Rollei 35 RF Feedback

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by snegron, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I have noticed that the Rollei 35 RF is in the same price range as the Bessa R2A. It is advertised as having an M mount and all metal (aluminum) body. Is this Rollei 35 RF comparable to the Bessa R2A? It looks similar in size and ergonomics to the Contax G series rangefinders. Anyone out there want to share experiences they have had with the Rollei 35RF?
     
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

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    The Rollei has 40, 50, and 80mm framelines. Otherwise, it is essentially the same camera as the Bessa R2.
     
  3. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks for the feed back. I tried looking up more info on the Rollei 35 RF, but there really is not much out there. Is it battery dependent like the R2A or mechanical speeds like the R2M?
     
  4. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    It's mechanical like the R2M.

    For anyone who likes 40 mm lenses, it offers a nice alternative to the R3 because the magnification is the standard 0.7. The 40 mm frame lines are much easier to see thanthe ones on the R3 & the 80 mm frame lines work quite nicely with a 75 mm lens as well as with Rollei's 80.
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Adding to what everyone said, the body of course is a silver powder finish with gray grips. The body is pure Cosina -- a repainted and rebadged Bessa-R2.

    However, that shouldn't dissuade you, because it's a very good camera. Ensure that the rangefinder image is accurate and not misaligned (still a Cosina weakness, some six years into production of various models).

    On the plus side, the body is reliable, and because it's a manual Copal shutter, the batteries are needed only for meter.

    Build quality of Sonnar lens is excellent, and the focal length makes it a nice all-purpose lens.

    I've not had any problems with this camera, other than the body picking up one nasty scratch.

    See my mini-review here. I meant to take a photo of the camera, but I've misplaced the camera in my room and can't seem to locate it.
     
  6. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Mike, do you think its in the same league as your Zeiss Ikon RF?
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    No, not even close. The Rollei 35 RF is a nice camera, but it's still Cosina Voigtlander. The Zeiss Ikon is a much better camera. The Zeiss Ikon is tighter with a better rangefinder and a feel of precision -- more German than Japanese.

    My Rollei 35 RF rangefinder is out just a hair vertically (again, something that still seems to bedevil Cosina). And of course the mechanic Copal shutter in the Rollei has that somewhat loud Cosina "clack" while the modified electronic shutter on the Zeiss Ikon is more subdued.

    I always thought Rollei should have done more to differentiate its product from the Bessa-R2, beyond paint and body covering. Great lens, but nothing remarkable enough to pay extra for the Rollei.

    The one lens I would like to see return is the 135mm Sonnar. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  8. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Um. Doesn't CV make the Zeiss Ikon?

    Dean
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Cosina produces the Zeiss Ikon, but it is not a Cosina design. Cosina is the subcontractor making a product according to Carl Zeiss specifications and quality standards.

    There is some sharing of parts, but it is not a Cosina clone.
     
  10. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Sure, but I think that makes the difference in quality more about the difference between $579 and $1300 than between Zeiss and CV.
     
  11. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    Well in fact C.V. is also making the Zeiss lenses except the 85mm and the 15mm. These two are really "made in Germany" by Zeiss in Oberkochen.
    Pretty good camera, nice view finder and the specs of the range of lenses are also OK. But it's NOT a Leica. If you compare the prices you can see that the top of quality will cost you a lot of money.


    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  12. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Dean: That is just such a tired argument. When your Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus ... whatever, is made entirely by the company on the badge, including all parts., etc., let us know.

    Robert: No one was talking about Leica. What is your point? The original question was about the Rollei 35RF vs. the Bessa R2a.
     
  13. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Earl,
    I don't understand your point? Are you saying that only part of the ZI is made by CV? My understanding is that they're making the whole thing, which seems to imply that if they wanted to they could make a Bessa (R5a anyone?) that's every bit as high quality as the ZI but that it would probably cost 2.5-3x as much as the R3a. If Zeiss is making some of the parts and shipping them to CV for final assembly, I'd be interested to learn it.

    FWIW, Lexus *is* Toyota. Companies make up and down market products at the same time in a variety of industries. A Lexus isn't 'better' than a Toyota because it says Lexus on the badge, or because it's made by a different company. It's 'better' because by charging more for it they can use more expensive materials or pay more attention to fine detail. I'll guess things are the same at CV.
     
  14. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    Depending on your budget: C.V. (Bessa) - Rollei 35 RF - Zeiss Ikon - Leica MP/M7.
    Overall quality will be around the same sequence but the differences for the "top gear" are very small at the end.
    I have a M7 but I think I could produce the same pictures and quality with the Z.I. or even a C.V. equipped with a Zeiss or a Leica lens. The only question if choosen the last option is if the camera should work on difficult circumstances (e.g. -25 degrees C.) in this matter :wink: .

    Well: Leica has also some supliers. Their u-processor chip for the M7 is delivered/produced by Elmos in Dortmund which is also producing the ABS controller chips for Mercedes and BMW :rolleyes:
     
  15. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

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    For me, it's not just about quality in terms of build, it's also about performance. A ZI & a Leica M can do some things that a Bessa simply can't do.

    There's the extra frame - 28 mm - in the viewfinder & we know about the longer base line. These will affect performance.

    Zeiss hasn't made a big deal of it, but they matched Leica in terms of shutter lag at 14 milliseconds. Pop Photo measured the Bessa R at 100 ms. The Konica Hexar RF is 120 ms. This ability to capture the decisive moment without the shutter lag of an SLR has always been a big selling point for a Leica M camera.

    The Bessa line of cameras are very good for what they do; it's important to be aware that there are just some things they can't do to the same degree as these more expensive Zeiss & Leica rangefinders. Right tool to fit the job.
     
  16. DeanC

    DeanC Member

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    Aye. I haven't handled either camera but it's pretty clear to me from reading about them that the ZI is a nicer camera. I'm only just starting to flirt with the idea of a rangefinder myself though, so I suspect the $500 version is more likely to be my "try it, see if you like it" model.
     
  17. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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