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  1. #11

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    << The thing is (for me), there are many ways I shoot with a TLR that are not possible with an eye level RF or SLR camera. >>

    Agree.

    My fav example is a shot of my son on a swing, going as high as he could. I laid on the ground at the bottom of the arc, told him not to keep his feet apart enough not to kick me on the downswing, and laid the TLR on the ground in front of me, looking through the viewscreen. I focussed on him as he paused in the air above me, and when the time / composition was right I took the shot of him against the sky.

    More common example is that my TLRs (Rolleicord, Rolleiflex, and a Ciro-Flex) take the best portraits I've taken, I *think* because my face isn't hidden behind the camera. I talk, put subjects at ease, look them in the eye, keep talking, and when the expression's just right there's a gentle click - and I've got it.

    Bracing my body against a wall, like Mike, allows me to shoot at slower shutter speeds than any other camera I've owned.

    And there's the goodwill and attention that a TLR seems to bring in public. Mostly good.

    I have other low-dollar medium-format cameras. One, a 6x9 cm Kodak Medalist may even have slightly better glass than my Rolleis. I've got maybe $100 in it, but it needs a CLA - doesn't focus or move well in cold weather. Otherwise, works great. But the Kodak is a rangefinder camera and feels too modern - I find myself coming back to the Rollei TLRs for the unique abilities above.

    I also have a Zeiss-Ikon folding 6x9cm camera. While it brings even more interest in public than the Rolleis, it also feels rather too modern.

    I guess I really enjoy using the TLRs for the unique interface; they make me feel like an artist more than a photographer, since I can view the entire scene without burying my face in it.

    And finally, a nice Rollei does seem to hold its value. I'm not making money by holding on to my nice 'cord and 'flex, but I'm probably not losing money either.

    Doug Grosjean

  2. #12

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    Thanks Doug, that was what I had in my mind, some shots are easier taken with TLR, some with LF beast on tripod and some are dedicated for 35mm with a tele. Even if he bought a TLR now and later his dreamed-of Mamyia 7, he could be happy with both of them... Therefore I recommended him a cheaper TLR (cheaper than a US$400 Rolleiflex), but as I have non such, I can not advise on reliability...

    Jiri
    Jiri Vasina
    www.vasina.net

  3. #13

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    You're welcome.

    And I agree - different cameras have different strengths / weaknesses.

    I don't know for sure about reliability of TLRs compared to other cameras, but I've got a hunch... TLRs in general are very simple, few moving parts, and seem to be robust and reliable once you've got a good one.

    Mine have traveled with me on big trips in a bag on top my motorcycle's gas tank, with foam pad insulating them from vibrations. The only trouble I've had was on a 6,000 mile trip that included dirt roads and Jeep trails in Colorado, the film advance knob came off the Rolleicord (the knob wasn't lost, stayed in the bag). I didn't have quite the right size screwdriver to repair it on the road, so I set it aside in my luggage and finished the trip using my Ciro-Flex instead.

    I'm in a little too deep on both my Rolleis. The Rolleicord V, I got 2 years ago for $100, but shutter was sticking on slow speeds. I sent it off to Harry Fleenor, had a CLA and a bright screen (divided by thirds) installed for about $300, and aside from the knob incident mentioned above it's been trouble free ever since. I've run maybe 50-75 rolls of film through it in two years, I don't know an exact number.

    My Rolleiflex EV-MXS (I think that's the model) I like a little more, due to the hand-crank instead of knob to advance the film, and due to different design of shutter (button). I'd like to have a brighter screen installed, but haven't done so yet - just due to needing money for other things. I got it from Ritz Cameras online out of Phoenix AZ for about $400, and aside from a very rare occasion when it seems to skip a frame while sitting on the shelf, it's been fine too. I've had it a year, have done nothing to it, and ran maybe 30-50 rolls of film through it.... Again, not an exact number.

    Repair and parts are still easily available on the Rollei TLRs, another plus.

    FWIW - having a big negative and a robust camera (that can survive miles on the motorcycle) is a big part of what keeps me shooting film.

  4. #14
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    And I agree - different cameras have different strengths / weaknesses.
    Well ya! That's why you have to own them all :rolleyes:

    $400 buys you a lot of MF TLR these days. For me, the more expensive 2.8F Rolleis aren't really worth having to get a coupled selenium meter. I use a handheld incident/reflective meter 90% of the time anyway.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  5. #15

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    So in the end my brother-in-law settled on a Rolleiflex TLR. We are going on a shooting on sunday to try it out, but from just holding the camera, he likes it a lot...

    Thanks for your recommendations and comments.

    Jiri
    Jiri Vasina
    www.vasina.net

  6. #16
    kb244's Avatar
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    You really can't go wrong with a Yashica Mat-124G though....
    Or A Mamiya C3/C33/C330 with a lens TLR.

    ... Now someone go buy me a Rolleiflex 2,8 for Christmas so I can change my mind.
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by kb244 View Post
    ... Now someone go buy me a Rolleiflex 2,8 for Christmas so I can change my mind.


    Please make mine the new Tele-Rolleiflex

  8. #18

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    If you have a REALLY limited budget, I recommend the Yashica A. Only a four speed shutter, film window wind, and a pretty dim viewing screen. Three element Yashikor is tack sharp at f8-f11. I bought mine on ebay for a whopping $15.

    I have a Rolleiflex too, and it is a LOT more camera. If your budget is small, you can still get great results from the Yashica A.

    Rick.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  9. #19
    kb244's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace View Post
    If you have a REALLY limited budget, I recommend the Yashica A. Only a four speed shutter, film window wind, and a pretty dim viewing screen. Three element Yashikor is tack sharp at f8-f11. I bought mine on ebay for a whopping $15.

    I have a Rolleiflex too, and it is a LOT more camera. If your budget is small, you can still get great results from the Yashica A.

    Rick.
    Meh or Lubitel 166U.... come on it'll be fun
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  10. #20
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb244 View Post
    Meh or Lubitel 166U.... come on it'll be fun
    Just a personal view - the Lubitel is dirt cheap but possibly the worst conceivable choice - unless you are an expert, it's very hard to know what's going on with one of these - how about a shutter running at half speed and a viewfinder in which you can focus only on a small circle in the center, and then only in bright light and if you have perfect eyesight?

    Another point - Rolleis with meters. I have had many Rolleis, only recently got one with a meter and feel the meter is virtually useless. It is strictly speaking accurate, but being a wide-field integrating type, it really needs to be angled downwards to meter landscapes correctly. Unless you can also angle your head downwards and forwards at 45°, you'll find the meter impossible to read. And as it's not coupled, it's no quicker to use than a separate meter.

    Regards,

    David

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