Rolleiflex 'T' White Face

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by RolleiT, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    While in London this weekend I managed to pickup a near mint Rolleiflex T white faced TLR with five Bay1 filters, a Rolleinar II set and beautiful Rollei ERC. The camera is equipped with a meter and is serial no 2317246.

    I believe this is one of the last Rolleiflex TLRs to come off the production line and for this reason is probably a little special.

    I acquired it from a friend who never used it. I traded my Nikon D50 SLR with standard zoom for it, no cash involved. I reckoned that the Nikon would continually deppreciate in value whereas the Rolleiflex would do the opposite!

    Any views on these cameras?
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,034
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    To me, it depends on what you are going to do with it? If's it going on a shelf, I think it's a good collector piece (which the D50 might not be, but only time will tell). If you are going to use it (which I as a several-times-owner of Rolleicords and 'flexes prefer to do) you might need to get it serviced. The monetary value of the camera would depreciate while the user value would probably sky-rocket in that particular case. :smile:
     
  3. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,363
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Merimbula NSW Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A trade with a Rollei and any Digi has to be an excellent deal! The "T's" are reallly great cameras, don't forget to run plenty of film through it....the Tessar is pin sharp.
     
  4. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for both replies. I intend using this camera, I also intend rekindling my passion for b&w developing and printing.

    By the way, the lens is a Xenar. I have a Rollei T 'Grey' also and this earlier model has the Tessar.
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Congratulations on the trade. According to Rollei history, the T was invented to compete with an exploding camera market and is designed to be able to use 35mm and 645. Also according to what I have read, the T was discontinued at some point but then the British Military wanted it and so Rollei made another run of them with the Schneider Xenar rather than the Zeiss Tessar. The Xenar is just as good a lens as the Tessar, just as also the Schneider Xenotar is just as good as the Zeiss Planar. According to the famed repairman Krikor, the weakness of the T is in the transport so it must not be abused. Apparently the parts to repair the transport are hard to find. Lots of T lovers in the world.
    Dennis
     
  6. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,034
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The Xenar is a Tessar derivative design so the optical differences between the two cameras you have will probably be small. I've have been happy with either variant.
     
  7. JPD

    JPD Member

    Messages:
    860
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That's a fine camera! The White Face Rolleis are luxury items these days. Show us i picture of it?

    No, all the very late Rollei TLRs made between the early 70's to the early 80's had Schneider optics. They were a bit cheaper and Zeiss did't want to make small batches.

    The Rolleicord VB and T then used the Xenar, and the Rolleiflexes used the Xenotar.

    The exceptions were the Aurum and Platinum 2,8F that used the Planar.
     
  8. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    From my Antiue & Classic Camera Blog at http://antiquecameras.net/blog.html


    "For those of you interested in the Rolleiflex line of cameras, many knowledgeable people have remarked that the Rolleiflex T models are made to lesser standards than the "letter" and Automat versions.

    Mark Hansen, experienced repairman, remarks on his site;

    "Cameras I don't like to work On"

    "Rolleiflex T is a reasonably good camera when compared to a Rolleicord, or Yashicamat, however, it is a solid step below the Automat, and not even comparable to a Letter model. These cameras were cheapened consumer products that were meant to be discarded when worn. Now they have the Rolleiflex name on them, and people pay well into the 400 dollar range, which is about four times what they are worth. So, when it comes to fixing them, I have to take several hours and charge 120-150 dollars for a camera that will have a useful life of maybe a few more years, and that I cannot warranty for more than a few months. In short the insides are not up to Rollei standards, they have plastic parts and you the photographer should get an Automat instead; save money, and have a lifetime camera."


    I agree with Mark. The "T" models continue (May 2011) to fetch extremely high dollars in comparison to other Rolleiflex models, especially the Type III, White Face and Grey models. This wasn't always the case, the T used to be worth modestly more than the comparable Rolleicord Vb models. Now, its almost twice the Rolleicord. I think the majority of people don't know that the "innards" of the "T" are made of a lesser quality. I also think there is a certain "mystique" to the "T" that make ebay buyers place such a premium on them."

    Dan
     
  9. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well said and very informative, Dan. I didn't know (if true) that the T's are that much less durable than the 'Letter models'.

    To me personally there has always been something extra attractive indeed about the simplicity and powerfulness of the T-designation. No fuzzy naming like 2,8E model something, but simply "T". Add to that the aura of the Tessar name and you have a powerful little marketing machine. No wonder that the prices are somewhat inflated.

    That said, the 3,5F and 2,8C/E/F also seem to be fetching more and more (exceeding general inflation), sometimes into the seemingly ridiculous. ('seemingly', because eventually there is only one value, which is the market value.)
     
  10. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    This is my second Rolleiflex T. In 1987 my father in law gave me his Rollei T. He bought it in 1966 and used it for wedding photography. The camera is still as good as it was when he gave it to me. It hasn't ever let me down. It was serviced once in all that time to put a sticking shutter right.

    I've also had 3,5f Planar Rolleiflexes and I can tell you I never liked the thumb wheels on them, they always ceased.

    There was always a certain snobbery about Rolleiflex models and the T always took a bit of a hiding. However, the results spoke for themselves!
     
  11. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

    Messages:
    4,184
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    The sharpest MF negs I've ever made have come from my "T", the Zies Tessar lens model, at f11 and f16. Wonderful camera. Mine was a gift from an incredibly generous friend, not sure of the market value but it is priceless to me.
     
  12. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    RolleiT

    With all due respect, I would tend to favor data from a Rollei repairman as far as reliability. Your sample is small and based on very little amateur use, I imagine. Its not opinion as to the parts that Rollei used in the T versus its more expensive models, but fact...

    The "T" is not a bad camera at all, the point is about its relative value and current market price. I would take a Rolleicord VB at half the price of a T and the results from its Tessar will be identical given all else is equal.

    Dan
     
  13. hka

    hka Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    @RolleiT
    Did you test the lightmeter and is it spot on in comparison with an other meter "T".
    Mine is complete off. Is there a solution to fix it?
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Harry, I intend checking it at the weekend. It appears to be quite responsive to light from my kitchen window but I haven't been able to check it early morning. The weather here is awful and the evenings are closing in quick!
     
  16. dikigoros

    dikigoros Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just received a mail from D. Paepke who is one of the authorities of Rollei repair in Germany. He just overhauls my Rolleiflex T, and I asked him about the plastic parts of the "T" and whether it ist really so difficult to repair the camera. He answered that he had succeded in repairing every "T" he received. According to him the film transport is more simple than in other Rolleiflexes, and there is exactly one plastic gear wheel inside which drives the counting mechanism. Even the plastic stripes with the f-stops and the shutter speeds on them do not really fail frequently when you consider that the cameras are 40 or 50 years old, he said. And he didn't give me the impression at all that there is anything wrong with this model.

    So get your camera and enjoy. I like the "T" because it ist a lightweight, more like the Rolleicord, and I am a fan of the coupled EV scale which fits perfectly to my needs. The Tessar lens of the Rolleiflex T is an improved version with an amount of Lanthanium in it to improve colour rendition in comparison with older Rolleiflexes like the Automats, and the pictures I get from it are sharp as a tack and add a specific look to them I really like.
     
  17. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Despite some of the criticisms levelled here about the quality of the Rollei T, I had never any doubts about its reliability. Dikigoros, I thank you for your input and agree with everything that you posted. INterestingly enough, a London private dealer has offerred me £300 for my camera, he has a customer in the Far East on the look for one, its obviously well sought after. I intend using it!
     
  18. Gunfleet

    Gunfleet Member

    Messages:
    80
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a T I bought maybe 12 years ago, when ex Royal Navy Ts became available from a dealer in the UK for a shot while. They were clean and well maintained, a characteristic of everything else the Royal Navy touches! It was cheap, sharp as could be and has the Schnieder lens. I would highly recommend one. However this T has no meter on it and it was never meant to have one. It's great as a discreet, non-threatening waist level portrait/candid camera. The beautiful sharp lens is good for landscape too, though my preference is to use something a little wider for that.
     
  19. RolleiT

    RolleiT Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Harry, decided to buy a Minolta Autometer to use with the Rollei. From experience the Gossen fitted meters can be 'hit and miss', the Autometer was £59 cased so it didn't really cost an arm and a leg!

    When taking readings with the Rolleiflex T in bright sunlight the apertures suggested were making no sense at all.
     
  20. hka

    hka Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    RolleiT; I did the same last week and bought a Sekonic Twinmate L-208.
    Thanks.
     
  21. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Its so nice everyone is defending the T, but please bear in mind I didnt say the camera is bad - just merely highlighting the facts about its build relative to the current market prices of the camera. If you ask me, its over priced. Doesnt mean its not a good camera - just inflated for what it is. Frankly, its a box holding a coated Tessar... you can get the same thing from an Ikoflex, Minolta Autocord, Rolleicord etc...at cheaper prices. Peace :smile:

    Rollei's own ads mention the T as "Almost Professional"

    Dan
     

    Attached Files:

    • rolt.jpg
      rolt.jpg
      File size:
      147.2 KB
      Views:
      71
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2011
  22. jimrohrer

    jimrohrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Wellfleet, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ditto that!
     
  23. Woolly

    Woolly Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    The Rolleiflex T comes in type 1 (grey leatherette) and type 2 (black leatherette) versions.

    Type 1 is able to make images in 6x6cm format as standard, or with the additional Rollei kit in 4x5.5cm (not 6x45) or 4x4cm (superslide) formats.

    Type 2 (the last commercial version known as the white face) can do the above but also shoot 24x36mm on 35mm film using the Rolleikin kit. This effectively turns the 75mm Tessar into a head-and-shoulders portrait lens.

    The 75mm Tessar in the 'T' used Lanthanum glass in the lens elements as an improvement on previous Zeiss Tessar designs.

    I have a Type 1 'T' and bought it specifically to make 4x5.5cm as well as 6x6cm images. The difference in quality between 4x5.5cm and 6x45cm is negligible in enlargements.

    It's a fine camera and I really like the image quality from the Tessar lens.

    Hope you enjoy your camera.
     
  24. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,962
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think most any lens performs pretty darn well at f/11.
     
  25. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    As a user, I've never understood the attraction of the T model, because it feels like a step down from a Rolleiflex Automat. But sometimes logic doesn't drive the market.

    By the way, you got a great deal in the swap. Any Rolleiflex will always be memorable. A DSLR is forgettable as soon as the next model is released. Most digital cameras depreciate faster than a new car that's been driven off of the dealer's lot.
     
  26. ToddB

    ToddB Member

    Messages:
    1,136
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I actually ask Harry Fleenor on how good the T model Rollei's before I committed the CLA for mine. He said it's a consumer camera. The transport and inner workings is less robust than the pro models. He also went to say if you plan on running hundreds of rolls through it a week. It might not keep up. But who now days runs hundreds of rolls through a camera these days. I'll tell you since I got it back from him, I haven't had one hick up. The image quality is increadible as everyone is saying.