I own a Mamiya C3 and a Rolleiflex T. The Rolleiflex (980 gr) ist about half the weight oft the Mamiya with lens (1850 gr.). I like and keep both, but if I go to stroll around and to look for interesting subjects I take the Rolleiflex. But for portraits and closeups the Mamiya ist unbeatable because it seems to me that its bokeh is not so harsh as the one of the Tessar.
I've been using a pair of Mamiya C330Fs and the 55,80,135, and 180mm lens pairs for about thirty years and have never hankered after a Rolleiflex because it only has a standard lens, to be as versatile as a Mamiya TLR you would need to carry three cameras, a Tele Rollei, standard Rollie, and a Wide angle one, and I can get a camera body and three lenses in a very small camera bag.
Last edited by benjiboy; 11-18-2011 at 11:04 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Rollei invented the TLR in the '20s, NOTHING beats Zeiss glass (although I do like the look that comes from a Schneider Xenotar). Rolleiflexs are light, versatile, built like tanks, quiet, and I've had no problems with the brightness of the screens. The responses I read up to this point, seem to be only from Mamiya users with either little or no practical experience with a Rolleiflex.
Originally Posted by msbarnes
Rolleicord is a completely different model, less features, sometimes lower quality lenses than the Rolleiflex models, because they were made to be more affordable to the photographer who wanted to get into a Rollei, but were on a tighter budget. That being said, the Rolleicord Vb seems to be their best model overall.
Rolleis are higher priced, because they're worth it, (not down to collector B.S.) and are like money in the bank. They're the Mercedes Maybach of cameras. I've been using Rolleis for over 30 years, and actually prefer my 1945 Tessar model over the 1955 Planar (although each have their own look and purpose. I can shoot a frame in less than 45 seconds (usually less than 30sec as long as there's no people to ruin the shot). So, speed is no problem, and the sport finder makes shooting movement(s) a snap.
I've used a mate's C330, and hated just about everything about it. The optics let me down, the weight was a nightmare, as was the system for changing lenses. Now, I'm not completely off Mamiya, I use a M645ProTL as a replacement for 35mm, but the Sekor optics do require a bit of trial/error to find the proper film to try and get the most out of them. The Maco/Rollei films give me the best results, especially the Ortho25. Simply beautiful results, as well as Rolleipan 200, and 400-S.
Tried the TMY-2 when I received 2 trial rolls from Kodak, and while better than the horribly picky to work with T-Max films, the beauty & tonal range of the Maco films just isn't there.
So there ya go, my 2¢ of advice. Once you shoot Rolleiflex, you'll forget completely the C330, and wonder why it took you so long to switch to the real thing.
If the lens doesn't read "ZEISS", then it just isn't.
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
Originally Posted by Pumalite
If the lens doesn't read "ZEISS", then it just isn't.
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I have a Rolleiflex T and a Mamiya C330. Other people have said the Mamiya weighs more, but I also think you can't discount the ergonomics of the Rollei, which makes it a walking about camera. It's just so comfortable. And the tessar is sharp as hell. Of course I originally bought the Mamiya for the interchangeable lenses (also sharp), but I don't use it much now and seem to swap between my Rollei and a Mamiya 7II with a 50mm lens on it. THe 7II is also comfortable in the hand, so I think the ergonomics is more important than we usually allow.
I wouldn't trade my Mamiya TLR system for any Rollieflex.
I have used a Rolleiflex, Microcord & Mamiya C330f. Whilst I like the lightness and portability of the Rollei & Microcord (my only English made camera) I do like the versatility of the Mamiya's ability to allow close-up photography using the standard 80mm lens.
Film Cameras currently used:
Large/Stort-format: Ebony 45SU (field camera), Medium/Medlem-format: Mamiya 7, Hasselblad 503CW
35mm/Små format: Nikon: F4, D800 (yes digital, I know)
I own both a Rolleiflex MX-EVS and a Mamiya C330 (with the best lenses: 55mm, 105mm DS, and 180mm. Plus a 135mm.)
My main gripe with the Rollei is the actual focal length. 75mm is on the widish side (actually it's a closer to a "perfect normal"), and it always takes in a bit more than I would want. But that's about it. Otherwise it's all taste and usage differences.
The Tessar on the Rollei is absolutely excellent, great colour rendition (and I even got the CC filters for slide work), pin sharp, very nice character. The Mamiya lenses make colours a bit more saturated (better coatings probably) and have a slightly more modern look.
I prefer the Rollei for carrying around. I like to call it a "notebook" camera, the light one you keep to shoot whatever comes across. The Mamiya I like for its interchangeable lenses, its ability to take 220, all the accessories and grips, paramender, and obviously the much better screen. For slide work I have a slight preference for the Mamiya; for B&W, it's a toss up, and other factors will make me choose either before lens considerations.
You can't go wrong owning both.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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There's no question that the Rollei has the reputation as a great camera with great optics. No Rollei owner every has to claim "my lenses are as good as Mamiya". If you own the Mamiya you will at some time claim, the lenses are as good as the Rollei, and you will have some photos to back that up.
Despite both being TLRs, they are really very different critters.
I've been using the Mamiya TLRs for nearly 30 years. I had a Fuji rangefinder for a few years, but outside that, the Mamiya has been the only medium format system I've every owned. Few will call it the ultimate for everything, maybe not for anything, but it does a lot of things very well.
The photographer is more important than the camera.
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