Zeiss vs Schneider lenses on Rollei

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by avid, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Is one better than the other? If so, what are the main differences,
    especially in picture quality?
    I use a Contax 645 and Zeiss lenses for landscape photography and am
    trying to make up my mind about changing over to a Rollei 6008AF with
    Schneider lenses. Is this camera good for field work? The intention
    is to gain the added image area in the larger 6x6 format as well as
    the use of Schneider glass, especially the PCS 55mm PQ lens. So, is
    that a good decision or should I just stick to my current
    configuration? Any thoughts?
  2. Well, there isn't any other way you are going to get to shoot with Schneider lenses, if that
    is the kind of confirmation you want. Schneider lenses seem to cost more than an entire
    kit for the Contax 645, if that is important. The Rollei is heavy but portable. The battery
    situation between the two is probably a draw; neither are perfect. So use in the field
    would have to give consideration in either case.

    I am sure Rollei owners here will plug the camera. (I have the Contax.) I have never heard
    a bad word about its performance or its lenses. As you know, both Zeiss and Schneider
    lenses can be used on the Rollei 6008AF, even the non-autofocus ones. FWIW, the Zeiss
    lenses for the Rollei are made by Zeiss proper, not on license by Kyocera, if that is
    important. Some people writing here have said they can see the differences there. That
    will give you some options you won't get with the Contax 645. I don't know where you call
    home, but here in North America, Rollei is even scarcer than Contax, so having a supplier
    may require mail-order or travel. Even with B&H, the perspective-control lens you are
    interested in is special-order-only and would cost nearly $12,000 with a body to use it on.
  3. "Well, there isn't any other way you are going to get to shoot with Schneider

    You can use Schneider lenses on the Exakta 66 not to mention technical
    cameras like the Linhof. If you shoot mainly landscapes and you want to use
    Schneider optics then the latter is, possibly, a better ( and cheaper) way of
    doing this. Plus, you have the added bonus of 6x7, or 6x9, formats which is a
    considerably greater move up from 645 than 6x6 is, of course :)
  4. The Exacta is a very old camera and will not be able to accept the 55mm lens in question.
    I am assuming your interest is in current-production, or at least recently made Schneider
    designs. Neither apply to the Exacta.

    Of course, Schneider lenses are available for LF cameras and the rollfilm cameras designed
    around large-format lenses (e.g., Alpa 12, Silvestri) As you have an SLR and are expressing
    interest in the Rollei 6008 cameras, then the Rollei is all there is.
  5. You can buy a few Exakta 66 schneider lenses 60/80/150 and try them via an adaptor. It is much cheapter than switching to a Rollei AF.
  6. Avi,

    Why are you thinking about auto focus if you shoot landscapes? If you are
    looking for a move up in quality but still want to stick with roll film I still think
    you'd be better off looking at a Linhof or Alpa especially as the latter has
    recently added a new range of lenses. I have owned a Rollei 6000 series,
    Conntax 645 (still have that) and a Linhof Super 70. The best optical quality
    was derived from the Schneiders on the Linhof. I may not have taken my best
    pictures with that camera but on a technical level it was unsurpassed.

    Linhofs are fairly plentiful second hand whereas Alpas are not. Just a thought.

    Good luck!
  7. When it comes to lens quality as far as results go at this level, wouldn't the resolving power of the film or other limiting factors such as picture taking circumstances, shutter vibration, tripod used etc. be the deciding factor of picture quality here rather the lens itself ?
  8. Thanks everyone for your input.
    I am glad I posted this question as it brought me to consider what Andrew mentioned, a Linhof or even a Toyo 45CF. That way, I will have choice of lenses (Schneider, Nikkor, Fuji etc) as well as choice of formats with a rollfilm back.
    The reason I mentioned the 6000 AF is because I am told it has better electronics. Otherwise, I found a fantastic deal on an Integral. Is there a big difference there? Here in Los Angeles, there are not too many dealers (of the renowned ones) that carry the Rollei 6000 series except for Calumet. Perhaps I should keep the Contax 645 and add a 4x5 field camera for now and see how that goes. Looks like I can get a nice LF system with a lens for way less than what I paid for any of the Zeiss lenses.
  9. Avi,

    Even if you were to go with Rollei, you needn't worry about electronics. I have
    found them to be remarkably robust cameras.

    However, for landscape photography I think it might be fun for you to check
    out something like a second hand Linhof or Wista 4x5. The latter is pretty
    reasonably priced even when new and it has a really nice screen. Also, you
    will have a much greater choice of lenses. Don't forget Rodenstocks, for

  10. The Rollei 6008AF and 6008i2 have better electronics with respect to fill in flash
    photography. Also the display is updated which you may like or not. That's about it. Ferdi.
  11. So, there is not much to worry about with a 6000i I gather. I don't need to sync flash much or auto focus ever. I may look into that Integral I saw. The display won't mean much to me as I am not used to the old or the new. Thanks for the info, Ferdi.

    Rodenstocks, oh yes, I forgot about that one. I do use a APO Rodagon N 105mm on my Contax 645 with a Zoerk adapter for tilt purposes. I use it more than the 120mm APO Makro because of the deep DoF it provides even with the long focal length. And I hate to say it, but I personally think the sharpness and color rendition from the Rodenstock exceed the Zeiss by quite a bit, at a lesser cost.

    The one thing I was apprehensive about, to get into LF cameras, is the size and weight of a LF camera in the field, but some of the cameras I am researching (like the Toyo 45CF) are compact when folded and also about as light as the Contax with a 210mm lens. I will look into the others that Andrew mentioned. It will be interesting to see if a LF camera and I can get along in the field.

    One last (redundant) question, is the 6000 Integral really worth looking into? I did not know that there was a markII of the Integral as indicated by Ferdi. Is that version a fix of technical problems of the original 6000i?

  12. The 6008i2 has the 6008AF electronics without the autofocus capability. The improved capability over the 6008i is in the fill flash, and also that you can use a personal computer instead of the master control unit. The 6008AF costs such a small percentage more that it's worth it just to have the focus confirmation in case you want to take a photo while your eyes have a (hopefully temporary) problem. It's very accurate. That said, it sounds like you would probably be better served by getting a used 6008i on ebay. If you get a Rollei 6000 series camera, consider getting a second battery (or the power adapter so you can use AA's), a couple extra inserts so you can change film quickly if you need to, and a remote mirror/release switch. These relatively inexpensive accessories will make your Rollei experience a happier one. I'm very happy with my Rollei and Schneider lenses, but when I've read and thought about the 55mm PCS lens, the price to performance ratio has always seemed much better for getting a 4x5 camera with full movements and a rollfilm back.
  13. IMHO, I prefer the Schneider lenses. They seem to have a slight edge over the Zeiss, altho I
    only have the 80 mm Zeiss lens with the (now older) 6003. The Schneider 60 mm is a
    dream, and the 90 macro and 150 are a delight as well. I don't think I've ever had such
    good lenses with the exception of a Summicron 35mm classic lens on a Leica. They just
    have a wonderful "snap" to them in their image.

    Electronics have been pretty trouble free for me with the Rollei. I've had maybe one or two
    let downs in ten years. In general, the battery lasts for a good while, butnow, as the
    batteries are getting some age, I'm using a Maya charger (great, better than the Rollei) for
    longevity. You might wish to consider that the AF seems to use up (by the specs at least)
    the batteries a lot faster. They rate it for 150-200 shots, and the original older cameras
    were (I think) about double.

    I've tried to beat the PC problem as well, with a 4x5, and even have tried the Rollei/
    Schneider option, with a "user" 55 PC lens (which sits in the closet, let me know if you are
    lusting for one!). Of course, the most flexible option is 4x5, but too often, the setup time
    just doesn't work for me - street shooting in the city.

    Overall, I haven't yet figured out how to
    get hand-held, portable, light weight and good PC correction. For kicks, I tried renting
    Contax 645, and found its ergonomics just didn't work for me. Spoiled by Rollei, perhaps.
    The Rollei PC lens is pretty amazing, offering the metering auto funciton with a PC lens. It
    is however, only slightly lighter than a brick. Hard to hand hold for more than about 30


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