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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Rolleiflex automat: which one?

    I'm interested in getting an Automat.

    http://www.antiquecameras.net/rolleiflex.html

    I'd probably want the internal baffles but I'm not sure if I should necessarily opt for the type 5. When people recommend the Automat, they usually recommend the last one: type 5/MX-EVS.

    Is there a real functional/optical difference between the two outside of the EVS system? If that's the only difference then I'll get whichever one seems like a better deal.

  2. #2
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I would at least get a type 3 that has the X flash synch. Beyond that it is a matter of condition. Xenar or Tessar makes no difference.
    Dennis

  3. #3
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    I've got a type-4, and I'm quite pleased with it. I don't need EVS. Tessar is nice on these. X-sync is handy if you ever plan to use artificial light. The strobe pop from monolights will be louder than the camera!

  4. #4
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    I have a MX-EVS which I love. I never use the EVS option though. The one factor that I do like over the other Automats is the larger focusing knob, but this is only a slight ergonomic difference. Other than dpurdy's suggestion regarding the X flash sync, I would say the only other thing to worry about is condition. These cameras ~60 years old. Spend a little more upfront to get a fully functional one to begin with so you can avoid a CLA. I also agree about no difference between the Xenar and the Tessar. I have shot with both and you would never know the difference shooting with the two.
    flickr

    "A good photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the subject that they are unaware of the print."- Kodak
    "...if you find afterwards that you made a mistake, the price of the film and chemicals was...tuition!" - greybeard
    "The hard part isn’t the decisive moment or anything like that – it’s getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  5. #5

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    Also, look at the T. I had an Automat and loved it but when someone wanted 1 of them, the Automat went. I felt the later T other than the EV shutter lever layout that can be uncoupled was newer, did not have the auto film starter that with some of the newer thinner films can be a bit of a problem. I will admit, I never met a Rolleiflex I did not like. I'd look for the best conditioned one preferring one that has been cla'd by a recognized tech or get a range of cost to go through it and price accodingly assuming ant not cla'd in the past few years should be cla'd.

  6. #6

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    Condition, condition, condition! From the K3 forward, the basic mechanicals were settled up and there were mainly stylistic differences. The MX-EVS has the larger focus knob, and I believe the aperture is 5-bladed, not 10 as on earlier Synchro-compurs (not exactly certain when the Synchros went to 5 blades). The base plate to accept a Rolleifix. Double-walled back to avoid foam or yarn for light seals.

    One thing on the '3' to note is if the lens has a red T (Zeiss coating) or a red triangle (Schneider) indicating coated lenses. At some time in the '50s this stopped being indicated- I guess the assumption was that all were coated? I'm not sure when the coating symbol was dropped.

    Condition. And cosmetics don't tell the full story. I have a 2.8C Xenotar that looks pretty bad but has been overhauled and aligned. I've had very nice looking ones with crunchy focus systems, etc. All in all, I suggest buying from a place like here or rangefinder forum as people will be more prone to be honest and to stand behind their reputation. Ebay is a crap shoot.

  7. #7

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    best you can afford plus $100.

    The 3.5 shutters are a lot quieter than the 2.8s, and the 3.5s are also a bit smaller. Other than that, best you can afford plus a little more so you appreciate the sacrifice, and never ever worry about regretting your decision, or the extra $100.

  8. #8
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Thanks! There are so many Rollei models out there..don't think there is a bad one. I have a T but I want another one. XP

    I've decided to stick with Bay I for economy and accessories. The Planar/Xenotar might be "better", but the Tessar/Xenar lenses are good enough for me and I figured that the difference between the two is negligible (assuming condition is equal).

    I'm mostly interested in the Automat because many people feel that the T was a solid step below the other lettered Rollei's and I don't like the ergonomics of the 'Cords. I've never handled another Rolleiflex but the T is built good enough for me, so I'd probably grab another one if the price was low enough but the Automat will probably be cheaper.

    I guess I'll look into the type 4 and type 5 models.

  9. #9

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    I have a type 5, which my father bought in the early 1950s. It's outstanding, although it was hard to use until I replaced the viewing screen with a brightened one. If it's been sitting for awhile, it might need a CLA.

  10. #10

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    I have an Automat which is called Rolleiflex A here in Europe acc. to the Prochnow system. Coated Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar, X-synch, no baffles, no EVS, no coupling for the Rolleifix tripod-quick mount from 1952. I'm very happy with it. I replaced the screen with a cutted to size screen from a Mamiya RB 67. The first model with EVS was not so convenient as you could not switch it off. You should avoid a model pre 1949 or pre war since their lenses were not coated. You can identify pre war models by the colour of the deco rings on the front of the f-stop and time-knobs . Pre war they were grey, post war black.

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