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  1. #21
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
    If you want the Zeiss/Zeiss Ikon SLR experience without the pain, you could try the Yashica/Kyocera Contax or a Rolleiflex SL 35. Oh wait -- I said without the pain. Better remove the Rolleiflex from that list ... at least the bodies made in Singapore.

    Some of the Carl Zeiss lenses were also available in the Rolleiflex QBM, and they tend to be slightly lower priced than their Contarex counterparts. Not all of the lenses are available in the QBM. You just have to find a working body. The SL 35 M seems to be semi-reliable, as well as the SL 35, which is a very basic body.
    Sorry for getting way off-topic again, but since Rolleiflexes were brought up, then...

    Personally I don't like the Rolleiflex SL35: I find that the Pentax Spotmatic, which it more or less imitates, a far nicer camera. Also the SL35-M is pretty junky and plasticky. The Voigtländer-branded SL35-M (VSL1) is a bit better built and has more metal parts (notably the shutter speed dial and its bearings).. Still not a camera I like, though.

    My Rolleflex advice - however debatable - is the SL35-E (or Voigtländer VSL35-E). While wildly unreliable when it first came out, and today many are still affected by an electronic problem which manifests itself as a "lazy mirror", if you find one which works properly, it is likely to keep working.
    That said, a working SL35-E is actually a very sweet camera.

    The other alternative is the SL3003, aka the Motorized 35mm Hasselblad:
    Interchangeable backs, 2 viewfinders, Hasselblad shape.
    It is actually derived from a Zeiss-Ikon project for a futre Contarex, which Rollei bought & developed, so you "WOULD" be getting a Contarex after all.
    Caveats: Rather big, Accumulator management needs to be very careful, reliability so-so, being cynical one could say "The size, handling and cost of medium format with the quality of 35mm"
    On the plus side, a weird and wonderful beast which has the charm and quirks of the "Bullseye".

    If you were looking in general for a great classic camera with character which is also an excellent (exceptional) user, then "the camera I have" which I'd recommend is the Leicaflex SL or SL2
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  2. #22

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    A Contarex would look nice on the front seat of an Edsel.

  3. #23
    tjaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Budding View Post
    A Contarex would look nice on the front seat of an Edsel.
    Yep, that is true. I just drove the Edsel to the top of Market Street here in SF, it would have made sense to bring a camera. The view was UNREAL!
    --------------------
    "Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand

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  4. #24
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    I bit the bullet and picked up a Contarex. I got it for a lot less than I was expecting to pay. Unfortunately the 50mm that it came with has some element separation, but I'll see how well it does regardless. First impression: I LOVE IT. Man, you can tell right away that it was a well thought out camera. I have a contaflex system which looks somewhat similar, but does not function the same at all. The Contarex just feels great---nice size and has some heft to it (I can't stand really light cameras) so I think I will be a happy camper. If anyone is interested I will post some results after I fire off the first roll. One thing I cannot figure out is what the heck the round glass thing (no, not the lens...not the light meter...) near the Zeiss Ikon logo is---opposite the Contarex logo. Doesn't seem to be in the manual. Probably obvious and I'm just being stupid.
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    "Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand

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  5. #25

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    the glass at the opposite side of the logo brings light to the small field in the finder that shows the exposure. just look through the finder and put a finger in front of the hole. sorry for my bad english...

  6. #26

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    The Edsel today is worth something like half a million dollars. It's still ugly, however.

    Getting back to the Rollei SL 35 cameras, I agree with "Rol_lei Nut."

    The one thing that I might add is that of the five Sl 35 E bodies that I bought, only one works correctly in autoexposure mode. The others work fine in stop-down AE. I've always wanted to try the SL 2000/3000 series -- I've heard some unkind things about the reliability of the electronics.

  7. #27
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    I have 3 SL35-E/VSL35-E bodies which work (well, one's BC and self timer doesn't), this after going through at least 2 bodies which had the "lazy mirror" problem. So a better than even success rate isn't too bad...
    :-)

    The original SL2000 used the same shutter (and apparently electronics) as the SL35-E, thus was prone to the same failures.
    Later and fixed SL2000s are the so-called "3003 inside" model which, (you guessed it) have the upgraded and more reliable electronics of the 3003. Their shutter also reaches 1/2000 in automatic mode (on the SL35-E and normal SL2000s the shutter was originally designed to reach 1/2000 but was slowed to 1/1000 maximum because of reliability problems).
    The 3001 is basically a simplified 3003 without the WLF.
    On all these, using batteries or accumulartors other than NiCds can damage the electronics in some situations.
    Also, the later film magazines are said to be more reliable than the earlier ones having the manual film length setting (though these too were often upgraded "inside")...

    So, definitely not for the fainthearted! But can be great fun.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  8. #28

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    Regarding the use of NiCads only. Does it permit the use of the newer NiMH cells? Or is it NiCads and nothing but NiCads? I recall reading this in the past, but as I don't own the camera, I never understood why.

    I thought I recalled reading that the Rolleiflex SLX had the same warning regarding its batteries.

    Thanks for the explanation about the differences between the 2000 and 3000 series. My favorite lens of the Rolleiflex SL series is the f/2.8 85mm.

  9. #29
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
    Regarding the use of NiCads only. Does it permit the use of the newer NiMH cells? Or is it NiCads and nothing but NiCads? I recall reading this in the past, but as I don't own the camera, I never understood why.
    Nicads only as in no NiMH.
    I don't know exactly why, something to do their internal resistence. And the if the end of a roll is reached when the accus/battries are nearly discharged, it can cause serious damage.

    Because of the small sizes of the 35mm & 85mm f/2.8 (and the 18mm isn't too big for its FL), the Rolleiflex is my travel SLR (Leica R equivalents of the same lenses are relatively huge).
    If I had to choose a favourite lens, it would be the 35mm f/1.4 for its look, but it often gets left at home for its size...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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