Rolleiflex - 2.8F or GX

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by tapas_maiti|2, Aug 7, 1998.

  1. I've been thinking of adding a TLR to my medium format outfit for quiet, handheld shooting. ( I own a Pentax67 which could never be accused of quietness).

    <p>

    I've seen a Rolleiflex 2/8f Xenotar and a 2.8GX available in mint condition, the GX is over twice the price of the 2.8F. I believe the GX is the latest model ?

    <p>

    Not knowing anything about Rolleiflex TLRs, I would like to know the difference - lens quality, build quality, handling etc. Does the GX justify its higher price ?

    <p>

    Thanks in advance

    <p>

    Tapas
     
  2. Dear Tapas,
    The 2.8 GX is the latest and newest with Thru the viewing lense flash,ttvl metering,LED readout in viewfinder, Improved focusing screen and perhaps others, Uses battery for meter.The 2.8F Xenotar Which I own and LOVE uses a selenium cell for metering thru a mter "window" along and just below the top of the camera.No batteries and I have found the meter accurate. Lenses are essentially the same and are superb,Perhaps some differences in coatings but I can't tell. These cameras are a delight,reliable with uncompromizing Quality both optically and mech.If money is no object get the GX otherwise get the 2.8F,also accessories fit both!
    Good luck and let me know what you do I could go on but must run out

    <p>

    Erik A. Flickinger
     
  3. To my knowledge the finder screens are incompatible between 2.8F and 2.8GX, but I am a bit uncertain. Would be great if someone could confirm this.
     
  4. The finder screens are different sizes; replacements for both are
    available. Also, I have been told that the prism finder for the F
    covers the meter indicator on the GX, but otherwise fits. The GX
    also is built on a Rolleicord body, and so lacks the "automatic"
    film loading of previous Rolleiflexes. GX lenses use the latest in
    multicoating. The GX also uses TTL flash.

    <p>

    Personally I have not been tempted to upgrade my 2.8F
     
  5. If you can afford a GX at $3500 (see: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/), then I'm sure you will enjoy using it. However, you should be able to get a beautiful, late 12/24 Rollei 2.8F Planar or Xenotar with removeable waist level finder for anywhere from $800 to $1800 used, depending on condition, how patient you are and whether you want to go through a well-known dealer or take your chances on an auction sale (such as eBay). A full overhaul for an older camera runs about $300 from Harry Fleenor, and a Beattie replacement screen runs about $150 if you need it. An older prism in mint condition (no separation of the glass elements, a common problem) runs about $300 (the current Rollei prism is $995 new at B&H). The older 2.8F has a heftier build and a truly timeless feel. Most old-time users do not care for the lighter, more "plastic" feel of the GX, although none of us would scorn one as a gift! One very reputable dealer in second-hand Rolleis in the United States is Hadley Chamberlain in southern California. You will often find his ads in the classified section of Shutterbug magazine.<p>By the way, if you are not familiar with Rolleis, not all 2.8F's have 120/220 capability or a removeable waist level finder (which enables the attachment of a prism, if desired). Also, you must decide between the Planar and the Xenotar lenses. Overall, there is a slight preference among users for the Planar. Totally subjectively, there is a general belief that the Xenotar is sharper and the Planar is warmer. However, I won't try to defend that observation scientifically!
     
  6. Thanks for all the information, I shall be aiming for a mint 2.8F, In the UK the GX is very expensive.
    Its funny how companies very slowly add the features we want (if at all) but then compensate by adding plastic etc.
     
  7. Does the GX justify its higher price?
    VERY DEFINITELY NO !

    Ted.
     
  8. Tapas - I went through this same decision process about one year ago. Hadley Chamberlin had one or two mint 2.8GX versions for around USD 2300. I ended up buying a very near mint 2.8F Planar, early version 120 only, for about USD1200. I had a new Rollei screen put in by Marflex in New Jersey. I choose the older version mostly because I wanted the older version. Virtually everyone agrees that the multi-coated lens on the GX version offers better performance; but the camera is not quite the same. Different feel, and for me, it feels better. You'll probably be very pleased with either one. Like you, it was an addition to my Pentax 67 system, and spends most of its time travelling with me in my car, winter and summer. Regards, Bob
     
  9. Well, the 2.8 gx is a fine camera for someone who has money to burn. I would never suggest that camera to someone who is looking for great optical performance AND solid construction. The old E and F models have both! something about the GX makes me "sick" to me old rolleiflex cameras represent German engineering at its best..the GX is a joke. "A bad sequel to a great movie" Just my thoughts Myequation@aol.com
     
  10. the high list price of the GX seems to make it a target for abuse. granted, the old rolleis are beautiful in their own peculiar art-deco way. granted, they seem to last forever. and granted, they are a tremendous value for the short money they command. but the simple fact is that the GX is the best TLR that rollei ever made. weighing in at 40g more than a 2.8f type 4, the GX has just as much metal (and just as little plastic) as any of its storied forebears. i dare the anti-GX crowd to point to any plastic part on the GX that is metal on the older models. the current leather covering is also a whole lot classier than the old black pebble stuff. further, and more important, the GX, with its much improved lens (and don't say it's "only coatings," coatings matter BIG TIME) and fine near spot meter, is a tremendous improvement over the f model (is the selenium averaging meter in the old cameras any better than the sunny 16 rule?). in addition, the shutter in the GX, whether seikosha, deckel compur, or copal (the shutter used currently in GXs), all are far more reliable and accurate than the old synchro compur. the loss of the self timer in the GX is regrettable. apparently no mechanical leaf shutter mechanism is currently produced that provides such a facility (not rollei's fault -- email copal). the better meter, standard shoe mount, and ttl flash more than compensate for this loss, however. i do not care a whit about the deletion of the rube goldberg film feeler mechansim. lining up the dots is standard on current MF cameras. now, as for price, there is no question the rollei is at the benz end of the market. however, considering it has two high quality lenses, all metal construction, a mechanical leaf shutter, and sophisticated electronics, an average street price of about $3000 seems eminently fair. this is the cost of an m6 ttl with a basic summicron 35mm. i should also point out that ken hansen in nyc sells the GX new for 2200 and wall street camera offers "demos" (really new cameras) for 2279. at this price, the camera is a steal -- basically the same price as a mint used 2.8/3.5f white face. classic cameras always excite strong emotions. there is no question that shooting with a forty year old rollei has a special "feel" that no new camera can ever match. read threads at the leica users group site; there is no end of debate about the relative merits of m2 vs. m3 vs. m4 vs. m6. many users won't touch a ttl m6, decrying the presence of electronics. fine. you pays your money and you makes your choice. use the camera that works for you. but don't justify a decision not to spend more (or mock others who do as rich know-nothings) by conjuring up a fantasy image of the poor quality of the higher priced camera. rollei, like leica (and by the way, in most respects, the GX has a LOT more in common with the 2.8f than the leica m6 shares with the m3), should be congratulated for continuing to honor its past by supplying a manual tlr in this age of electronic cameras. do you think the company makes any kind of profit on the GX? rollei has sold as many tlrs in the past twenty years as it did in 1970 alone -- and one fourth the number it sold in 1950. give rollei a pat on the back, not brickbats, for its efforts in a world that largely loves not the tlr. when (not if) the GX goes, it will be a sad day for classic camera lovers. don't speed the approach of the end.
     
  11. the high list price of the GX seems to make it a target for abuse. granted, the old rolleis are beautiful in their own peculiar art-deco way. granted, they seem to last forever. and granted, they are a tremendous value for the short money they command. but the simple fact is that the GX is the best TLR that rollei ever made. weighing in at 40g more than a 2.8f type 4, the GX has just as much metal (and just as little plastic) as any of its storied forebears. i dare the anti-GX crowd to point to any plastic part on the GX that is metal on the older models. the current leather covering is also a whole lot classier than the old black pebble stuff. further, and more important, the GX, with its much improved lens (and don't say it's "only coatings," coatings matter BIG TIME) and fine near spot meter, is a tremendous improvement over the f model (is the selenium averaging meter in the old cameras any better than the sunny 16 rule?). in addition, the shutter in the GX, whether seikosha, deckel compur, or copal (the shutter used currently in GXs), all are far more reliable and accurate than the old synchro compur. the loss of the self timer in the GX is regrettable. apparently no mechanical leaf shutter mechanism is currently produced that provides such a facility (not rollei's fault -- email copal). the better meter, standard shoe mount, and ttl flash more than compensate for this loss, however. i do not care a whit about the deletion of the rube goldberg film feeler mechansim. lining up the dots is standard on current MF cameras. now, as for price, there is no question the rollei is at the benz end of the market. however, considering it has two high quality lenses, all metal construction, a mechanical leaf shutter, and sophisticated electronics, an average street price of about $3000 seems eminently fair. this is the cost of an m6 ttl with a basic summicron 35mm. i should also point out that ken hansen in nyc sells the GX new for 2200 and wall street camera offers "demos" (really new cameras) for 2279. at this price, the camera is a steal -- basically the same price as a mint used 2.8/3.5f white face. classic cameras always excite strong emotions. there is no question that shooting with a forty year old rollei has a special "feel" that no new camera can ever match. read threads at the leica users group site; there is no end of debate about the relative merits of m2 vs. m3 vs. m4 vs. m6. many users won't touch a ttl m6, decrying the presence of electronics. fine. you pays your money and you makes your choice. use the camera that works for you. but don't justify a decision not to spend more (or mock others who do as rich know-nothings) by conjuring up a fantasy image of the poor quality of the higher priced camera. rollei, like leica (and by the way, in most respects, the GX has a LOT more in common with the 2.8f than the leica m6 shares with the m3), should be congratulated for continuing to honor its past by supplying a manual tlr in this age of electronic cameras. do you think the company makes any kind of profit on the GX? rollei has sold as many tlrs in the past twenty years as it did in 1970 alone -- and one fourth the number it sold in 1950. give rollei a pat on the back, not brickbats, for its efforts in a world that largely loves not the tlr. when (not if) the GX goes, it will be a sad day for classic camera lovers. don't speed the approach of the end by badmouthing a beautiful camera.
     
  12. Word's going around about a new 2.8FX, Wide and Tele. No other info.
     
  13. I just bought my brand new complete Rolleiflex 2.8GX 80th anniversary model(500 limited edition)for $2,121 U.S. dollar in Taiwan. The kit comes with camera, colorless filter, protective hood, battery and strap. That's the best price I have seen so far.
     
  14. I bought a new 2.8 GX last month and I've done some pics for testing it. The results has been extremly good. Much better than a hasselblad. Not for the quality of the lens (I think the planar of the 2.8 GX is same quality as the planar 80mm of the hassy). The reason is that is you want to take a sharp photo with the hassym you have to use a trypod. With the TLR, you can take a very sharp picture handholding your camera. Another good reason to use a TLR is for street shots. People don't realise that you are taking a photo. Another reason to buy a 2.8 GX is for the quality of the multi-coating (excelent).
    The price is not expensive if you compare with other medium format cameras with buit-in meter and TTL flash.
     
  15. I vote for Rolleiflex 2.8/80 mm F. It's classic.
    00SxF5-121511584.jpg
     
  16. Well - I bought mine yesterday from a local dealer for a song and a sixpence. Cant wait to get it and see how it compares to the Yashicamat for quitness and to the Hassy for sharpness in real life.
     

Share This Page