Actually, Brian, prices on the Rollei 35 RF have come way down from where they were when it first hit the market. About the same now as what the R2 was selling for & what the R2/3A sell for more or less. Very reasonable, especially considering that it comes with a 2-year manufacturer's warranty vs. the 1-year warranty on Bessas, which in some cases is essentially a store warranty.
Originally Posted by shadesofgrey
The shutter is the same because as you pointed out earlier, it is essentially an R2 clone. But there are some non-cosmetic differences. Close focus distance is 0.7 meters, an improvement over the R & R2, which are 0.9 meters. It is also a nice alternative to the R3A for use with the CV 40/1.4 Nokton because you can actually see the 40 mm frame lines even with glasses.
I think that Rollei was aiming for the same concept as the Leica CL, i.e. a light weight 2-lens travel kit. Thus, the 40/80 lens combination. It's a nice concept actually. No frame lines are paired with any others, so the viewfinder is uncluttered. The choice of 80 as the long lens allows for a speed of f/2.8 with this base line. When Leica designed the CL with a long lens of 90 mm, they were restricted to a slow f/4 maximum aperture.
Production of the Rollei 35 RF ended about a year ago at the same time that the R2 was discontinued. They are still available, however, while the inventory of R2's sold out long ago. Thus, the 35 RF & the Leica MP are the only all-mechanical rangefinders available on the new camera market.