Shooting Rolleicord VB 50% of the time.
I have just picked up a Minolta Autocord (export), Ricoh Diacord G, and a Yashica-Mat ... I have yet to run any film through them, so I cannot say exactly how they compare.
From all my research the IQ of these are in the order that I have listed them. I have even read that some think the Minolta is as good as the Rolleiflex's.
dxqcanada: results of your testing of these 3 fine cameras would be of interest.
Good morning, Logan;
The only precaution I can suggest for your Minolta Autocord is for the focusing lever system. If it becomes stiff, do not just push harder. There is a fair probability that you will break it. Yes, it is a little bit "delicate" in that way. Instead, if it gets "stiff" or develops a "hard spot" at a place in the focusing arc, send it out for a CLA at that time. Do not force it.
That is the only curious point about the Minolta Autocord that I know about and observe with mine.
Latte Land, Washington
Well.. Good question.. My first one was Lubitel 166.. I got back 3 broken lubitels from my last trip to Ukraine and made one working. After first successful 120 film developed, I immediately purchase Yashica A in like-new condition. That was start of my new passion. Next one was ugly broken Mamiyaflex that I fixed / partially restored. Then broken Zeiss Ikonflex with Novar and rusty shutter. I fixed that one, too. I really wanted to try zeiss "magic" lenses and I was not disappointed. Super sharp with nice bokeh. After reading few posts about Yashinon lenses and their possible relation to Zeiss I got Yashica 124 with broken meter that was fixed as well. At this moment I have 2 Zeiss Ikonflex TLRs, Yashicas A, E, EM, 124 and 124G, Lubitel 2, 2 x Lubitel 166, and my last purchase, Ricohflex Dia.
Few weeks ago on my trip to LA I met guy on Santa Monica Pear walking with his Rolleiflex while I was taking pictures with my Yashica EM.. Now it looks like I will sell almost all of my TLRs and will try to get that nice German camera..
So this is my story. Maybe it is important to add that I developed my first 120 film only 3 months ago...
I used a Rolleiflex 3.5 professionally in the 1950s and 1960s and then a Yashicamat professionally in the 1970s. These days I don't shoot a lot of photos but am very involved in scanning 120 (and 35mm) negatves from the "old days" to make large prints for display in photo/art galleries. So I'm currently up to my neck in 120 negatives. I have images that I own of Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra, Liz Taylor, etc.
By the way both the Rollie and the Yashicimat negs are equally sharp but scanning both types within a short period of time led me to realize the Rollei negs have a much more impressive dynamic range.
I am going to shoot some photos on an old 6x9cm Ansco Viking 45 folding camera as soon as I can spool a roll of 120 onto a 620 spool. I got a roll of 120 film at the only "real" old fashioned camera store within 50 miles of me, or more, and it cost me $8.
I Have a Mamiya C220 I use too. It's a wonderful camera. Maybe a little more user friendly as compared to T Model Rollei. But I tell you.. Walking around with Rollei you diffently get a lot of attention, People come up to me all the time and ask about and comment what a beautiful camera it is. I absolutly love my TLR camera's there is just something about making an effort to take photos it just so awesome. I found too, that since I'm confined with 12 exposures. I come way with better pictures.
Good morning, Todd;
An interesting observation. Yes, I have also noticed that when I go to 120 roll film or larger, there does seem to be a deliberate effort to slow down and take more time with the composition and selection of exposure. Yes, it is an interesting effect.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
"Rollei negs have a much more impressive dynamic range". saw this quote two threads back. What a perfect statment. After scanning an printing in darkroom with the T. Thats what it is.. Dynamic range. It's like another layer of detail.
I only purchased my Rolleiflex 3.5 MX-EVS about four weeks ago. As my first TLR (and first medium format camera) I am still getting used to it. I find that I tend to use it for shots that are more carefully set up and composed, and particularly for subjects that do not move. About 50% of what I have shot has been on a tripod or monopod. My main cameras are Leicas M9P and M6 TTL, and the shooting experience is night and day.
I must say, though, that the M9P has come out only once since I bought the Rollei, and the M6 not at all. Those 6 x 6 negatives are really something else.
I have a C330 and C33 with 65, 80, 105, 135 lenses. I tend to use my TLR's in spurts, although I notice that I have the highest percentage of satisfactory photographs with them, particularly with the 65mm, a real gem of a lens. I find that I'm going through a 35mm phase right now, shooting with my Canon EF and Leica M3. I'll be out of that soon, returning to my MF gear which includes a 500c, Mamiya 645 (original) and 645 Super, an RB 67 Pro S and a Fuji 645 rangefinder. When shooting with my TLR's I get an incredible sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I'll be posting some photos soon (I hope).
I exploited another TLR advantage a couple months back. I cobbled together enough fittings to go from Bay-1 to Series 7 on my Yashica Mat 124G so I could use an 89B filter I've had since my first IR foray circa 1965. It was cheaper and easier to round up old Series adapters and step-up rings (some bought, some in 'storage') than find a Bay-1 IR filter. There's a bit of ghosting at the lower edge of the ground glass from the large filter and shade, but it works pretty well. My previous recent attempts with IR used my Bronica SQ-A, which is a fine camera, but I thought I would wear out the filter threads (or my fingers!) taking the IR filter on and off for every new composition, a decided disadvantage of an SLR. A couple of the results are currently hanging in shows, so the results were good.
To get back to prumpkah ...
I sold the Yashica Mat and the A ... and I have run a roll through the Ricoh Diacord, and my wife shot a roll through the Minolta Autocord.
Sadly, I have yet to develop them.
Though now I am in the process rebuilding three Minolta Autocords (L and LMX).
I will say that I like the shutter cocking mechanism on the Yashica-Mat and Autocord better than the Diacord ... as I exposed the first frame 4 times before I remembered to advance the film. The focus lever on the Autocord is made with bittle metal and is prone to breakage ... which really makes it impossible to repair, just replace.
Seeing some of the postings by TheFlyingCamera inspired me last month to track down a Rolleiflex 2.8F at KEH. I had bought a Yashica TLR about 50 years ago for $80 (new) and used it for nearly 20 years until I moved on.
I was surprised by the heft of the Rolleiflex. It is a vastly superior camera. The Rolleiflex seems to have the same basic 80mm F2.8 as my Hasselblad but in a much more convenient package. I look forward to getting a lot of use from it.
I see that I contributed to this thread a couple of years ago... (ok... way back in 2009) I am pleased to say that my Rollei is still in my every day bag and gets a lot of use. However, I have recently been shooting a LOT of 5x7 paper negatives on my B&J and keep an XA in my jacket pocket. For me, each tool inspires me in a different way.
Well, if this doesn't seem like a sleepy little group here i am with the guilts using mt rangefinders 97% of the time my SLR's 2% leaving 1% to a small digi when on the fly. So. .. ... tomorrow I pledge to tote only the 635 it's not that its a hard camera to use it's just not the "handy" camera I reach for. I hope to do better. Damm -you Bessa R, Canon P, I wish I knew how to quit you!
Other cameras: Mainly 35mm. Pentax LX, MX, ME Super, K1000. Folders: Voigtlander Vitessa L, Retina IIIc, Zeiss Ikon Contessa, Retina 1. Olympus OM 10, Canon T30 (I think, its the one designed for brain dead shooters!). Medium format: Pentax 645n, Busch Pressman 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. Everything works except for the Retina IIIc, shutter problem. Anyone know of a good repair shop?
Google "Retina IIIc shutter stuck" or "Retina IIIc shutter repair" and you should get lots of hits. I think it's a leaf shutter inside the lens. Probably worth fixing.
Yes, the Retina IIIc is worth fixing. It has a Compur shutter and an f2 Xenon lens, which is a fine lens by any standards. My understanding is that the shutter/film wind rack is a weak point in these cameras, it was working perfectly until suddenly, in the middle of a roll of Kodachrome, one of the last...it refused to wind or release the shutter.
I have a Yashicamat that was used by wire service photographers in the 1960s and still takes good photos. I just bought a Yashicamat that a Yashica expert says has German-made lenses. I have a Bilora Bella 6x6 that makes fine negatives but are blurry. I need to take it out again and use a tripod.
I am just getting my wet darkroom set up and when I get it finished I will be taking a lot of 120 film. I bought a bunch of Ilford Pan F Plus 50.