Medium format paradise: the Rollei Hy6 Model 2
There were slim pickings for analogue photography fans at this year's Photokina, but the highlight of my attendance was an opportunity to shoot a roll of Ektar 100 thru the newly revised Rollei Hy6 mod 2 (having several improvements over the previous Hy6 introduced two years ago). The DHK booth was my favorite corner of Hall 4, adjoining the Linhof booth, not far from Sinar and Metz. I borrowed a tiny manual Metz C-2 flash and under the watchful eye of the Rollei brass I went across the isle to the Linhof booth, a salesgirl from Metz who served as a model and assistant and fired off 12 shots, with the camera set at F8 and the flash in manual mode. Having several medium format cameras (Hasselblad 500ELX, Mamiya RZ67 and Mamiya 711) I was extremely impressed with the fast and accurate autofocus function which greatly facilitates shooting without having to strain my middle age eyes. The auto focus is much faster and responsive than the earlier Rollei 6008 which I also tried (without film). All the shots taken with the Hy6 mod 2 were in perfect focus and the system was also functioning well in dimly lit areas as well as I put the camera thru its paces in these areas without film. The lens was the Schneider AF Xenotar. Blowups to 11x14 were tack sharp with no loss of sharpness from 8x10 enlargements. Although the price of 8200 euros with lens and film back make this camera out of reach for most enthusiasts (however the fact that it can use digital backs makes it resistant to obsolescence) there is no question in my mind that this equipment represents the epitome in medium format photography mainly because of the accurate autofocus function, ease of operation and highly corrected state of the art modern lenses available for it, including the option of manual focus with earlier non AF lenses.