A question for those who feel there lens quality is lacking: have you had your various repairmen/women check that the film plane is in proper alignment with the lens? I have been told this is ultra critical with a TLR. I had a C330 that I suspect was suffering from this malady as it just didn't perform as well as my Yashicamat 124 and I was using the latest "black lenses". so just a thought. My 3.5T is in the repair shop right now but can't wait to test it.
No escaping it!
I must step on fallen leaves
to take this path
I have no experience with TLR:s but when I get a new camera or lens, I place out a couple of things, like coins or pencils on a carpet, put the camera on a tripod, focus on the middle one of the things I set out at full aperture to check the film plane distance (or rangefinder if it is an rf camera). I found out that one of my russian lenses were off for my Leica.
I replaced it with a Rolleiflex MX something or other. The photos from both are very nice, however the Rolleiflex handles much nicer with its hand crank film advance, and loads easier. The Flex is heavier and more robusty built.
Either cameras are capable of top notch images.
The screens are a bit dark on each and it might be worth the money to upgrade the screen for better low light focusing.
Agreed with the above 100%.
I have the same two cameras, a 'cord V and an MX-EVS. I like the handling better on the 'Flex, slightly. But my 'Cord has a brighter (aftermarket) screen, so it's a wash.
Image quality is so similar that it's not why I choose one or the other.
I have a few. A totally beaten up 3.5 f that has the front stage moving side to side. Good results nonetheless. A 3.5 xenotar and 2.8 planar, both f's- lovely. But the Rollei T is hands down my favourite because it is so light in comparison it feels like a little toy. Wonderful Tessar for my black and white. All my cameras have bright screens and I think it makes a big difference in the joy of using them. The older models without that ability to change screens have wonderful lenses of course but can't be that easy to focus. By the way I took advantage of the dropping market for these cameras 20 years ago and have been thankful for the opportunity. It's a good time to get one now so hunt down the best one and be happy!
My results have generally been very nice, but I never shot the more expensive 'Flex. Based on what I'm hearing, I think I am probably better off investing in a Maxwell screen than upgrading. I use the camera handheld and I think the lack of tripod and focussing accuracy are probably more important than the glass.
Thanks for all the quick and thoughtful comments -- Mark
I have a Rolleicord III, 75mm f3.5 which I inheireted from an uncle of my wife's ove ten years ago. It required a servicing, which included aligning the the top lens with the bottom (taking) lens. I have since shot many rolls of film through it. The lens quality is very good, and yes, I agree that the corner and edge sharpness suffers at wide apertures, although the centre part is very good wide open.
This is the only Rollei that I have owned, so I can't compare the results with any others, but I have handled the Flex's, and I agree that the egronomics are a bit nicer.
I have a 50in. wide high resolution print (on a Durst Lambda) from a scanned (drum scan) transparency, and the result was spectacular!
I intend to keep shooting with this camera for many more years!