I shoot the Rolleiflex and the Fuji GF670. The quality of the picture from either lens is great. The difference between the two is speed of use. I can easily shoot my grandkids on the move with the Fuji. I am not as good at using the Rollei that quickly. But the Rollei was used by news photographers back in the day so I am sure it can probably be done with enough practice. At least that is what I keep telling myself. :)
As others have said, you are unlikely to be anything but thrilled with either camera. I haven't use any Rolleiflex cameras but have an old Yashica that I enjoy. I've owned the GF670 for over a year now and have nothing but good things to say about it. Having said that, both cameras would take getting used to. Care around the bellows is needed with the Fuji but once you are used to it there is little to worry about. The TLR would require getting used to the reversed image. An earlier post mentioned issues like automation and parallax but neither are an issue with the GF670. Head to head the Rollei would probably win the build quality test but in its own right the GF670 is very well built and I love the simple, two dial layout. Unlike other users who commented here, I focus with my left index finger and find it easy to hold steady with the remaining fingers of my left hand coupled with the left hand. One unique thing about the Fuji is that the shutter is so ridiculously quiet that you won't even hear it in a noisy environment. You just have to trust your finger. It is so compact that in a pinch you can even shoot one handed in a pinch with reasonable shutter speeds. At 90cm, the mfd is fine for portraits, but it obviously isn't a macro camera. The only problem I've had with it was occasional misfires and poor battery life in cold weather. But then I figured out that it was insufficient tension in the spring on the cap for the battery compartment. So I just stretched it out a bit by hand in have had no problems since. Last week I shot 7 rolls of velvia in Colorado and can't wait to get the results!
It is all about psychology. It is not about the cameras, but about the heart vs the head.
Buy what your heart tells you - if you buy with the head, as you walk around with the Fuji, you will simply be lovesick and will continuously think about the Rollei and will never enjoy the Fuji no matter how good it is.
Buy the Rollei first, and start to save again for a RF medium format.
By their very nature, all bellows are fragile when compared to solid metal lens mounts. But at the same time, in trained hands they are virtually never a problem. It's just something that one gets used to keeping an eye on, and it becomes second nature.
Originally Posted by mingaun
I have three hand cameras with bellows from 35mm to 4x5. None are a problem for me. A century ago everyone used handheld bellows cameras without giving it a second thought, and those cameras usually lasted a lifetime.
I'm sitting here with my GF670 in my hands to see exactly how I hold it. In my left hand it looks exactly like the picture from 'jbrubaker' in post #5. The baseplate is resting on the heel of the left hand, which crosses under the camera at a 45-deg angle. The four fingers spread across the bottom edge of the fold-out front cover, which in the open position is now 90-deg out from the camera face. And that leaves the left thumb free to fall directly onto the focusing ring. There are three points of hand contact with the camera body, none of which touch the bellows.
From this cradled position the camera is secure and very responsive, although I do also use a wrist strap with all of my hand cameras just to be safe. Others have mentioned fast-moving grandkids. I can easily see doing that with this camera. And having done kids with TLRs myself, I think this camera would win in that situation.
The viewfinder is a knockout, the meter amazingly accurate, and I would be remiss to not also mention that the electronic shutter is so quiet that you will initially think your camera is broken the first time you press the release. Leicas sound like poorly assembled army tanks compared to this camera.
A few other quirks you may be interested in...
The viewfinder shutter speed LEDs are full stops only (i.e., 30, 60, 125, etc.), which limits the ability to finely adjust manual exposure settings when using the internal meter. You only have one-stop granularities to work with. I think Fuji intended for you to always use the camera in automatic mode. In manual mode I simply use an external handheld meter instead.
The detents on the aperture ring are set to half-stops, not the usual third-stops.
As is already well documented, lens hoods and filters must be removed and the lens must be fully retracted to infinity before the camera will close. The tolerances really are that tight. That means when in use it normally stays locked open for the duration. (So again, keep an eye on that bellows.)
The damping grease on the focusing helicoid seems a bit thin for my tastes. I would prefer a bit more resistance and a bit more holding power. Meaning, if I point the camera up and focus, the lens will creep down slightly with gravity if I don't hold my thumb on the focusing ring. This can be a problem with some pre-focus situations where you must wait a bit before the composition materializes.
That's exactly what happened immediately prior to making this photo. My first couple of attempts with this subject were out of focus until I realized what was happening and corrected it. I've considered sending the camera back to Fuji USA to be re-greased, but have not yet decided if it's a big enough issue for me to go to that much trouble and presumably expense.
I did have Fuji USA adjust mine while they were doing some other work and the focus is now perfectly damped. It moves nicely but with enough resistance that I am no longer worried that it will move on its own.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
Was it done under warranty? And if not, could you reveal the cost? And the turn-around time?
Originally Posted by Pioneer
The lens was handled under warranty though the camera is actually about 6 months past the warranty period (procrastination is my middle name.) Total turnaround was just under three weeks but they also did a couple of other things.
Thank you all once again for your help and advice.
Actually I did not expect such a great support for the Fuji. Looks like the only thing going on for the Rollei is the build. I actually was hoping for more from the Rollei.
I will probably order the Fuji soon. Thanks again.
I have no doubt that you will enjoy it. It is quite an amazing camera.
Originally Posted by mingaun
Sorry to hear that, but glad you had the chance to try it.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera