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  1. #1

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    Can I Put a Planar or Xenota Lens in a Rolleicord?

    I have an old Rolleicord w/ Triotar lens. It takes wonderful photos, and I prefer it to the Xenar lensed cameras I've owned actually. But after looking through some old negs, I must say the 3.5E3 I once owned w/ a Planar was really, really good. The Xenotar I owned was sharper, but I liked the shots from the Planar more. Problem is, I don't want to carry a Rolleiflex, as the Rolleicord is just so much lighter and simpler. Assuming that I can find a reasonably priced user Rolleiflex w/ a Planar or Xenotar lens, can I simply unscrew the elements and put them into my 'cord? You would think the film to lens distance would be the same, but you never know, I've been fooled before. My idea of putting the elements from an Autocord into the Rolleicord went well, but focus was very limited due film to lens distance differences.

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I think you'd have difficulty as the shutters are quite different.

    Why not look for an MPP Microcord these are British made cameras based on the Rolliecord but with better lenses - Ross Xpres rather than Tessar/Xenars.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Oops. I wasn't aware that the shutters were different. I had assumed that they were the same. The Autocord that I swapped elements with worked fine and gave a sharp image on a GG on the film rails and up top, it was just focus limited due to differences in film plane distance (and I think the Autocord was also a different focal length). I'll look at the camera you mentioned Ian, although I really want a Planar. If the Ross lens is sharp like a Tessar or Xenar, then it won't do.

    The reason I like my Triotar over a Xenar is the way it handles IQ. It's very sharp in the center, has great bokeh, and is much better for portraits, where I find the hard edged sharpness of Tessars to be objectionable. May just have to get used to the weight of a 35.E. The Planar I had wasn't necessarily really sharp (which is why I favor it over a Xenotar), but the photos from it have a special look that are difficult to describe. There's a sense of "thereness" that I see in lenses that I like. Summicrons, for example, are not necessarily sharper than Zeiss lenses, but I much prefer their IQ. Ditto for Heliars. Those three lenses are at the top of my list for IQ.
    Last edited by momus; 05-09-2013 at 08:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    Um, er, a TLR's taking lens is matched to the viewing lens and, with cameras like the Rollei whose lens panel moves to focus, the panel is collimated to the body. Planars and Xenotars are somewhat telephoto, so simply replacing a Triotar with a Planar or Xenotar will put you in, um, focusing hell. Accept your fate and get a Rolleiflex.

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need the rolleiflex automat mx. It's lightweight like a cord or yashica, but my automat tessar has a maybe 10-11 blade aperture so as to make it both smooth and sharp. later rolleicords/flexes have far less blades and I don't like that so much. The automats are tessar and xenar equipped but I haven't used the xenar automats.

  6. #6

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    Uh, right you are Dan. Uh, I had planned on swapping viewing lenses too, of course.

    In the mind of an expert there are few possibilities, in the mind of a beginner there are many. Better to have a beginner mind.

    Seems I will have to do it the old fashioned way. I'll buy a 'flex and actually try it myself. That way, I know

  7. #7
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad about having a Xenar, great lens with a really nice look. The Xenotar and Planars are really only better at the wide apertures. The main reason for getting a 'Flex over a 'Cord is the wonderful automatic feed, better viewfinder and having the focus know on the correct side!
    The later model Rollei T is a good budget alternative to a full blown F, and the Tessar on those is a truly great lens.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I have a 3.5E but b3ecause it's vintage and mint I rarely use it, I'm more than happy witha Yashicamat 124 but my camera has issues as it was dropped at some stage - this doesn't affect image quality just wear on the wind and focus mechanism.

    So I bought an MPP Microcord early this yearand by chance a bargain Rollieflex Automat (Opton Tessar). The Microcord will eventually replace or take over from the Yashicamat (in Turkey) and the Automat has already replaced the 3.5E in the UK - it cost me a tenth of what I've been offered for the 3.5E

    Given a choice a Rollieflex is much quicker and easier to use than a Polliecord and price is not much different.

    Ian



 

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