Conversely I find the weight an asset when handholding as the thing doesn't shake as much as my EOS 35mm. Much steadier in fact. I suppose that should read, I don't shake so much with the heavier camera!
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
I always found that my even heavier old C33 was extremely hand holdable. Supported by a neckstrap and two hands underneath it, looking down into the WL finder with the camera close in to your body is an extremely stable position. I could shoot at slower speeds than I ever could with my 35mms with excellent results.
A bit of advice from painfull experience: Avoid using it on a Tiltall style tripod. It is a top heavy camera and when that head tilts unexpectedly and grabs your finger, Boy Howdy! You'll discover a vocabulary of obscenities that even you never dreamed that you knew.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
Thanks everyone for your input.
I really appreciate it, and I hoist a cold pint of Sleeman's Dark to you all!!!
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
I have found that Rolleiflex Automats such as the MX model sell for significantly less ($150 - 200 USD)than the Cord V, Va, and Vb. Optically there should be little to no difference, as all of these cameras use similar optics (Schneider Xenar or Zeiss Tessar). The differences between an MX and a Cord really boil down to ergonomics in use.
At first, I was looking on eBay at Rolleicord Vs, the prices, though, for the good ones are unreal. A 'mint' condition Vb recently went for almost $500USD. Even well worn ones in need of a serious CLA are selling for about $150USD.
If you are using a Cord II with Triotar lens, you will be pleasantly surprised at the level of detail from either the Xenar or Tessar lenses, especially when stopped down to f/8 - f/11. Although, to be honest, I find it hard to tell the difference between the Tessar on my MX and the Xenotar on my 2.8D at f/5.6.
If economy is a factor (and when isn't it?) the smaller f/3.5 camera is the way to go, as Bayonet I accessories (filters, caps, lens hoods) are more plentiful and much cheaper than their Bay III counterparts.
Make sure to budget for a lens hood and strap. Flare does tend to be an issue with these older single-coated lenses, and the MX model did not contain light baffles behind the taking lens until the last 50,000 manufactured. The left-handed focusing on the Flex models makes the strap a requirement unless you are an accomplished juggler.
If you want to go really cheap, consider a Rolleicord III with Xenar lens. These should be available for around $100 USD and use the Bay I accessories. I have one of these and frankly, I find it the most ergonomically logical of my three Rollei TLRs. My sharpest handheld shots were made with this camera even though in theory this should be the softest of the three lenses.
If interested in seeing some low-res web images from my Rolleis, point your browser at:
There is a very active Rollei TLR/SLR mailing list to which I belong. If anyone here is interested in subscribing, send me a PM and I'll send instructions along.
I started photography in the late 60s and was advised by a Pro friend to purchase a Mamiya C3. Results were stunning!! Despite the facts of flexibility with lens combinations, added porofinder, lens hood and pistol grip, I soon tired of the weight of this outfit when travelling abroad ( Japan mainly, so no trouble getting parts or service). Ten years on I stumbled across an advert for a 'pre loved' Rolleicord Va plus green filter, X2 sets ' close-up' lenses for the tidy sum of $35 Aussie. Needles to say I bought the lot and have not been dissapointed. A little TLC and this unit works as new. I cannot differentiate the quality of the photos from either unit , but find the weight difference appreciable. ( to the point where I also carry a Contax 35mm Unit on my travels). I now have the Mamiya as a fixed Studio Unit. So if a Rollei comes up for sale my advice is Go for it. You won't be dissappointed.
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My start in mf went from yashica d, to mamiya c3300, to rollei. The mamiya was a good , if somewhat big and bulky workhorse, but after shooting a rollei I was never again happy with it. If I recall correctly, I had a black 80mm, a black 180, and a silver 65. They were ok lenses, but the glass in even my 3.5 tessar rollei was clearly better.May very well have been my particular samples.
I would say that unless you are hell bent on having the interchangeable lenses, go for the rollei and don't look back.
Umm... this is different from my experience. I have 80mm f/2.8 in both silver and black versions, and both are very good lenses. Of course the 75mm for new Mamiya 6 is sharper and more contrasty, but that's a much newer design. (I dislike Xenar on Rolleicord I have. This isn't the smartest thing to say in public because I have one for sale :=)
Originally Posted by Bruce Appel
One thing that's often not mentioned is that Rollei TLRs don't ahve flash shoe. Mamiya TLRs do. Besides a TLR with a flash makes a nice party camera, there is one more use for the flash shoe. Check this out:
Another thing. People often compare TLR v. SLR, but in terms of the shooting style, I think Fujifilm GA-645i and new Mamiya 6 rangefiner are more of the competitors. I really wish Fuji sold GA-645i with silent autofocus and film advance of Konica Hexar and 6x6cm format!
With older cameras sample variation may be significant. My rollei glass is better than the mamiya glass I had. I don't know that any more than that can be extrapolated.
In the early 70s I owned both a Mamiya C33 and a Koni Omega Flex. My parents bought me the Mamiya, but I traded it in for for a Koni Omega Flex because of the 6X7 format, used Koni Press backs and it had a dark slide so I could change lens in the field. I used for many years and found it to be reliable with good lens. I don't if Koni Omega Flex's are available and what the repair outlook is, but I would give it a look.
Koni TLR's show up fairly regularly on E-Bay.