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  1. #1

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    Rolleiflex 'T' White Face

    While in London this weekend I managed to pickup a near mint Rolleiflex T white faced TLR with five Bay1 filters, a Rolleinar II set and beautiful Rollei ERC. The camera is equipped with a meter and is serial no 2317246.

    I believe this is one of the last Rolleiflex TLRs to come off the production line and for this reason is probably a little special.

    I acquired it from a friend who never used it. I traded my Nikon D50 SLR with standard zoom for it, no cash involved. I reckoned that the Nikon would continually deppreciate in value whereas the Rolleiflex would do the opposite!

    Any views on these cameras?

  2. #2
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    To me, it depends on what you are going to do with it? If's it going on a shelf, I think it's a good collector piece (which the D50 might not be, but only time will tell). If you are going to use it (which I as a several-times-owner of Rolleicords and 'flexes prefer to do) you might need to get it serviced. The monetary value of the camera would depreciate while the user value would probably sky-rocket in that particular case.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  3. #3
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    A trade with a Rollei and any Digi has to be an excellent deal! The "T's" are reallly great cameras, don't forget to run plenty of film through it....the Tessar is pin sharp.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for both replies. I intend using this camera, I also intend rekindling my passion for b&w developing and printing.

    By the way, the lens is a Xenar. I have a Rollei T 'Grey' also and this earlier model has the Tessar.

  5. #5
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    Congratulations on the trade. According to Rollei history, the T was invented to compete with an exploding camera market and is designed to be able to use 35mm and 645. Also according to what I have read, the T was discontinued at some point but then the British Military wanted it and so Rollei made another run of them with the Schneider Xenar rather than the Zeiss Tessar. The Xenar is just as good a lens as the Tessar, just as also the Schneider Xenotar is just as good as the Zeiss Planar. According to the famed repairman Krikor, the weakness of the T is in the transport so it must not be abused. Apparently the parts to repair the transport are hard to find. Lots of T lovers in the world.
    Dennis

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    The Xenar is a Tessar derivative design so the optical differences between the two cameras you have will probably be small. I've have been happy with either variant.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
    JPD
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    That's a fine camera! The White Face Rolleis are luxury items these days. Show us i picture of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpurdy View Post
    Also according to what I have read, the T was discontinued at some point but then the British Military wanted it and so Rollei made another run of them with the Schneider Xenar rather than the Zeiss Tessar.
    No, all the very late Rollei TLRs made between the early 70's to the early 80's had Schneider optics. They were a bit cheaper and Zeiss did't want to make small batches.

    The Rolleicord VB and T then used the Xenar, and the Rolleiflexes used the Xenotar.

    The exceptions were the Aurum and Platinum 2,8F that used the Planar.
    J. Patric Dahlén

  8. #8
    luvcameras's Avatar
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    From my Antiue & Classic Camera Blog at http://antiquecameras.net/blog.html


    "For those of you interested in the Rolleiflex line of cameras, many knowledgeable people have remarked that the Rolleiflex T models are made to lesser standards than the "letter" and Automat versions.

    Mark Hansen, experienced repairman, remarks on his site;

    "Cameras I don't like to work On"

    "Rolleiflex T is a reasonably good camera when compared to a Rolleicord, or Yashicamat, however, it is a solid step below the Automat, and not even comparable to a Letter model. These cameras were cheapened consumer products that were meant to be discarded when worn. Now they have the Rolleiflex name on them, and people pay well into the 400 dollar range, which is about four times what they are worth. So, when it comes to fixing them, I have to take several hours and charge 120-150 dollars for a camera that will have a useful life of maybe a few more years, and that I cannot warranty for more than a few months. In short the insides are not up to Rollei standards, they have plastic parts and you the photographer should get an Automat instead; save money, and have a lifetime camera."


    I agree with Mark. The "T" models continue (May 2011) to fetch extremely high dollars in comparison to other Rolleiflex models, especially the Type III, White Face and Grey models. This wasn't always the case, the T used to be worth modestly more than the comparable Rolleicord Vb models. Now, its almost twice the Rolleicord. I think the majority of people don't know that the "innards" of the "T" are made of a lesser quality. I also think there is a certain "mystique" to the "T" that make ebay buyers place such a premium on them."

    Dan
    Antique and Classic Camera BLOG
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  9. #9
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Well said and very informative, Dan. I didn't know (if true) that the T's are that much less durable than the 'Letter models'.

    Quote Originally Posted by luvcameras View Post
    I also think there is a certain "mystique" to the "T" that make ebay buyers place such a premium on them." Dan
    To me personally there has always been something extra attractive indeed about the simplicity and powerfulness of the T-designation. No fuzzy naming like 2,8E model something, but simply "T". Add to that the aura of the Tessar name and you have a powerful little marketing machine. No wonder that the prices are somewhat inflated.

    That said, the 3,5F and 2,8C/E/F also seem to be fetching more and more (exceeding general inflation), sometimes into the seemingly ridiculous. ('seemingly', because eventually there is only one value, which is the market value.)

  10. #10

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    This is my second Rolleiflex T. In 1987 my father in law gave me his Rollei T. He bought it in 1966 and used it for wedding photography. The camera is still as good as it was when he gave it to me. It hasn't ever let me down. It was serviced once in all that time to put a sticking shutter right.

    I've also had 3,5f Planar Rolleiflexes and I can tell you I never liked the thumb wheels on them, they always ceased.

    There was always a certain snobbery about Rolleiflex models and the T always took a bit of a hiding. However, the results spoke for themselves!

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