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Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by arigram, Mar 18, 2008.
I am looking to buy a new Rolleiflex 2.8FX somewhere in the E.U.
Where is the best price I can get?
Check out http://www.photografica.com/
They are probably not the cheapest seller in Europe, but their prices may serve as a point of reference.
I think you are doing yourself a great service, contemplating the purchase of a Rolleiflex. I absolutely love my bastardised 2.8 E2 with F front plate and Planar optics.
Robert White in the UK: http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/product.asp?P_ID=946&PT_ID=328&P=Rolleiflex-2.8-FX
Thank you but I was hoping for a better deal.
Try here Ari!
Ari, is there a particular reason why you want to buy a new camera as opposed to a good second-hand model with a dealers 6 month warranty. After all Rollieflex's are fairly simple and there's little to go wrong with them.
My reason for asking is the second hand value of Rollei's has dropped significantly over the past 4 or 5 years.
It is because even 500 euros is a lot of money to invest and if I am going to sell a kidney to buy it, I might as well go for a sparkling new camera.
I want the very latest model with the best lens and screen and other details in perfect working order and absolute mint aesthetics. After all, this will be a camera to replace my Hasselblad, so it has to be perfect.
Rollei has introduced so many different models through the decades which often age badly at the hands of abusive owners that I am frightened to give a lot of money to something less than ideal.
If I can find a 2.8FX in perfect shape I will buy it second hand. Otherwise I don't know if I should bother.
Btw, off topic, where in Turkey are you at the moment Ian?
Andre, thanks for the links.
PM sent Ari.
I'll keep a look out for Rolleiflex's on my trip back to the UK. I have a mid 50's model which is mint, but need a CLA/repair unfortunately because it's only had 5 or 6 films through it since new, the shutters spot on but the film advance sticks as the lubrication has gone solid.
Have you used a TLR, they are very different in handling compared to a 6x6 SLR, I tried a Yashicamat while at school then later progressed to a very early Rolleicord, followed by Mamiya C33/C3's. Good reliable cameras & fun to use. I have a Yashica waiting in the UK that I bought off APUG last year.
The best UK dealer is probably Robert White, I've bought a few items and they have always been superb, he has well deserved excellent reputation, keep an eye on his website he does get Rollei SH cameras in occasionally.
I have a Rolleiflex 2.8FX that I brought from Ffordes https://secure.ffordes.com a few months ago in mint condition for about 40% of the list price, and am very pleased with it. They, like most reputable dealers do offer an inspection and return period of, I think, 21 days, so they may be worth looking at.
Ian your observation of the falling prices of used Rolleiflexes is different than mine from watching ebay. You must be referring to a different used market, perhaps used camera shops or something? The prices of used Rolleis continues to rise on ebay and is up significantly from 4 or 5 years ago.
Ari, I have a sparkling new Rollei FX as well as a very late 2.8 F with Xenotar. In some ways the older Rollei is actually better and it might be an option to consider that you could buy the newest nicest old Rollei like mine from 1980 and have it completely overhauled for less money than buyin g a new FX.
What you will lose by going with a new camera is 220 capability, self timer, focusing sports finder on the WLF and auto film loading.
What you gain by going with the new camera is HFT coated Planar (which is slightly better, especially wide open and certainly less flare prone), through the lens meter system (actually meters off the focusing screen) and much easier focus (it takes much less physical effort to turn the focus knob).
The difference between the 1980 Xenotar with single coating and the 2008 HFT Zeiss Planar is so slight as to be hardly mentionable. Also the shutter release button on the FX is slightly less smooth partly due to it's turning on the meter half way down. It isn't bad but the F shutter release is amazingly smooth and easy and the old F shutter is about half as loud as the new FX shutter, though even at that it is pretty quiet.
The cheapest prices I have seen on new FXs are on ebay from Hong Kong. There is a place in Europe called Arsenal that carries new and used Rolleis.
Ari, are you going to dump the Hasselblad? Well, if so, then I think an older CLA'd Rolleiflex in mintish condition is the way to go. That's what I'd do. (Or will do. I have tried to trade my 500c for one but to no avail, so I'll have to sell that kidney!)
The prices I'm referring to were the prices of mint collectible Rolleiflex's which had risen significantly over the years, then as ebay became more popular those prices dropped very significantly. The same thing happened with Leica's, but I think those prices were over inflated and with many people switching to digital there was glut of cameras on Ebay. The resurrection of Rolleiflex production also influenced the over-inflated second hand prices.
I had my Rolleiflex valued by Rollei(UK) and one of their dealers back around 1999/2000 and it's probably worth just under half what they suggested now. Prices are rising again on ebay for Leicas & Rollei's, you don't see as many good ones now.
The reason I am going for the Rolleiflex is because I want a street/travel camera that is more compact, more light and more quiet than the Hasselblad.
I don't mind hand holding the Hasselblad or taking it anywhere, unlike most people, but I would definately use a quiet, compact camera.
Since I have a very extensive Hasselblad system, I won't miss any of the versality sacrificed with a TLR as it will have a very specific but important job.
Fast focus, TTL metering, well coated lens are all important to me and the ones I would lose with a new model are not.
Where I live, shipping, taxes and all that, trying to find someone to do CLA, plus any expenses, like a new screen, are all things I consider.
Robert White was the first I looked at, even before I posted here, but adding exchange, taxes and shipping, the price seemed high as its always with UK stores...
Plus, I haven't yet found the money, so this might take some time and maybe something will come up...
I agree vith Ari's thinking about new/old cameras. My and surrounding countries are filled with large numbers of Mamiya RB cameras which looks perfect. But they are all destroyed inside. Thing is those Mamiyas were used in studio for photographs needed for passports, ID's etc... So, those cameras never left studios and cosmetically they look perfect, but those cameras made millions of photographs and are so much destroyed inside that no CLA can help them When I bought my Mamiya RBproS I knew who and how used it...
Saying that, I use Yashica MAT as carry around MF camera, I payed it 70 EUROS and I am very happy with it. Drop or two of benzine for cigarette lighters was all CLA that camera needed when shutter leafs were sticked, and because I did it myself CLA costed me nothing (Ok, as I am not smoker and didn't have it already with me, cost of lighter benzine was all I had to pay for CLA) ...
How about this little beauty?
I got my 2.8E Planar, the previous model, over ten years ago for £500 and it has almost worked like a dream since. Only once in Denmark in the middle of winter, the shutter froze when it got to -15 degrees. However, I had never had it serviced up until then but obviously I did when I got back. Several hundred rolls and many trips later, it still works fine. Working out the age of the model from it's serial number, I would think it is about as vintage as me, (45) and somehow I don't think my digital cameras will be that capable in the 2040s! The non TTL meter is very accurate unless it is very low light conditions. It would be wonderful to buy a new one but the price difference is a little prohibitive to say the least. However, the new models may be lighter than the 60s model. I wouldn't say my camera is any lighter or smaller than a Hasselblad unless you are also counting extra lenses for the Hasselblad. Great thing about a Rollei is that one is disciplined to use one lens unless you take a back up tele and wide angle Rolleiflex as well. Much as I love my old camera, I do desire a Mamiya 6 which is definitely lighter and more compact but have yet to find one in my price range. Maybe this would be just the camera for your travel photography?
I forgot to mention that the only big change I made to mine was to replace the screen with a Beattie screen http://www.morco.uk.com/latest/beattie.htm which cost £100 then but is much more now. The older Rollei's did have very dark screens and the Beattie makes it appear brighter than real life. As you mentioned in your initial post, the shutter is very quiet and more discrete than the Hasselblad's lovely KKLLLUUMMPPHH sound.
Should I consider the 2.8GX or others in the 2.8 line like the E and F?
I have to figure out what happens with the taxes which add something like 500 euros to the price...
I think you should consider a 3.5 with a Xenotar!
I have this one here, I'm a Tessar guy!
I have been using a 2.8E for several years. Great camera. The meter works, but the system for using it is a bit cumbersome. The prices on Rolleis reflect collector demand, as well as user interest. As someone who deals in vintage items, the people that suggest the prices are "too high" are looking at them from a user standpoint. But even then, I think they are wrong. The Rolleiflex is generally better made than anything else of similar vintage. However, the lubrication in any shutter can tend to dry up over the years, leading to shutter hang ups at the slow speeds. So if you get a used one, figure on CLA for the lens, unless the seller has had this done and has a receipt to prove it. I would say this is true even for a fairly recent model if it has been sitting on the shelf for a while. I think CLA is around $175-200 or so. By the time you buy a 50 year old mint 2.8E and get the CLA for the shutter, you are probably going to $1,000 or more in it. Maybe splurge and get a new 2.8FX? I've been thinking about that myself. Drawback is that I can't use my Rollekin (for taking 35mm pics). That's what I use for ebay pics with my 2.8E. Well I guess I could keep my 2.8E for that. The Rollinars for older Rolleis can be used on the new ones. These are great for up close shots (as close as 8-9 inches).
the GX is only cosmetically different from the FX and most of the GXs I have seen for sale are in mint condition. Personally I would prefer the later GX. The one complaint about the GX versus the FX is the shutter release and it has been smoothed out on the FX. I have varified that myself comparing them side by side the GX shutter release was less smooth.
But my personal recommendation for you would be to look into getting a 3.5F with either the Xenotar or the Planar. It is a great travel camera, it is lighter than the 2.8 and the accessories are cheaper and the lenses are outstanding. Get the most mint condition one you can find and spend your savings on a complete overhaul and you will have a great camera for life.
A website with some very useful information on Rolleiflex (and others) is: http://members.aol.com/dcolucci/
Just done that very thing. Picked up a very nice 3.5f for £295 on the bay. Everything looks good, even slow speeds not too bad. Will get a CLA though, last one for a Rolleicord cost £90 so all in all I'm chuffed to bits...
No matter which one I get in the end, I need one for street most definately.
I am a shy guy and the Hasselblad is imposing and even though I rarely get
a negative response when pointing it at someone, I am always cautious of
its size and thunder-mirror. It doesn't scare people, quite the opposite, but
a TLR would help my self-assurance for sure and enable me to take those
discreet photos with the subject unaware.
One of the reasons I carry Kalypso (my 501CM) on the street is that it intrigues
people and is much less stereotypical than a common 35mm camera which
helps my connection with them.
A TLR would be even more perfect in that respect and the Rolleiflex has the
looks and features I need: 6x6, WLF, great lens, quiet operation.
It might take a while to get one, but I have already found a name: Nafsika.
Yes, they are women's names from the Odyssey. And yes, I have all my cameras named.
I guess, if you are already used to using an 80 mm lens on your hasselblad, you know what you want. But I would think most people would want a longer focal length for shooting people. I did just return from a trip in Mexico doing street photography with a 2.8F but I try to avoid people and actually shoot the buildings and the streets. Have you considered a Tele with 135mm?
Each one of the lens types is good for street photography.
Wide for larger and/or more dramatic compositions and a telephoto for details, isolation and reaching.
One could even say that a zoom of medium wide to short tele is perfect, but that often leads to lazy compositions
and undisciplined photographers.
I have shot a lot with a 50 prime on 35mm and the 80 is my most used lens on the Hasselblad.
Yet I have done street with every lens, even the 40.
The demonstration was shot with a 180 on the Hasselblad, a device akin to a portable artillery.
I used it though because I was aiming to capture details and not because it was less scary than to approach
people up close. Which is. I am shy to approach people and often have to think about it more than a bit, but I like the "normal" lens.
I believe that I just need a quiet shutter to overcome those minor complexes and "free" my street photography.