Rolleiflex 3.5F Image Examples..

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by greg_allum, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Hey

    Just a quickie
    I'm thinking of buying a 2nd hand Rolleiflex 3.5F with Carl Zeiss lens
    but i know not much at all about them
    Wondering where i can find some examples of photos taken with this camera, just as a
    rough idea and also what peoples opinions are on these?

    I generraly shoot portraits on 35mm, bw etc..


  2. Go to to the equipment tab then medium format then Rollei TLR and you will see some.
  3. Using a waist-level finder is much different than using an SLR. Do you know anyone who can lend you a TLR for a weekend?

    I tried TLR's, but I found that I'm more comfortable with rangefinders and SLR's.

  4. Here's a variety of photos:
  5. You can view photos by specific camera type over at
  6. My website is full of photos taken with a Rolleiflex 3.5E with planar lens. It's a fantastic camera.
  7. Greg: please take note of the fact that no picture reproduced on the Web by any means
    will ever do justice to a negative or a transparency made by a Rolleiflex TLR equipped with
    a Zeiss Planar or a Schneider Xenotar lens, presuming properly exposed & developed
    media. Both the f3.5 and the f2.8 versions of the lens are superb. I shot with both cameras
    for many years and (although I haven't tried everything else yet) I have not been able to
    find their equal. If you have the time, the Rolleis are simply the best.
  8. The lens on most Rolleiflexes will blow you away. I think the useablity for your style is a more important issue.
  9. I don't know if I would agree that the 3.5F is more compact than the 2.8F, possibly slightly lighter but probably not by a huge amount. About the only differences are the lens and front plate. I believe they otherwise are mechanically and physically identical.

    And the 3.5F is no lightweight at 46 ounces (nearly four pounds) or 1,304 grams.
  10. I thought I would double-check that -- to make sure I wasn't putting my big foot in my big mouth (again).

    The 3.5F/2.8F manual says the two cameras are identical in all construction and features.
  11. I don't own a 3.5F anymore. <p>This was taken with a battered old Rolleflex Automat with the lens fully open. Any softness is due probably to the slow shutter speed I used, and the open aperture.<p>

    <img src="">
    This with a 3.5F type 4.
    <img src=""><p>

    Both cameras give remarkable image quality. The 3.5F has the edge, but not markedly so.<p> Scanning and uploading will never do such images justice.
  12. M Elek- You're probably right about the similarities between the 2.8F and 3.5F, I recalled the 3.5F being easier to handle but I may be wrong. I no longer own a Rollei, but I do miss the smooth film advance, and quiet shutter action of that camera compared to the loud mirror slap of my current 'Blad...
  13. I have both the 3,5F and 2,8F. Both with Planars. The 3,5 Planar is little sharper and contrastier. It's extremely sharp already at 5,6. It has the six element Planar, but I don't think it's that much better than the earlier five element version.
  14. <>
    Keep in mind there's a huge demand for 3.5Fs nowadays. So you'll have your work cut out finding one in reasonable condition, for a reasonable price (I spent three months last year before giving up).
    You'll often see people claiming they bought theirs for "next to nothing", but more realistically expect to pay @ $US 650. Add to that a CLA and maybe $120 if you want a modern, brighter focus screen...
    Approx $US 900. For a 30+ year old camera. Ouch.
  15. Greg, I have a 1956 3.5f and love it. The following URL is the very first image I took with it; used the built-in meter which seems accurate. My Planar lens has some separation at the back element and seems to have no effect on images. I have shot it in bad sunlight and all sorts of undesirable situations and it always produces lovely images. It is definitely a "keeper".
  16. There are many many cameras that can take photos indistinguishable from those taken with a Rollei TLR.
  17. Hey

    Thanks for all the answers :)

    So whats the main difference between a 2.8 rollei and a 3.5? just the aperture? Much
    difference in quality?

  18. Greg, they are both of high quality but most resolution tests have the 2.8 as being sharper
    from 2.8 -5.6, where they are both more or less equal out for the rest of the range. There
    is a comparison between the two (and a Hasselblad and Mamiya 7) here:

    Personally I prefer the 2.8s as they give you everything that the 3.5s can and a stop more
    light besides and extra sharpness wide open, but there is not that much in it. As you will
    be buying SH the difference between a well kept and maintained camera and a badly kept
    one will most likely be greater. At the end of the day you cant go wrong with either.
  19. I think condition of the camera outweighs any model difference in these cameras. Buy the one 2.8 or 3.5 C-F in the best condition you can afford. Personally, I think TLRs are superb hand-holding cameras and find f/2.8 dispensible, e.g. as below f/2.8 around 1/15 braced on a chair.
    Rolleiflex 2.8E 80/2.8 Xenotar, Acros 100, HC110
  20. thats a beautiful photo :)
  21. one final question..

    Rollei 2.8E and 2.8F?

    is the f just a later model?

  22. The Rolleiflex 3,5 T, with the Tesar 3,5, 75mm, around o,8 kilograms, is great for
    portraits as most/all Rolleiflex cameras and most sitters think Rolliflex cameras are cool.

    In German they say "The person/man with the Rolliflex is the photograph"

    "Photography workshops in Spain"
  23. Greg, yes 2.8e & 2.8f models have exact same optics, the f having "newer" (for 1960) light
    meter ... E models will be slightly cheaper. I have a 3.5e also and it performs wonderfully and
    cost me half what a 3.5f would cost and has the exact same lens.
  24. I should add that the same applies to the even earlier C & D models!
  25. The E cameras had non-removable focussing hoods and optional uncoupled meters. The E2 and E3 had removable focussing hoods (so you could fit the optional pentaprism) and the uncoupled meter if desired. The F was an E2/E3 with a coupled exposure meter.

    I have a 2.8 E2 which I consider the best of the bunch. I've owned and used Fs and never been entirely happy with the meter nor its coupling. On the other hand, the ability to fit the prism and a pistol grip is a major plus so far as I'm concerned.
  26. Concur you should open options to include either 3.5 or 2.8 E types. I have a 3.5F, but love the results of my 2.8E Planar and 3.5E2 Xenotar.

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