Rollei vs Minox

Discussion in 'Minox' started by ian_wade, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. I have been thinking about picking up a Rollei 35. And after looking at the prices
    At eBay I was pretty shocked. A Rollei 35 goes for around 130-180. That isn't
    Exact but it raises the question is it truly worth nearly twice as much as a minox
    I looked At the page and there was only side by side pictures no in depth
    Comparison. Im interested in seeing what you guys think.

    No offense but the is it true that the later versions of both cameras
    Were made outside of Germany?

  2. Ian, if you really want to get a good example of the Rollei you'd have to pay for it. I think the underrated Olympus XA is also a capable performer in this size and should also be considered.
  3. I have both Rollei 35 Germany Tessar lens, pro super reliable, con rather heavy AND Minox 35 GL pro super light, con battery dependent with fragile electronic shutter BUT both cameras produce magnificent images.
  4. I might have to try and pick one up, which models should I stay away from?
  5. I recommend all Rollei 35's whether German (more expensive) or Singapore but to keep the cost more reasonable only those models with 40mm f2.8 Tessar front element focus. Avoid Triotar and leave Sonnar and Xenar to more affluent collector/ users. Don't worry about battery issues, use a hand held meter or "sunny sixteen rule". These magnificent cameras are fully mechanical, manual exposure and focus machines. Caution: they do not have a rangefinder, use hyperfocal distance for focus. Have fun! On the subject of Minox 35, the EL model is prone to malfunction for several reasons. I have one and the GL seems better performer but Rollei 35 IMHO wins over all.
  6. Ian, I have: Rollei 35TE (40 Tessar-Singapore) and Minox 35GT (Germany). Both have exceptional lenses. As Paul has stated, the Rollei is much heavier and with better build quality. The Minox produces fine images as well tho. Minox may be faster to use (AE). Both lots of fun. If you are patient, some reasonable buys can be had. I paid $114 for my black Rollei and $36 for Minox with matching flash and leather cases for both.
  7. I think they're really very different cameras, and it's hard to compare. From what I've read the Minox 35 lens is as good as the Tessar in the original Rollei 35 and 35T but not as good as the Sonnar in the 35S. But the lens is only a small part of it. I have a Rollei 35S and also an Olympus XA and a Contax T. I don't have a Minox 35 yet, though I've played with them occasionally.
    Rollei 35s have a slightly longer lens (40mm) and are completely manual and slower and more thoughful in use. Taking photos with them is a quite different experience. Also much heavier and bulkier than the Minox or XA. You'd need big, strong pockets to carry one. The Olympus XA is very quick and easy to use, and has a range finder.
    If I had to choose one carry-everywhere camera it would be the Contax T. It's about halfway between the Minox and Rollei in weight, but has the build quality of the Rollei and the size of the Minox, and adds a rangefinder too. The lens is as good as the Rollei 35S. If it had an exposure lock or manual override it would be perfect.
  8. [​IMG]
    I have a Rollei 35 with front element focusing Tessar 40/3.5 lens and Rollei 35S with unit focusing
    Sonnar 40/2.8 lens, and Minox MDC, GTE with Minoxar 35/2.8 lens , Minox 35ML with Minoctar 35/2.8 lens. All Minox lenses are front element focusing.
    In theory the unit focusing Sonnar 40/2.8 should outperform Minox's front focusing Minoxar, Minoctar, but in actual shooting I cannot see any difference.
    The Rollei 35 cameras are solid all mechanical camera, its Compur shutter is able to sync with electronic
    flash at 1/500 sec. The Minox' s shutter is electromagnetic, top flash sync speed 1/125. In flash sync
    area the Rollei 35 is superior to Minox 35.
    The Minox MDC or ML has programmed mode, automatically choses optinum shutter speed and aperture, the Rolleis have not such feature, Minox is superior.
    The MDC or ML also has aperture memory, Rolleis have none.
    I use Minox 35 more, particularly the ML model.
    I use more Minox 35 cameras, because it is lighter, more pocketable.
  9. Pocketable is key. If you want to take pics, you need a camera. If you have to think twice about carrying one around, it doesn't do you any good. Minox, every time is a winner.
  10. I think the Minotar 35mm f2.8 lens on the Minox cameras would beat any lens fitted to the Rollie 35 range including the 40mm Sonnar on the Rollei 35S.
  11. If possible, Ian, try to visit a used camera dealer(s) that has various Rollei and Minox models in stock. Handle both cameras, maybe shoot a test roll in each if the dealer allows. BTW, the Rollei B35/35B with its Triotar isn't all bad. At f5.6 and down, the lens is surprisingly good. If you can find one with a working selenium meter than batteries will never be an issue. My only reservation about it (I own one as well as a Rollei 35 w/f3.5 Xenar) is the lack of shutter speeds between B and 1/30. It is quite a bit lighter than the other Rollei 35's. Generally less expensive than the Rollei 35 series. For a real bargain you can snag a 35 LED (same Triotar) for under 100 USD, especially if the meter doesn't work.
    Not to drift away from the OP, I'd be more inclined to compare the Minox models to the Olympus XA.
    Here's a shot taken with my Rollei B35. Exposure based on camera's selenium meter.
  12. Out of curiosity I just finished running a film through my old Olympus XA which I haven't used for years. I bought it in college as a camera to take everywhere and used it for many years. Eventually I retired it when I got a Contax T3.
    Overall it seemed to perform much better than I expected. I didn't do any side-by-side tests, so my impressions are not scientific. My impressions are that it's not as contrasty and a little softer than the Zeiss lenses on the Rollei 35 and Contax T, which isn't surprising. I can't compare directly to a Minox 35. (I think the T3 actually has the best lens of all). The out-of-focus areas are not as good, presumably because of the square shaped aperture (which I believe the Minox has also?). The metering seemed a bit off on some of the more difficult situations, and is not as good as the Contax T.
    The XA has a number of advantages over all the other cameras mentioned which, I'd argue make it the most usable small camera:
    1. Both focus and aperture can be set with one finger, and while the camera is a eye level. Focusing with the lever under the lens is particularly easy.
    2. The sliding cover doesn't protrude when open, nor does the lens. The cover actually still offers some protection to the lens when open.
    3. Film loading is easier and it has a hinged back, instead of requiring you to separate the camera into two parts.
    4. Range finder (not as good as the Contax, but better than nothing)
    5. Needle for showing shutter speed (unlike the Contax T)
    6. No problems finding batteries.
    It's difficult to say whether or not these should out-weigh the optical advantages of some of the others.
  13. It seems like the Contax T3 ought to be the ultimate pocket 35mm. It has an incredible lens, auto-focus with manual override, exposure lock, takes filters, and is actually smaller than the XA or Contax T.
    Unfortunately the various manual options are awkard, and I always found the auto-focus and shutter lag annoying (though not as bad as many small digital cameras).
  14. As a historic note, the Rollei and the Minox had famous users.
    * Queen Elizabeth II used Rollei 35.
    *Andy Warhol used Minox 35.
  15. Minox GT: View from tenth floor at Pensacola Beach
  16. Both cameras can be troublesome: Rollei's tend to have dents on the corners, early Minox's such as EL can be dodgy. I would go for an ML type or GT - don't pay too much. 50-60 top.
  17. I find the Image quality on my Minox 35GT can put many 35mm F2.8 SLR lenses to shame.
  18. DAG camera repair has some serviced Minox ELs with battery pack and 6 month warranty for $50. This seems like a good deal since Don charges $85 to service an existing Minox 35.
    I ordered one, so hopefully I'll be able to compare to the other small cameras soon.
  19. I had two early Minox 35s and wore them out - the real problem with them is the manual focusing ring that accidentally would fall off, and you needed expert help to reinstall it in the exact right position. I used to carry one with Tri-X (left top pocket on my vest) and one with colour slide film (right top pocket). Must have taken many thousand pictures with them, mostly slides. Using the lens shade (option) to hold a eye glass lens, I could take superb close ups, while using the Minox tripod of course!
    Nowadays I have a Pentax SFX for my full-frame photos, which probably weighs as much as ten Minox 35s!
    Rumour told us then that the lens was designed by Leica - never got confirmation, but could be true! Very, very sharp!
    Anyway, Konica Big Minis replaced them, eventually, and those were in turn replaced by a Konica KD-500 (still in working order - my first digital) and a Minolta G-600 (a Konica KD-500 with a 6MP chip). Best compact yet is the XZ-1, from Olympus. I love mine, but mostly use Pentax (D)SLRs nowadays!
  20. The Singapore Rolleis MAY not have Compur shutters! Copal. A shock to me. Still on Prozac. Read the official Rollei site.The lenses..rather read, i won't tell you! I love my Rollei which has survived numerous impact tests. What a dumb place to put the strap when one changes film? The back is safe, the main frame goes earthward at 32f.p.s!
    I found the colors of the Minox weak as i do the XA. The Zeiss lenses even under license were way better. Not about exposure. Carrying cameras in pockets a bad idea unless in a pouch. Dust ,dirt, lint and disease can all get into the innards. All my slow speeds are gone, most of the time. The times when i need them.
  21. Noticed, when I visited Ffordes camera shop in Scotland this summer, that they had a few Minoxes for sale - I had to stop myself from buying one ;-)! Too many cameras already - latest purchase a D600 ;-). Nice company, fair prices, by the way!
  22. jason gold, said "I love my Rollei which has survived numerous impact tests. What a dumb place to put the strap when one changes film? The back is safe, the main frame goes earthward at 32f.p.s!"
    It is actually worse than that. It actually accelerates at the rate of "g = 32.174 ft/s2"
    It is the pesky little 'two" at the end of the equation responsible for camera body damage. I've proved it on many occassions!
  23. I don''t like the wrist strap on Rollei 35S, one hand being tied up. I remove this strap and bought
    an after market genuine leather half case for Rollei 35S

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