Buying a Rollei

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by noalbany, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Tired of breaking Yashicas (3 in the past month) and have decided to buy a Rollei. I want specifically to get
    a 2.8 Planar w/meter. There are different versions of this, no? Is any one better than the oother?
  2. Here is a good link of Ferdi Stutterheim
    rolleigraphy/ My favourite is 2.8 GX.
  3. i won't worry about with or without a meter since i will finally decide to buy in a handhold meter. meters in most of used Rolleiflex are too old to be of much use.

  4. I've owned the E3 and F versions and prefer the feel of the F. Don't like the EV system anyway. But Steve is right, the meter, though fun to play with, is good only for film with a very broad latitude such as color neg.
  5. Interesting that the meter on my 2.8F, version I from about 1960 matches exactly to my Weston Master V from 1965. I recently had the Weston rebuilt by Hollywood Light Metric, so I know it is accurate. I do think that mine is the exception.
  6. Michael, I don't think there are any Rollei users left in the world who seriously
    contend that the Planar is better than the Xenotar. Except as a subject for
    entertainment value. I myself have worn my eyeballs out trying to find the
    surperior lens and the only difference I can find is that the Planar is more
    expensive. If you want to get a latest version of the 2.8F with serial number
    after 295xxxxx then you will get a Xenotar.

    As to the meter, I use a spot meter with my 2.8F xenotar and only resort to the
    meter when I forget to bring my spot meter as I did for a wedding last year. In
    blinding sun out doors the Rollei meter was hopeless. Those little sensors on
    the top of the camera read too much sky light. Other than that though the
    meter is accurate.

    Once you get a Rolleiflex you will never use a Yashica again.
  7. If I could afford it I would get this one. The seller is very reputable and
    trustworthy. I have bought several things from him and he is a very good guy.
  8. cpj


    Everything said above is correct! As a "Rollei guy" who owns six and has owned several
    more since the 1960s, the essential points have been summed up pretty well. The meter is
    usually a bit better than guessing but is a wide-angle averaging meter that certainly isn't
    very helpful under many light conditions.

    The Planar/Xenotar debate is never-ending. I have both. As to the "White Face" version,
    this is one that has a different plate around the lenses and different positioning of the
    serial number. I have one but it sure doesn't make any photographic difference. You will
    pay a $200 or more premium for a "White Face" because of its collectability.

    The only thing not mentioned is that the 2.8 model is larger overall and heavier than the
    3.5 and with today's film you usually don't need the extra f-stop of speed. Remember
    when the Rollei was designed, the top speed of "fast" black and white film was 400 and
    color negative film was 160. So if you find a nice condition 3.5F you might consider it.

    As to the focusing screen, the E2 and F models all have the removable hoods so dropping
    in a Maxwell Screen is a simple thing you can do yourself and you'll have a modern
    brilliant screen equal to that in a new Hasselblad.
  9. I have to disagree about the meter. With a little intelligence I have found the meter to give excellent exposures (e.g. in sunlight I might meter off the grass, then let everything else in the scene fall where it may). I have half a dozen rolls of beautiful-looking FP4+, full range of tones, bags of detail in the shadows and highlights, drying in my bathroom right now. All shot last weekend in bright overhead sunlight.
  10. There is no way you can get reliable exposures using such a primitive reflected light meter. It is too much influenced by the brightness of the subject. You need to use an incident metering technique which a camera fitted meter cannot do.
  11. I have had good success with the meter in my 2.8Fs in difficult lighting conditions using slide film.
  12. The meter on my 3.5F if pointed in an appropriate direction and set to a film speed tested for correct exposure has always worked perfectly for me with Velvia 50, Provia 100 and Velvia 100.
  13. Michael,

    I bought an FX recently. The meter (a kind of "wide area spot meter")
    is very good. I shot ~30 rolls so far in various lighting conditions
    (including rather difficult ones) and it never failed on me.
    The built-in meter is actually the reason why I wanted a GX/FX.
    Since I carry my Rollie almost everywhere I wanted to keep the gear
    to a minimum. Furthermore the 2.8 Planar is brilliant.

    Now my girlfriend enjoys the old Yashica. (However she's so good at
    taking pictures, I reckon she would deserve the Rollie and should
    leave me with the Yashica :)
    We shoot exclusively color slides, they blow our socks off all
    the time.

    Happy shooting,

  14. Forgot to mention: with a GX/FX, avoid to have direct sunlight
    entering the camera from "above". The meter is located behind the
    mirror, hence excessive light coming on the viewfinder might
    influence the metering. I actually never had any problem with this, except once: I had direct sunlight on the focusing screen. Fortunately I noticed it before taking the picture, and have been aware of this "problem" ever since.

    With the FX, my slides always turn out to be perfectly exposed.


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