Rollei 35 questions
I'm interested in a Rollei 35. I'm aware of the usual quirks: scale focusing, weird ergonomics, etc.. but I'm interested in learning a bit more about the lenses/filters.
I'm debating between Tessar and Sonnar.
My main concerns:
-Contrast: I prefer low contrast. I've read mixed reports between the contrast between the two. Some say the Tessar has more contrast and others say the Sonnar. My feeling is that the Tessar is lower contrast and more suitable for bw work but the difference is probably not enough to be a concern. I'm not sure.
-Filter thread: I prefer 30.5mm because they are easier to find. Keh.com has some Tessars listed with 30.5mm, is this true? I called keh.com and they told me that the Tessars were 30.5mm but I feel that the person was regurgitating the catalog specifications (which might be wrong). I was under the impression that all Tessars were 24mm? If I do find a Rollei 24mm K2 filter, then I can I also use a hood? I want to use both.
What I'm not so concerned about is price, sharpness (as long as it is decent), country of origin (Germany vs Sing), and lens speed. They are pros and cons to me but do not matter as much as lens contrast and filter thread. I'm split between the two: I feel that the Tessar has the more suitable contrast and is priced slightly better but the Sonnar has the more suitable filter thread and is slightly faster. As of now, I'm leaning Sonnar because of the filter thread.
I have a 35S (Sonnar). Most of the opinions on the web that I've seen have a general consensus of sonnar for color, tessar for b&w. The color shots I've taken are really something - I shoot B&W on other cameras, so I don't know how it compares. But the color on the sonnar is really something...
Hope that helps (don't think it really addresses your particular question, but)
Sonnar for auction at www.shopgoodwill.com until Sept 3 currently at about $80
The Tessars are 24mm, at least best I can tell measuring the lens and the filter for my Rollei 35 Tessar I'm holding in my hand right now. I have a Sonnar one too but cannot put my hands on it right now and have friends coming soon for a BBQ so cannot look at this moment. Love them both but use the Tessar more only because I have Sonnars on my other cammeras (T2 and Contax SLR system) and I had the Tessar fully CLA'd so I trust it more to perform. I too prefer lower contrast in many situations and the king of that for me is my 50/2 Summcron DR, but that's another story....
There's a comparison of the Rollei 35 Tessar, Sonnar, Xenar, and Triotar at Jackslai's Flickr photostream -
I've used the Sonnar extensively for over twenty years - until it was completely worn out. Also the Triotar, which gave me some nice contrasty b&w images. Now I'm leaning towards a Tessar, at least for b&w; it's supposed to have more bite than the "buttery" Sonnar.
Three Rollei Sonnar samples -
(The mid photo was taken on the wonderful first version of Fuji RDP (Provia), for which in the 1990s many people gave up Kodachrome. It was less accurate in color rendition, but the highlights smooth as old Pan X.)
Added: I found the Sonnar to be less contrasty than my first gen Summicron 50mm, at least in b&w, slightly flat. With color I didn't feel the lack of contrast because the color saturation of the Sonnar was fairly high, more than the Summicron - a Zeiss characteristic I was told.
Last edited by James7; 09-04-2012 at 04:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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