I have used a Rolleiflex T extensively from 1988 - 1993 moving to the 3,5f and then the Mamiya C330. The Rollei T was without doubt the most versatile as it was the lightest of them all and I could easily hold it in one hand after focussing and shoot away. Some of this work is being published locally and features many portraits I done using the Rollei T.
I have a Rolleiflex 2.8C with the Schneider lens. My wife gave it to me for my birthday about 15 years ago after I expressed an interest in getting one. She didn't know anything about them (still dosen't) but I really lucked out. Cosmeticlly, it's in good shape. I have no idea how much she paid for it but I invested about $150 USD in a CLA and a Maxwell screen. Mechanically flawless, and the lens is clean. It's probably my favorite camera and the one I grab most often.
Assuming money isn't a problem..
Originally Posted by lindyhopper
2.8F Platin....F style camera with HFT coated Planar
2.8FX...........New camera with HFT coated Planar and upgraded meter
2.8F Aurum...Gold plated trim F body Xenotar lens
2.8F Xenotar or Planar 80mm lens
2.8GX Like the FX only older with different styling and different shutter.
3.5 F Xenotar or Planar 75mm lens
leaving the Rollei wide and Tele Rollei out of the discussion
The reason to get any other Rollei is either sentimental (you have owned it a long time or it was passed on from a family member) or because you don't want to pay for the latest, and you figure the optics are the same any way... unless they are hazy or scratched.
To me the one to have is a tie between the latest 2.8F Xenotar or the latest 2.8FX Planar.
I just purchased an old 2.8f. I sold a Hasselblad 500c system to get it, but I don't regret it. It has proven to be a very convenient camera that gives great results.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
Dennis, I disagree. The F- and G-series Rolleiflexes
all come with coupled light meters. I avoid them
because I prefer to meter myself with a separate
meter, and don't want a camera larded up with a
lot of stuff I never use. It's not a question of money.
The earlier models are better-suited for my purposes.
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Larded up? Is that a typo or an interesting way of putting it? Like fattened I guess. Personally I wouldn't go for an older model because they lacked a meter. I don't use camera meters including the one in the FX. I have seen some people say they like the knob without the meter because it doesn't stick out so far. But the original poster asked a question that was interesting in it's simplicity and total lack of qualifications. Most every recommendation in these threads takes price into consideration as a high priority since most people say I want a camera for under 300 dollars or something. I tried to make a simple list of the top of the line.. which is what you would look for if you won the lottery. So... a Platin of course. Unless you prefer the Xenotar.
Larded, yes, as in stuffed with stuff. :-P
Originally Posted by dpurdy
I am one of the people who doesn't like the
meter knob. My 3.5E came with a meter and
I had it removed because I didn't use the meter
and didn't like the knob sticking out.
Planar, Xenotar: It's all good. :-)
I used the company's Rollei T for many years and photographed many weddings without any problems. I eventually bought my own Rollei 3.5F. I do prefer the Planar lens to the Tessar, though you might be hard pressed to notice, and I opted for the 3.5 over the 2.8 purely on price, with modern emulsions it was not a 'must have'. The built-in meter I find is a plus, not that I ALWAYS use it, particularly if you can find one with the incident light diffuser which is superb for reversal work. It makes it an excellent 'grab it and go' camera, as long as you don't forget the film, of course.
I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!
If I were in the market for another Rolleiflex, I'd look for one with the least automation possible. The camera's I use most often these days (Rolleiflex, RB67, Wisner 4X5) have absolutely no automation of any kind. If I need/want to use a meter, I have an old Minolta Autometer IVF that only needs one AA battery. Simple cameras like the above mentioned really allow me to concentrate on exposure and composition and not get distracted by the extraineous. My wife gave me a new digital P&S recently and while it's pretty good for happy snaps, the damn thing has more menu's and modes than I can count. The complication distracts from the creative process. Plus, it relies on some kind of special battery thats just not available everywhere. I don't know about anyone else, but for me, simple cameras carry the day.
I didn't know Rollei TLR's had ANY automation... unless you're referring to the automatic first frame roller in the 2.8F. I think they dropped that for the G series, didn't they?
Originally Posted by Wilcoxson, David L.
But none of the have exposure automation, unless you count SCA flash adapters.