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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    I want a Rolleiflex; which one?

    I want a Planar/Xenotar.

    From what I gather the difference between the Planar/Xenotar is irrelevant.

    My questions:
    1) Asides from the light meter, are there any functional differences between the E's (with removable hoods) and the F's?
    2) How is the balance of the 2.8? I shoot a lot of available light so this is one that I'm considering; however many people prefer the balance of the 3.5. Is the balance and weight enough to deter you from these cameras? Or is it mostly the price?
    3) Is there a difference between the 5- and 6- element variants?

  2. #2

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    the E does not have a removable hood, the F does -- all this means is that you can't use a prism finder if you want -- big whoop.

    the f uses a meter with a battery, the E uses a silenium meter -- likely not real accurate these days, but mine is, so ya never know.

    the 2.8 is a larger and heavier camera than the 3.5, but the balance of my 2.8 E is real good, it holds nicely.

    Functional differences? They both have shutter buttons and set shutter speed/lens aperature the same way, so far as I know. The m/x/v switch might be different, I dunno. Big whoop.

    as to 5 and 6 lens element variants -- no clue, I only take pictures with them, get spectacular images with the 2.8 E with a Planar or the 3.5 'Cord with a Xenotar -- I suspect the difference is like that between the planar and xenotar -- something you only see if you know in advance it should be there and you tell your brain to find one.

    Rollei didn't make any bad lenses, especially not on its later cameras. Buy less expensive with confidence. Only get an F if you really need to be able to brag you have an F -- an E is just a sweet but the Fs seem to have a cachet that adds an extra $500 or so to the price.

  3. #3
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    The difference between the Es 2&3 vs the F metering is only in the way the information is conveyed to you on the camera. Nothing to worry about.

    The 3.5s are a little bit lighter but it isn't really significant. The 3.5 is also a little bit wider view in 75mm vs the 2.8 80mm. To me that is more significant than the weight but most people find that difference insignificant as well. Maybe because I am so used to my 2.8 80mm perspective, I right away notice the difference with the 3.5 75mm.

    In the 3.5 they made an additional element for the early F models and there has been a lot of argument about what it was for but
    according to what I have researched it is merely to absorb some of the UV light and makes no difference in sharpness or contrast especially in black and white.

    Glad to see you want a Rolleiflex. A camera you will come to love and probably a good investment too.

    Dennis

  4. #4
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    The F meter does not use a battery. That didn't come till the GX.

  5. #5
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    I have a 3.5F. It may be my imagination, but the Bay II filters for it seem to command higher prices than the Bay III, for the 2.8. They also seem harder to find. I know when I was buying my filters I often cursed the price I had to pay for the Bay II's. Someone with more knowledge could probably jump in, and say I was crazy...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpurdy View Post
    The F meter does not use a battery. That didn't come till the GX.
    well, i stand corrected - and all the more reason not to buy an F.

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    The condition is far more important than the difference in lenses or between an E and an F. Do not buy any with dented sides, bent backs or corner damage on the front plate. Almost any you buy will need a good CLA and perhaps more so take that into account. The F is nice but the E will take as good a photo. Also the E2 has an interchangeable hood though it is rarer. 3.5 vs 2.8 is not a huge difference but if you do not expect to shoot wide open nor need the extra stop just get a 3.5. I have numerous copies of both types and never worry about the weight or balance myself.

    Where are you located? Best would be to see and hold them and decide for yourself.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    The condition is far more important than the difference in lenses or between an E and an F. Do not buy any with dented sides, bent backs or corner damage on the front plate. Almost any you buy will need a good CLA and perhaps more so take that into account. The F is nice but the E will take as good a photo. Also the E2 has an interchangeable hood though it is rarer. 3.5 vs 2.8 is not a huge difference but if you do not expect to shoot wide open nor need the extra stop just get a 3.5. I have numerous copies of both types and never worry about the weight or balance myself.

    Where are you located? Best would be to see and hold them and decide for yourself.
    amen to this -- i love my 2.8 e, it is an elegant machine, sort of like shooting with a Cadillac, but to be honest the 'cord Vb is a really good knock-around shooter and it's "just" a 3.5 -- the cords are actually lighter.

    amen to the comments about condition and having it serviced. Essex in new jersey just did a rollei for a friend and he says it came back lovely.

  9. #9

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    Condition. Condition. Condition.

    By the time you get to the 2.8C, Rollei had pretty well nailed the mechanics and design (well, the plastic bits on the C were a mistake). Meters, depth of field scales, EVS interlocks, interchangeable screens and finders- frosting of various flavors that don't affect the core camera.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    as to 5 and 6 lens element variants -- no clue, I only take pictures with them, get spectacular images with the 2.8 E with a Planar or the 3.5 'Cord with a Xenotar -- I suspect the difference is like that between the planar and xenotar -- something you only see if you know in advance it should be there and you tell your brain to find one.
    A 'Cord with a Xenotar?? Wow, quite the collector's item there. I thought 'Cords only came with Xenars (and a few hundred Tessars at the end of the run, I believe)

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