Is Rollei worth the hassel?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by macpaladin, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. I have read several negative comments about service and how Rollei
    treats its customers. I also know that the camera and lenses are
    great, but service is very important to me.

    I like the digital bundle because it seems to be a bargin for
    someone buying their first Rollei. But is it worth it when their
    customer service is so poor? Do people have a lot of problems with
    their cameras? Why would someone go to such an effort to manufacture
    a great camera and then not adequately support it?
     
  2. An addendum- maybe it is not as bad as it seems because someone with a complaint is more likely to ask a question or respond than someone that is very happy with their camera.
     
  3. Actually Rollei technical service (at least in USA) is pretty good. They are very competent. I do not think people have lots of problems with their cameras! I am assuming we are talking here of their 600x line here. My 6008i is simply a joy to use. I have not had any problems in over 5 years.

    Rollei 3rd party repair is limited. Rental choice is also limited. Maybe it is a chicken and egg problem in the end. There would be more 3rd party support if there are more rentals. To me, Rollei lacks only one thing, and in a big way: a competent marketing department.
     
  4. I must second these comments. I've ownd three 6008s -- over 15 years with no major
    service, other than an occasional CLA. The only problem I recall was with a flash adapter
    which would not hold the Metz flash upright. Rollei service replaced it at no charge, although
    the warranty period had expired. The cameras are fairly reliable and rugged -- I have not
    heard of anyone having a lot of problems with their cameras.
     
  5. My experience with the US Rollei repair has been excellent, with an in-warranty repair
    done correctly and quickly, and regular service to my 6008 body, back and a lens cleaning
    done the same way. Once you start using the Rollei, (and seeing the results) you'll wonder
    why anybody would want to shoot any other MF. Having the top shutter speed of 1/1000
    (in 1/3 steps!) makes daylight flash so much more flexible (with less flash power needed).
    Film loading is fast, easy. Meter is awesome, flexible and accurate, even in Auto (shutter
    AND apeture, as well as Both). The motor is great, a bit loud, but the mirror lock-up is one
    (ONE) button and so easy to do, great for portraits (they think the shot has been taken,
    then the shutter goes in a quiet 'snick'.). In short, a truly great camera, one that I pondered
    getting for my work for a while, and since there was no shop around to try or rent I had to
    jump in untested and I've always been very pleased with my purchase.
     
  6. OCULUS New York

    OCULUS New York Still shooting, but posting less here.

    I haven't any idea of what "problems" you are obviously repeating (having heard), versus any you might have experienced (not likely since you don't own any).

    I have had nothing but 2-3-day turnarounds with anything sent to Rollei USA. Elsewhere, I can't comment; and simlarly, you might do well to be more specific in your reports.

    The only delay I have ever experienced was waiting for the specialist in Germany who works on 3003 bodies to return from vacation--and they let us know that the moment the camera arrived there. It was returned about 3-4 weeks later, in perfect working order, despite now being out of production for nearly 20 years.

    Ray Hull
    6003 Pro, full complement of lenses
    SLX2, ditto
    3003, ditto
    35 in transit.
     
  7. Well it certainly is refreshing to hear all these positive comments from Rollei owners as I am considering purchasing one.

    What are your opinions about the newest AF model? I only know one ex-owner and he was disappointed.

    Also just how good is the metering on these?

    Thanks!
     
  8. what was he disappointed with?
     
  9. Hugh, I got my kit used a couple years ago and sent it off to Rollei in NJ because of some problems. They quickly diagnosed the problem with the lens and fixed it promptly and reasonably. I believe the repairs were done within 48 hours. I also had them do a CLA. I priced the cost of CLA services with Hassy before purchasing the Rollei and was shocked at how much less the Rollei people charge for these periodic services. I have nothning but praise for the Rollei service in NJ (Carmen was the fellows name).
     
  10. Is Rollei in the US actually Rollei company or a distributor / agent? Amazing how distributors / agents can help to destroy their manufacturer / principal suppliers' reputation.

    But, what was Hugh's complaint?

    As a management consultant I'm always intrigued about how so many so called "smart" managers and their companies do customer service soooooooo badly! Forget management text books - all their staff have to do is TREAT CUSTOMERS THE WAY THEY THEMSELVES WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED! Nobody likes a rude, unhelpful and aggressive, stupid and inconsiderate employee, whatever their role!

    Actually it was this sort of stuff about customer troubles and forums littered with problems with Rollei MF electronics that confirmed my decision to buy Hasselblad - no electronics to worry me.
     
  11. Simon, though electronics is not an easy subject to master, if the forums are littered with this broad issue, surely somebody should be able to blame either the motors or the shutter or the spot meter or something else in the latest Rollei lineup. So far I have seen only the story of battery loosing its charge, and then the camera acting up in cold (subzero) weather.

    As far as one choosing a mechanical camera over the electronic version, it is fine with what one feels comfortable with. There are choices. But as far as Rollei service is concerned, it is top notch.

    The limitations of mechanical systems show up in mysterious ways too: like a newbie locks up a $2000 machine because he/she forgot to follow some sequence of removing a lens. Or an experienced macro photographer's pain as he/she adds a couple of extension tubes and very soon the whole operation of two macro tubes along with a bellows feeding the torque to the lens feels like an old ship's axle feeding the power. Or does anybody remember how the powershafts fed power to the cotton mills in New-England a couple of centuries ago. Now it is not up to every person to understand the complications of such a mechanical setup either!

    You hit it right on the nail, by pointing out the necessity of serving the customer exactly like the server would like be personally treated as.
     
  12. Rollei USA service is great, I been to the NJ center a number of times in person to get warranty work done (120 back didn't count right-no charge), and some used lenses, CLA'd. A tune-up on a 6000 series body is $85, a lens is $60, and a back is $60 also. I was there a few months ago to get an old used 60mm Curtagon freshened up. Turnaround is a few days, quicker, if you really need it. Fast, friendly service, and I think it's pretty cheap insurance to do regular CLA's on your stuff, especially the film backs. I had a couple of used 645 backs that were noisy, sounded dry. What a differance when I got them back, quiet & smooth. Same for the lenses, they operate smoother. The modern Rollei product is fine. A lot of the old threads relate to the SLX, early generation 6000 stuff, and Marflex service. It's all different and better now.
    Don't expect the AF to be as fast as Canon's. I don't think any MF AF is.
    I went with Rollei a couple of years ago over Hassy, because of their reputation of locking up. I've been to enough weddings to see it first hand. No problems with Rollei, get a spare battery though. Once you get them conditioned, they last a long time. But, they don't like the cold. You can always get the hard wire adapter, and stick it in your warm pocket for extended freezing temp shooting.
    And the glass offered is top-notch, it doesn't get better.
     
  13. To answer the metering question, I shot a bikini model on sailboat in 4-6 ft waves in open
    ocean on provia, on apeture Auto, and the slides were perfect. I'll look for that link to the
    shot. I did some bracketing to cover my *ss but I didn't need to. The metering lock is easy
    and makes you use the spot metering more, even in auto, you just pick your tone, click it
    in and it stays for the shot, sequence or roll. For tough light with a bit more time you can
    do the same thing but keep adding spots and it will average them out, I do like one bright
    tone, one medium and one shadow and lock it in, good to go.
     
  14. Here another very satisfied Rollei user. Have had no problems with neither the 6008i nor any of the lenses that I have (not talking about the 40mm I dropped on the floor 2 months ago, but that lens was very quickly repaired in Germany - I live in the Netherlands).
    Wim
     
  15. The nature of specialized products and electronic forums is that the grumbling is louder
    than the support. I've used Rollei gear for over ten years, and other than the battery going
    out once or so, I can't think of a problem. Yes, I bought a used 2X teleconverter that didn't
    line up withthe contacts, so I returned it. But all the backs work, all the lenses work, etc.
    Other than sending one lens back for cleaning, I've never had to use the service folks.
    Narry a problem. Get the MAHA battery charger, and get five + years out of the batteries.
    Amazing.

    The lenses are superb, the meter is v. v. hard to beat (you really have to work at it, its
    rather amazing how good it is) and the system (6003/8) is as good as they say it is. Try
    the AF yourself and see if you like it. Its not for everyone. But it is there, and does work.
    Just not for fast action, rather for quicker, safer (?) response to still objects and moderate
    people movement. If you want to photograph your kids playing soccer, buy something
    else.

    So try it and see. I haven't looked back in ten years, and have no intention to. I just wish
    they'd solve their management issues. But the product is beyond reproach.

    Geoff Goldberg
     
  16. The nature of specialized products and electronic forums is that the grumbling is louder
    than the support. I've used Rollei gear for over ten years, and other than the battery going
    out once or so, I can't think of a problem. Yes, I bought a used 2X teleconverter that didn't
    line up withthe contacts, so I returned it. But all the backs work, all the lenses work, etc.
    Other than sending one lens back for cleaning, I've never had to use the service folks.
    Narry a problem. Get the MAHA battery charger, and get five + years out of the batteries.
    Amazing.

    The lenses are superb, the meter is v. v. hard to beat (you really have to work at it, its
    rather amazing how good it is) and the system (6003/8) is as good as they say it is. Try
    the AF yourself and see if you like it. Its not for everyone. But it is there, and does work.
    Just not for fast action, rather for quicker, safer (?) response to still objects and moderate
    people movement. If you want to photograph your kids playing soccer, buy something
    else.

    So try it and see. I haven't looked back in ten years, and have no intention to. I just wish
    they'd solve their management issues. But the product is beyond reproach.

    Geoff Goldberg
     
  17. Well spoken - couldn't agree more.
     
  18. I bought my Rollei 6008AF from CTrades, and have been 100% satisfied with results. It is a
    superb machine, see my photos from last years trip to the Hebrides, now on exhibit at
    museums, - 136 rolls and nary a
    problem.
    http://homepage.mac.com/viswan/PhotoAlbum1.html

    I just came back from Ireland,
    and even in the damp weather the electronics were fine.
    -Josef Tornick
     
  19. Is it worth the hassle? As a former 6008i user I think it is. Years ago I used to have a
    6008i kit with 60mm, 90mm and 180mm lenses. Because of the Rollei's superior design
    and ergonomics I was able to handhold even the huge Schneider 180mm at low shutter
    speeds, wide open at close distances and still get in focus tack sharp photos on location.
    If you do this type of shoot the Rollei is right for you. Then one day for no apparent
    reason at all my 6008i failed and that shook my confidence in the system. I did not buy
    from an authorized dealer so I had no right to whine about customer service. Anyway i
    switch to Hasselblad "to be safe" since they have a better service network. I regret the
    switch because the Hasselblad could not do what I wanted it to do. It was just the wrong
    tool for the job. So if you need a Rollei for what it offers then go for it. I don't see too
    many complaints about its reliability. Rollei is a very small company and can't offer the
    support like Hasselblad.
     

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