Rolleiflex 2.8C vs. 3.5E

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Master_of_Reality, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Master_of_Reality

    Master_of_Reality Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    NW Chicago '
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Greetings all! I am currently looking for a good old Rolleiflex camera to get into medium format. I am debating between a 2.8C or 3.5E, and i need some opinions.

    1st, I have a question- I saw someone on Photo.net say the 2.8C has 10 aperture blades... can anyone confirm this? This is one of the main reason's im interested in this camera, aside from the price. I'm looking to compare the bokeh from the C with that of my friends F, which has 5-6 blades, if i remember correctly.

    I'm drawn to the 3.5E with a Planar because i've heard that the 3.5 Planar is the sharpest of all the rolleiflex lenses, and there is a dealer in my area selling one for $425, which seems reasonable.

    I guess i want to know people's opinions on these cameras.. which models you have/own, how they handle, ect. Also, if you were me what would you go for? i'm positive i'm getting a Rollei, i just need a bump in the right direction at this point.

    Thx,
    Mike
     
  2. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have both. The 2.8C is pretty but
    I prefer to shoot with the 3.5E. The
    shutter and aperture are a bit easier
    to set, and the viewfinder magnifier is
    much better-designed. I am completely
    reliant on the magnifier, so this is a big
    issue for me -- maybe not for you.

    If it's a newer "E" with a removable view-
    finder hood, that is an added plus. The
    removable hood permits you to upgrade
    the viewscreen yourself, without sending
    the camera out to a repair shop.

    I've not seen any useful difference in bokeh
    between the two models, but others might
    have a different experience.

    Sanders
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2008
  3. Master_of_Reality

    Master_of_Reality Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    NW Chicago '
    Shooter:
    35mm
    hmm, so which would you say produces sharper photos?
     
  4. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Toss-up. User error, manufacturing variances, and state
    of repair will obliterate any discernible difference between
    Rolleiflexes fitted with a 2.8 and a 3.5 Planar or Xenotar.

    Conventional wisdom has it that the 75mm f/3.5 version is
    the original, that the 80mm f/2.8 was adapted from it, and
    that the original is the better design. But I've yet to see it
    in my own photography.

    Another thing to consider when choosing is accessories.
    The 3.5 series takes Bay 2 filters and hoods, while the 2.8s
    take Bay 3 accessories. The Bay 2 accessories are more
    plentiful and less expensive.

    Sanders
     
  5. Master_of_Reality

    Master_of_Reality Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    NW Chicago '
    Shooter:
    35mm
    ok, makes sense. i guess it'll just come down to price at this point.

    thx,
    Mike
     
  6. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, Rolleiflex's with a Compur Rapid shutter have a round aperture opening due to more blades being used. However, most people do not see bokeh differences, mainly because without Rolleinars, Rollei's dont focus close enough to emphasize bokeh. If you want a great Rollei with a meter, get an F model with coupled meter. The early meters are a pain to transfer settings to the aperture and shutter. Frankly, I think the 3.5F planar's are the best lens in the line up, not the 2.8 lens

    See my Rolleiflex Price and Info Guide
    http://members.aol.com/dcolucci/rolleitlr.htm


    Thanks
    Dan
     
  7. JPD

    JPD Member

    Messages:
    822
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The 3,5 Planar on my late 3,5F is sharper and contrastier than the 2,8 Planar on my 2,8F. But my 3,5F has the six element Planar, and there are small variations between lens samples...
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a 3.5T that I enjoy using, along with other formats. I followed this thread out of curiosity. What is bokeh? Never heard that one.
     
  9. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    George, Its a Japanese word that means "fuzzy"
     
  10. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For our purposes, it refers to the manner
    in which a lens renders out-of-focus areas.
     
  11. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    It is pronounced like Bouquet... I think. And the 2.8 Xenotar is the best of the Rollei lenses. the 2.8 Planar has a little more flare though that was corrected with the HFT coating. The 3.5 lenses seem to have a bit more depth of field due to shorter focal length. But they are not sharper no matter how many people say they are.
    Dennis
     
  12. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Which is why it was adopted as a photographic term. George, just look at shots made with lenses such as an archromatic meniscus or a petzval design. The Verito shot wide open is a good example. As is most portrait lenses. It is basically a lens that hasn't been corrected to the point where it eliminates all the aberrations. But any lens shot wide open regardless of design will usually have some type of bokeh (fuzzy) out-of-focus areas.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2008
  13. Uhner

    Uhner Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  14. glengorley

    glengorley Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Old rollei freak

    Hi guys, I'm new here, just retired finally and will have more time to spend on photography. I am 3rd generation serious photographer in our family..and yes, there is a fourth gen. a young niece who has taken to roaming the world with a camera. I will post her url later.

    To the point: I bought the 2.8C Planar when it first hit the stores in about 195?.. I was roundly chastised by my friends for spending so much .. was it nearly $300 ? Then my photo friends jumped on me for choosing Planar over Xenotar. I never regretted my choice. It served me well until about 5 years ago. Not ever a problem. gorley
     
  15. el wacho

    el wacho Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    central anat
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    no. of blades also adds more star lines to point source lights ( streetlights ) as you stop down.
     
  16. Master_of_Reality

    Master_of_Reality Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    NW Chicago '
    Shooter:
    35mm
    personally, i don't care if it's a planar or xeontar... i wont be making enlargements to the point where it will critically make a difference.. however, i am leaning toward the Schneider, just because it kinda goes against the grain (knowing that all the rollei guys i know shoot with zeiss lenses...)

    but, yeah, i'm really bent on getting the 2.8C ... i found a nice one on the 'bay, however, the lens looks like it has water marks.. check it out..
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-ROLLEIFLEX-2-8-C-Type-1-TLR-w-New-Lowepro-Case_W0QQitemZ200231248828QQihZ010QQcategoryZ3354QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    is this fungus or what? everything else about this specimen seems fine...
     
  17. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

    Messages:
    391
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the price stays low, go for it. I have a 2.8C that has about 20% separation on one side of the lens, but as long as you keep the hood on, it makes beautiful images. Which brings up the problem of the hood and the filters - Bay III ain't cheap or even easy to come by. I also have a 3.5F Planar and that is one picture taking machine - maybe the best ever. The main thing I have against the 2.8C, as someone already mentioned, is the magnifier. They just didn't have that quite right. I saw a nice 2.8C today, with the hood, for $399. I'm halfway tempted to get it. By the way, there is nothing wrong with a 3.5E in either the Planar or Xenotar.
     
  18. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York Cit
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The taking lens on that camera looks
    pretty hideous. The wind-side body
    (photo 5) also looks to have something
    odd going on under the leather, in the
    vicinity of the film counter and strap
    lug. Expect to have to sink a lot of
    cash into rehabilitating this one, if
    you win the auction.

    Sanders
     
  19. JPD

    JPD Member

    Messages:
    822
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I wouldn't buy it. The metal looks corroded, and it could have been stored in a humid place. The taking lens is ugly indeed.