Yes, it can be quite difficult. I find it to be easy with the 50mm, 80mm and 120mm, but the other lenses do definitely require a tripod.
The problem is that you cannot support the lens with your hand, because it has to be on the focussing knob. I always use a neckstrap when hand holding it, otherwise it would be nearly impossible. I second that the SL66 works best on a tripod, but then it is a real joy to use.
Regarding Q.G.´s question for problems: There are indeed some weak points:
1. The earlier cameras do occasionally suffer from a mirror jam. The mirror is locked in the up-position then and will not return. Rollei later improved the mechanism, so a repair with the new service parts will solve this. This does however only affect very early cameras, from the 60s. Rollei also improved the magazines later and added a security lever as well as winder release button.
2. The focussing knob is rather delicate and will not stand hard knocks.
3. The SL66SE often develops a problem with the metering. The cables that are connected to the cell behind the mirror are made from some sort of fiberglass, they ofter break when the camera is used extensively. Repair is expensive. You can still use the camera, but it works like a classic SL66 without metering then. The SL66E however still uses metal cables and does not suffer from this problem.
4. One should never try to focus back to infinity when the lens board is tilted. Will definitely damage the camera.
Apart from this, I do not know any common problem. As long as they are used properly, these cameras are very reliable. As are Hasselblads. One should expect that from a camera that had cost a small fortune when new.
My camera is from 1977, I bought it in 2006 after it had not been used for 15 years. It was rather stiff then and the shutter times were a little bit off. I sent it to Mr. Kuschnik for an overhaul and it came back perfectly smooth. He did a great job. I also replaced the old screen with the Rollei High*D-Screen, which is insanely bright compared to the old one. The only thing I do miss from time to time are some newer lenses, like the 180/4, which were never available for the Rollei. Would be the only reason for me to switch to Hasselblad. Apart from this, it´s a great camera.
The weather is fine today, now I will go out and shoot some Velvia ;-)
When I bought the SL 66 so many years ago, it was for professional applications ( large numbers of negatives). My friend did the repairs for Hasselblad in The Netherlands, and at a certain point of time all Hasseblads were in his possession. His advice was to buy the SL66. That does not mean that the quality of Hasseblad has not improved in the mean time.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
And we never had problems with the SL66 after a huge number of exposures. Last year, I verified the quality of the shutter and mirror system. It weas still operating like new and the image quality was like with a leaf shutter.
Yes, I can confirm that the shutter system of the SL66 is - though beeing fully mechanical - very, very precise.
It should be given to all newcomers the one basic advice for this camera: Never ever do anything with the back without cocking the shutter first. But I've heard something like that -including the lenses AFAIR- about Hasselblads too.
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Exactly! "Do the swing before you do anything."
All of them?
Originally Posted by Jed Freudenthal
Oh, you mean yours...
It has not, in fact.
Originally Posted by Jed Freudenthal
There was no need. Your statement really was/is nonsensical.
Thanks for sounding a realistic note.
Originally Posted by Slixtiesix
Nothing is perfect.
It should be well understood (and that's why i thought i'd mention it) though, that Rolleis too are very well made, and that problems are few and far apart. I'm not implying the opposite.
So when we compare systems, that should be remembered.
And when we do, yes, Ulrich, the Rollei SL 66s do have a bit of a worse reputation.
Time for some deductive reasoning.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.