Should i buy a Rollei SLX or not?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by steve w, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Well - here are my thoughts. The original tends to be very funky
    electronically speaking - unreliable perhaps. Though I think they tend to be
    either semi-reliable - or outright dead by this day and age. Get a SLX 2 or
    else 6002 or 6006 for much less than the more current models.

    You will be taken to the cleaners on accessories. Extension rings - for
    example will cost you MANY times more what the hassy stuff will ($250 vs.
    $50 as an average price perhaps - for a SINGLE ring). Second hand hassy
    lenses are cheaper and in far greater supply (coincidence? I think not.)

    But there's something I just LOVE about the rollei SLRs. I don't know what it
    is. They have chutzpah - or something. I can make really spontaneous
    GREAT images with those in a way that I cannot with a hassy. There's really
    something special about them that I cannot put my finger on. I have a 6002
    setup that I just cannot bring myself to sell - even if it's redundant. Ack.

    That's all I can say on the matter.
  2. I'll second Jonathan's comments.

    I think that if you can afford it, you might be better off going a 6006. These
    cameras aren't stupidly expensive (there were when new) and I have always
    found them to be very reliable.
  3. Hi Steve, I run a new 6003 and an SLX,II as a backup. I have never had any problem with either, and find that SLX-specific accessories are far less expensive than the 6000 series models. Unfortunately, bozos on ePrey generally don't know the difference, and in the interest of maximizing their profit, will say that film carriers, film backs, etc. will fit both. They won't.

    I picked mine up cheap, in a lot of Rollei equipment, that I lovingly refer to as "The Pile."

    Many items are interchangeable such as viewfinders,and lenses, etc. (except the newest lenses that are red-labeled for exclusive series 6000 use) but backs are not.

    As for why I love mine, and keep it around, it is just very comfortable. And then, there is the very special ker-thunk-plunk that it makes while resting in the palm of your hand. Nothing compares--not even the proverbial Mercedes door closing (pre-80s, thank you). And of course, its reliability and its interchangeable lenses with my 6003 (my previous back up was a Pentacon 6 tl--talk about crude, but great cheap, wonderful CZJ glass.)

    I don't know about parts availability, but the last time I needed something, (an odd body shell part--the stop-down switch and plate) both Rollei and the private, X-Rollei service outlet in NJ had it and shipped it immediately.

    My only caveat is the ergonomics. I have the underside and the side trigger grips. The underside one uses the 90 degree prism, the side uses the 45, but is left handed to accommodate the controls on the right. I'm sure once you get used to either of these, you'll be fine, but I am very accustomed to my 6003 right-hand grip, with the controls built in, and auto exposure. Thus, if not on a tripod, I shoot the SLX bare-handed, as it were. This same issue holds true with the early 6000 series models.

    FYI, there's a 6x4.65 back on ePrey right now for $99. Try matching that price on a 6000 series back (~$500). Best thing to do is try to find and hold one. I have never been attracted to Hassy and their wonderful world of add-on-everythings. I much prefer the engineered core package the Rolleiflex presents, especially that world-renowned metering system.

    Good luck and email me direct if you have specific questions.

    Ray Hull
  4. Forgot to mention: the SLX, II is readilly recognizable by its BLACK buttons and controls. The early version had chrome rings and plates around the release buttons and stop-down switch, etc. Avoid that chromed model.

    Ray Hull
  5. I second Ray's comment regarding the SLX Mk I. The Mk II is the more reliable of the two
    models. I've owned/used mine since they first came out and am still mostly happy with it.
    My only real complaint is the power system. The proprietary battery is way too expensive
    and a little hard to find. Also. the battery suffers from "memory effect" and doesn't last
    very long. If Rollei would solve the power problem, I would probably use my SLX all the
    time and not even think about disposing of it in favor of a Hasselblad - now that Hassie
    prices have come down out of the stratosphere.
  6. The power problem on the SLX/600x series is solved, but the solution is expensive. For around $300, one can get transformer from Rollei that connects into the battery chamber of the bodies (using a modified shell of one of their original batteries), and runs a wire to an external battery pack that takes 10 AA Cells.

    When I saw that Rollei was charging $300 for this item, I tried to make one myself, but I was unable to get it working, so I finally gave in and bought it from Rollei.
  7. just get a blad. Evry bit as good without all the hassel (no pun intended).
  8. You know, it is amazing to me that anyone would buy a hasselblad for any reason other than to get the zeiss lenses. Get the SLX. You will love it.
  9. ok i bought it.
    the one on eburp
    works perfect
    i guess i will buy the prism finder to lessen dizziness,ha
    thanks for info gents
  10. Steve: You won't be sorry you got the SLX, it is a camera for a lifetime (providing 120 film
    is around for that long). If you're going to get a prism, get a 45-degree prism, not a 90-
    degree prism. I bought the 90-degree variety and it makes the heavy SLX a little more
    awkward to hold at eye level. The 45-degree prism is just a little more ergonomic, IMHO.
  11. Steve,<br>
    one of the main drawbacks of the SLX is the non-interchangeable film back, like the 6002 and Mamiya's older 645 1000S.<br>
    I used a Mamiya 645 100S, and the impossibility to change the magazine in mid-film was sometimes a pain.<br>
    If you consider investing in a Rollei system, and if a (growing old) electronics - therefore more prone to breakdowns - does not worry you too much, consider the 6006 series, and their interchangeable film magazines.<br>
    The 6006 belongs to Rollei's second generation of electronics, whereas the SLX represents the first generation.<br>
    The price of old 6006, lenses and accessories is accessible, probably the same than the SLX, but with interchangeable backs.<br>
    On another hand, I have been told that repairmen don't like the SLX very much.<p>
    If you are however interested by the SLX, try to find Mannheim's book "The Rolleiflex SL66 and SLX way". By far the best description and analyze of the SLX. (Pages 514 to 551)<br>
  12. Electronics? For the type of pictures I take, I'd rather stick with my Hasselblad 500CM.
  13. I have used a Rollei SLX for Wedding photography in the UK for more than 15 years. Other than replacing the battery twice, so sweet. I still use it as well asa Canon EOS20D, handling is superb, tethered to Metz for fill in flash the results still amaze me. Contact via email for sample images.

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