primarily with my Rolleiflex 2.8E but I want a longer lens for headshots. I've got in close with Rolleinar 1 and 2 and I like the look but it just isn't the look that I want.

    I intend on using one lens (150 or 180), one back (but I'd grab another as a spare), and just a WLF.
    I reading up on the SL66 from here
    http://www.sl66.com/pg/sl66.shtml

    but I'm not so familiar with the other Rolleiflex SLR's so if there is one more appropriate then let me know but as I have suggested, i am looking for the simplest camera to do the job.

    Hasselblad:
    The way I see it, Hasselblad is the benchmark of 120 SLR's, it has the more lenses, accessories, probably cheaper overall, and is more readily available and serviceable. While this is all good...I don't really need the other lenses, accessories, and since I'm looking for a simple settup and sp the overall cost and availability s probably not going to be a deal breaker.

    Rolleiflex:
    Well the main benefit of the Rolleiflex over the Hasselblad is the tilt feature (not sure if the bellows feature is a deciding factor) which I find to be very cool. Honestly, one big reason why I would want a Rolleiflex over a Hasselblad is my loyalty to the brand. I love my Rolleiflex, a lot. It's a stupid romantic attachment. I thought about a tele-rollei but I think 135mm is too short and the cameras are more for collectors.
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Just sent you a PM...
     
  3. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I don't agree 135 is too short (imo). but the greater point is the cost. A big cost for a camera that can only do one thing on occasion. Hasselblads can be found pretty cheap, especially if you settle for EL's or ELM's. And lenses are plentiful. Just makes sense.
     
  4. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    135 too short, maybe or maybe not, but I definitely agree that the cost is a bit of a turn off.
     
  5. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I have two Sl66's and they are super. They are hard to get fixed but not impossible, but then they seldom need service either. They are tough customers. KEH often will have a plain SL66 on the page. I don't care much for meters in cameras but have a SL66E and cannot get the meter to work and don't miss it. The camera works fine without it. But the SL66 is a real stallion and a real pearl of a camera you will love and cherish for many, many years. Get one and you will never be sorry
    Logan
     
  6. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    If you really love your Flex, then look for a Mutar 1,5x. It gives you a focal length of 110 mm with the 75 mm Planar and slightly less than 120 mm with the 80 mm Planar. Please take care to get the right bayonet. Mutars are all equal, but the bayenet rings can be changed. For Bay II exits two versions, 42 and 45 mm lens distance.

    I have both Mutars. They work fine with the Planar if you stop down to f/8. For headshots you don't need the last bit of sharpness in the corners, so that f/5,6 may be sufficient.
     
  7. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I have been using an SL66 with 50, 80, 120, 150 and 250 for many years and added a Hasselblad 555ELD with 180/4 recently, which I have not used much yet. First the SL66. Compared to a Hasselblad or Rollei TLR, this camera is very bulky. Even the 555ELD is more compact though it has the motor+battery housing. An unmotorized Hasselblad looks tiny in comparison to the Rollei, which is about the size of an RB67. I think the weight of both systems is nearly the same. The SL66 is heavier than a 500CM but the Rollei lenses are lighter than the Hasselblad ones since they have no shutter. So if you carry a large system (which is not what you intend, just wanted to mention), the Rollei could be even lighter.
    The great advantage of this camera is the bellow, which allows you to focus seamlessly from infinity to close up range. I became so used to this that it is always a bit of frustrating when I have to stop at 1,3 metres with the Hasselblad. Definitely an advantage for portraiture, especially since you are after headshots. Adding a 21mm tube to the Hasselblad will help, but it is not as convenient.
    If you should choose a Hasselblad, I would also recommend a motorized model. They are cheaper and the automatic film advance is so great for portraiture. I´ve never been a fan of automatics but it really helps since you can shoot in short sequence and you are relieved from the distraction of advancing the camera all the time.
    One word about flash work: Sync time with the Rollei is only 1/30 sec, but there is a 150/4 with central shutter available (quite rare but not impossible to get). Hasselblad lenses (for the 500 system at least) all have a central shutter and can sync at all times.
    The screens: If found the original screen in the SL66 very dim and the microprisms which cover a large are in the center of little help. I installed a Rollei High-D screen (from the 6008, they use the same screens) and this one is great. I even find it better than the Hasselblad acute matte D. The split image finder in the acute matte D starts to black out even with f4 lenses (experienced with a 503cw+40/4 and my 555 + my 180mm), while the high-D screen´s is perfectly usable and starts to black out only with f5,6 lenses. The Hasselblad loupe has a higher magnification of 4,5x and really helps focussing, but it distorts the image in the edges. The Rollei loupe is only 3x and not so great a help, but it does not distort.
    Chances are high that you will have to check and tune a SL66, since these cameras are at least 25 years old. The great thing is that the lenses will work forever, since there are no moving parts apart from the aperture, which is unproblematic. Chances are high that you need to service a Hasselblad lens, especially if you buy old. How much are you willing to spend?

    Best,
    Benjamin
     
  8. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thanks. I am unsure if that is the best route but definitely one to consider. The pricing on those things are quite high right? ~800 USD, I think?
     
  9. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thank you Benjamin, that was very informative! Many things to consider. I am unsure on my budget. I'm more interested in finding the "right" camera right now. I'm thinking 1k-2k. I'm not inclined in spending too much money but if it is the right camera then I would consider spending more. I'd rather wait to be able to afford the camera that I want rather than spending less for a camera that I don't want. I made this mistake with the Pentacon Six, lol.
     
  10. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Richard avadon used a rollie tlr mostly and a hasselblad for all the Rollie was not.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If you want tight head shots on a TLR I suggest you look at a Mamiya C330F and a 180 mm lens pair I've been shooting portraits with this combination and the 135mm lenses for about 25 years and can highly recommend it, and will give you better optical quality using prime lenses than mutars and other afocal attachments.
     
  12. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    ? Richard Avedon used a Hasselblad?
     
  13. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Avadon only used one when he needed a 150 over the 80 of his flex.
     
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  15. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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  16. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I had no idea. I thought he only used a normal (for 6x6 and 8x10). Doesn't really influence my decision but that's interesting to know.
     
  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    If you already use a Rolleiflex you may be more comfortable with a TLR rather than a 6x6 SLR. I would look into a tele Rollei or a member of the Mamiya C series. Of the two choices the Mamiya's offer the most flexability and choice of lenses.
     
  18. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Most of Avedon's The American West was shot on 8x10, but yes he did use a Rolleiflex for much of his work.

    If you're thinking of something for headshots and you don't mind the bulk of the SL66, why not an RZ67? You could get it, the motor winder, two backs, and the 180 lens well within your budget. Plus you'd be able to shoot rectangles for vertical portraits without having to worry about cropping. If you must stick to a European camera, then go with the Hassy. If you're shooting portraits in the studio, that flash sync speed is a huge issue, and that's a weak spot for the Rollei. At 1/30th, you'll start to see fringing from the modeling lights on your studio strobes, and you can pick up motion blur from your sitters because the shutter is open so long relative to the flash duration.

    Best bet though to eliminate or select one system is to try and rent the Hasselblad kit (try renting a Rollei SL66!) and see if you like what it does.
     
  19. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    One of the reasons that I really like my hasselblad is that I can pre-release the mirror and have essentially no camera shake, no focal plane shutter like the Rollie or Pentax 6x7.
     
  20. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    pre-release is MLU, right?

    The Pentax 67 has MLU (all but the first, I beleive unless modified).

    The Rolleiflex SLR's don't have this feature?
     
  21. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    Have you already considered a Rolleiflex 600x? Leafshutter, very similar lenses to Hasselblad but more advanced and less expensive.
     
  22. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I don't know about the rollei but the Pentax has mirror lock up and all it does is pre release the mirror, but during the exposure the shutter has to move horizontally and causes some shake.

    Some say he shutter will and some say it won't, cause problems. I never had bad problems but Its there.


    Unlike the hasselblad that has a shutter in the lens that does not cause shake.
     
  23. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Hasselblad 500CM / ELM + 150mm. Sonnar is all you need or 250mm. for tight head shots but the quality is so good from the 150mm. you could crop. Go Hasselblad. BTW, I am not against Rollei. I use a Rolleiflex 3.5f TLR.
     
  24. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Of course SL66 has a mirror lock up. As for the concerns regarding vibration due to the focal plane shutter: I can assure you that it is well dampened!
     
  25. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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  26. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Also check out Sanders McNew's work to see what he does with a Tele-Rollei and attachments.