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  1. #11
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    You can easily get a Rolleiflex Automat for $200 these days.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
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  2. #12
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    Concerning the three candidates mentioned - I would ilke to ask about the focusing screens. What I have heard up to now could be complilled into following:

    - 124G rather dim
    - Autocord - presumably brught, maby not the early models
    - Rolleicord - presumbly darker than Autocord.

    What is your experience?

    Also - not m=being a main concern - how does shooting wide open looks with these cameras? Is it possible to get still some reasonable resolution in focus even at small apertures (up to f4). I mean - at the end to get a strong contrast between in and out of focus areas. Although out of the price range - would a 2.8F rolleiflex fare better in this sense?
    The viewing system of all the TLRs you are considering consists of a lens (almost always f2.8), a mirror, a glass screen and a Fresnel overlay. In theory they should all be equally bright. Any differences will be due mainly to the condition of individual examples rather than variations between one model and another. Mirrors in particular, being front-silvered, can tarnish with age - even if they look OK, they can be quite a bit dimmer than they were when new.

    As I mentioned earlier, wide-open performance is good in the center with a Tessar-type lens - the main benefit of stopping down is to extend good definition to the edges of the picture and eventually the corners. Planar lenses from the 1950s and 1960s in general offer higher resolution, slightly lower micro-contrast and above all a flatter field - depending on the way you judge sharpness, you might feel a Planar is not as sharp.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    Also - not m=being a main concern - how does shooting wide open looks with these cameras? Is it possible to get still some reasonable resolution in focus even at small apertures (up to f4). I mean - at the end to get a strong contrast between in and out of focus areas. Although out of the price range - would a 2.8F rolleiflex fare better in this sense?

    Yes, naturally, as it has a Planar lens and is nearly a stop faster too. Have you considered a Rolleiflex 3.5E or F?

    I had a Yashicamat many years ago and found it very fragile – I broke it several times! Repairs for Yashica and Minolta might be difficult, which is another good reason to buy a Rollei.

    Tessar/Xenar type lenses are not good wide open (as David said) – I would use f8 at least.

    Good hunting.



    Richard

  4. #14

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    - Hm, haven't thought of the Rolleiflex Automat. But they are quite old, aren't they? What advantage do they bring over the Rolleicord Vb ?

    - How does the performance of Tessar lenses (Rolleiflex 3.5T or Automat) compare to Xenar lenses (Rolleicord V)? I would guess they are of similar design...

    - Indeed I am having a look on the Rolleiflex 3.5 C, E or F models too, but they are pricey (~ > 300 euro). Rolleiflex 3.5 T seems to be cheaper but then they have Tessar not Planar/Xenar lens (AFAIK)

  5. #15
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    1) Automat models were produced both before and after WWII.

    2) The big difference is the Automat feature - pair of rollers at the bottom of the camera inside, film backing paper is fed between them, rollers detect start of film. Nice to have but not vital.

    3) T does stand for Tessar - Rollei T is all-time favorite Rollei model of many people - including me!

  6. #16
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    4. Automat cocks the shutter and winds the film with the crank.

    5. Will not accept the prism finder.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
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  7. #17
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    Anything Rollei is expensive here in Japan. A Vb will still go for about $650+ :^P

    Yashicas can also be expensive, since I guess lots of people think TLR = Yashica. A, B & C models aren't that much, however.

    Minolta Autocords aren't very expensive, which is surprising since I've heard they have quite nice lenses.

  8. #18

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    Thanks for your input.

    Hmm, the thing with apparent sharpness of Planar is interesting but I do
    agree that sharpness is not only number of lines per milimeter resloved. But I do also agree that sharpness is not the only (often even not the main) concer about the lens.

    I had a look on prices and if I want to stay under $ than from the Rolleiflex family only the Automat and 3.5T can be considered. In this case I suppose that the 3.5T is a better option, right?

    Well frankly speaking - Minolta C330 & C220 models look very interesting thanks to their ability to change lenses - but I try telling myself that I want a light and not too big camera :-)

    Actually the number of accesories are not so important to me - I would be interested only in lenshood and some basic filters. I do not need a prism finder.

    - David -

    how does your 3.5T performs at let's say f4 ?

    - IloveTLRs -

    hey, maybe you could find for me a nice clean working Autocord CDS out there

  9. #19
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    Thanks for your input.

    Hmm, the thing with apparent sharpness of Planar is interesting but I do
    agree that sharpness is not only number of lines per milimeter resloved. But I do also agree that sharpness is not the only (often even not the main) concer about the lens.

    I had a look on prices and if I want to stay under $ than from the Rolleiflex family only the Automat and 3.5T can be considered. In this case I suppose that the 3.5T is a better option, right?

    Well frankly speaking - Minolta C330 & C220 models look very interesting thanks to their ability to change lenses - but I try telling myself that I want a light and not too big camera :-)

    Actually the number of accesories are not so important to me - I would be interested only in lenshood and some basic filters. I do not need a prism finder.

    - David -

    how does your 3.5T performs at let's say f4 ?

    - IloveTLRs -

    hey, maybe you could find for me a nice clean working Autocord CDS out there
    You should note that sharpness is a subjective quality and depends mainly on micro-contrast, whereas resolution can be measured in line pairs per mm but may not be the main criterion for pictorial photography. If you have more of one, you will automatically get less of the other! In an extreme case, for example, a process lens (designed to work with high-contrast copy films) might have fantastic resolution but its results might not look very sharp at all! As has been said before, Planars have flatter fields, slightly higher resolution, slightly lower contrast.

    The diiference between a postwar Automat (don't buy a pre-war Automat, they have uncoated lenses and are really too old to use now) and a Rollei T is that the T will be 8 or 10 years younger, will probably have a slightly better (but still single) lens coating and will take a prism. In terms of lens performance, you can use a Tessar with confidence at full aperture and get good center sharpness - as mentioned several time before, stopping down may improve center sharpness slightly but its main effect is to sharpen up the edges and (ultimately) the corners of the picture.

    If you do choose a T, I very much doubt if you will regret it!

    Regards,

    David

  10. #20
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have a couple of shots taken with a pre war Automat on my web page, just click on link below and go to classic cameras / Jan 2007.
    I have to agree with David in that my late model T has the best apparent sharpness, but I still prefer the results of the 3.5 F, IMHO the sweetest of the Rolleis.
    The late model Xenars on the 'Cords are still capable of excellent results with a little less contrast than the Tessar, but still good sharpness.
    I have never seen a Yashicamat that has lasted too long as the winding mechanism is delicate and prone to failure. If money is tight best to go for a Rolleicord 1V, or for a fair bit extra, the V. You won't be unhappy with either.
    Tony

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