I also note that the film advance feels tighter on the FX and am glad to hear that it improves over time. Perhaps the camera parts simply need to be used and broken in. Removing the band aid at some point might improve mine as well. In researching my decision to buy an FX I read many posts by you on the internet and do appreciate your insight.
Yes I am guilty of spending too much time on the computer in forums. When I was thinking of buying an FX I couldn't find anyone in my part of the world who had one, so I had to buy one before I ever saw one except in pictures. I still have only seen the one I bought. But for that reason I try to give people who are considering buying an FX all the user information I can.
I actually went to the trouble to take that steel tensioner out of the camera. It is held in only by 2 screws. The film is way too loose without the tensioner. The teflon band aid pulls right off like a regular band aid. It stays sticky so you could probably take it off and see if the tightness is less or if you like it better on you could put it back on. In my camera I can't tell that the band aid did any good at all. And I don't seem to be causing a wear mark on the steel without the band aid.
Another change I made was to replace the rollers above and below the film gate inside the camera. I put in old stock chrome rollers. The reason I did that is because of the rough paint they used on the little mask connected to the rollers. that rough paint causes a jagged edge to your image. I prefer a smooth edge. I also figured out later that I could just file the rough paint smooth with a fine file.
Oliver, I appreciate your (and of course others too) willingness to share your experience with the FX. In particular I find your little updates and corrections on the camera interesting.
Just a quick update. I was previously deciding between a 2.8f and 2.8gx and finally found a 2.8f at a good price.
After receiving the camera, I am absolutely in love with it and I am kinda tempted to buy another just in case something bad happens to it.
This camera is a thing of beauty and I'm fortunate enough to have procured a copy in very good condition (and white face as well!). I think the 2.8f looks nicer than the 2.8gx/fx in terms of physical appearance, and I'm glad I chose the 2.8f.
One of my favourite features is actually the selenium light meter, I really like how it is implemented. Reflected values are accurate compared to my sekonic, except the meter on the rolleiflex has a more limited ev range in low light (approx EV6 is the lowest it measures). All you have to do is glance down at the light meter reading, then adjust shutter and aperture to compensate on how you wish to expose. It's just so brilliantly simple compared to using a dslr.
I would just like to thank everyone here, especially dpurdy who provided such helpful information.
I am really happy with my new rolleiflex
Btw, does anyone know where to get a simple strap for the 2.8f?
Waking up the thread about the most expensive TLR camera
No, I have not (yet!) got a Rolleiflex FX, but I did recently got a very nice Minolta Autocord III (late model). I am on the learning curve (my hands still remember the handling of the Rolleiflex T which is somewhat different). So far I would probably prefer the T, but I have exposed only 3 films with the Autocord, so it is too soon to tell.
I have just realized that while many interesting details were discussed here, it was neither mentioned not asked - who is/was actually producing the lenses for the FX? It seems that the later (black edges) models have S-Apogon 80/2.8 which is supposed to be made by Schneider, but I do not know who actually produced the 'earlier' Planars - I suppose Zeiss because of the name, but it is not explicitly stated on the lens.
Is there actually any relevant difference in the design of the two lenses? Just curios (I am NOT asking which is better)
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There is a seller on ebay who insists on saying that the S-Apogon is an Apo lens made by schneider. He is totally making that up. When the latest ownership change happened, (I understand it is now employee owned) they lost the license to call the lenses Schneider or Zeiss. They changed the name of the lenses to Apogon.
On the FT you will get a T-Apogon which is a Tele Xenar. On the FW you will get a Schneider Super Angulon that they call W-Apogon.
On the FX you will get the Zeiss Planar design now called S-Apogon. The lenses have been made by Franke and Heideck or Rollei all along under license. They are now the same lenses with different names.
Adding to the confusion is that when they started making the FT and FW they did change to Schneider designs from Zeiss designs. The wide used to be the Zeiss Distagon and the Tele used to be a Zeiss Sonnar. However when they started producing the FX they stuck with the Zeiss Planar.
I have both an FX with the HFT planar (pre name change) and an F with the Schneider Xenotar. The only difference I can find is that the HFT coated Planar is a slight bit contrastier than the older single coated Xenotar. In sharpness they are indistinguishable.
I got the info regarding the S-Apogon v Zeiss Planar from communicating directly with DHW Fototechnik.
The name ring around the taking lens has come off for some owners, and it had to be glued back on. And I've seen GX cameras sold with the ring lost. Reinhold Heidecke would never had approved such a thing. The lens data should be engraved on the front lens retaining ring. Not glued or taped on.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
The spool knobs are plastic and don't stay out when you pull them to load film. My guess is that the old machines for making spool knobs were sold or scrapped in the early 80's and they had to make new machines for them, and found plastic parts cheaper. They don't look good. Do they lock in position when the back is closed, like on the earlier models, or can they be pulled out?
It lacks the selftimer. All Rolleiflexes since the first Automat in 1937 had a selftimer (except the Rolleiflex Standard Neu, manufactured during a few years), and even the T and Rolleicord V, Va and Vb had it. Accessory selftimers are often a PIA to use. The only one that I know is still made is a japanese one that vibrates like a cell phone. To use it you must buy a cable release extention to dampen the vibrations. Since the shutter release has a long throw it's not certain that this selftimer will work.
I do use accessory selftimers for my Rolleiflex Standard cameras and the pre-war Rolleicords. I bought ten old selftimers, and only two of them works with these cameras together with an old cable release with a small head.
The back is from the Rolleiflex T, which is cheaper to make than the F back. But the machines for the F backs had been sold or scrapped, and they still had them for the T back. The locking mechanism on the F back was more solid and sturdy, but I've never heard anyone complain on the T back. They have worked well for 50 years.
I don't like the click-stops for the aperture. But any repair man can remove it if it's just a ball bearing and a spring.
I can live without the film feeler mechanism. It's just one thing less that can break. They should have kept the flash cord locking lever even if it's not really needed anymore. Without it the camera looks less symmetrical and more unbalanced.
Is the shutter still a japanese Copal? Only time will tell if they will work as good for decades like the Synchro-Compur does.
The FX is a quality camera, it's new, has better lens coatings and meter plus a brighter viewing screen, but it also has it's compromises.
I have many Rollei's and I doubt that the 2.8 FX would give me any advantages over my 3.5 F with the six element Planar. This lens is sharper and contrastier than the 2.8 Planar on the E and F I've had, and it has the lens data on a real screwed in front lens retaining ring. It has a functioning meter that doesn't require a battery, metal spool knobs that locks in place, more solid lock for the back, no aperture clicks, quieter Synchro-Compur shutter, smooth shutter release and a selftimer.
If I had the money and wanted to buy a new Rolleiflex I would get an FW. The wide angle would be nice to use indoors and for landscapes. If I had more money, the FT too for portraits. The closest focusing distance is less than on the old Tele-Rollei, which is a big advantage.