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Re: [Rollei] Newbie - help me select an old Rolleiflex or Rolliecord TLR

Please find attached 

1) my personal summary about Rollei TLRs.

2)a RUG FAQ document recently released that will help you in your

Happy New Year
- -- 
Emmanuel BIGLER         
<bigler   Besancon France

I'd like to add a short summary to the different Rollei TLR grades,
those regularly built in the '60s and '70s (last models except some
crazy gold plated models made afterwards in the '80s).

Most affordable : Rolleicord, (last model VB). Taking lens Schneider
Xenar 3.5, 4 elements/3 groups, tessar design. No crank, no display of
speed/aperture on top but only on side of taking lens. Speed/aperture
setting directly on the Compur shutter with a lever like for a view
camera. Optional film masks for 16 4.5x6 frames. Filter bayonet size I.

Slightly more expensive : T model. Zeiss tessar 3.5. Folding crank but
no double exposure, not automatic feeling of the beginning of film,
optional non coupled meter. Speed/aperture setting directly on the
Compur shutter with a lever like the 'cord. Speed and aperture visible
from top trough a belt mechanism. Optional film masks for 16 4.5x6
frames. Filter bayonet size I.

3.5 E or 2.8 E optional non coupled meter like in T but otherwise
settings with 2 wheels in front like F models. Display visible from
top trough a gear mechanism like in Fs.

3.5 F coupled meter, all deluxe features. Zeiss planar 3.5 or
Schneider Xenotar 3.5. Filter bayonet size II. Rock-solid but
significantly heavier than a 'cord or a T. Planar or Xenotar (5 or 6
element lenses) are better than a tessar/xenar only a wide apertures
f/3.5 to f/5.6. Beyond, at f/8 of f/11, a good tessar/xenar will
perform as well as any planar or xenotar.

2.8 F same but with 2.8 Planar or Xenotar. Filter bayonet size III.

Some people tend to prefer the 3.5 supposed to by slightly sharper
than the 2.8. The subject is *very controversial* among Ruggers. But
this is part of the Rolleiflex myth : a subtle mixture of true,
proven, technical facts and subjective user feelings and dreams.

2.8 GX : body basically like a T i.e. not automatic rollers-feeders
for the beginning of film, but control wheels and speed/aperture
mechanical display through a geared display visible from top like a F.
Built-in TTL light and flash meter, but since the shutter is
mechanical (like a Rollei 35) can operate without battery if yo have a
hand-held meter. Filter bayonet size III. Some conservative people do
not like it as being "decadent" with respect to the F from the "Golden
Ages". A really hot topic among Ruggers. And also, supreme sacrilege,
the last models are fitted with a Japanese shutter instead of the
beloved German Synchro-Compur. So one the aperture wheel turns in the
opposite direction with respect to an early 2.8GX of a classical E or

Cameras with Zeiss lenses are sold at a higher price than a Schneider.
This is not at all justified to my humble opinion. So a
Schneider-equipped R-TLR is a good user choice. The optional 120/220
option is for me useless. As an amateur I only use 120 rollfilm. Some
F's were fitted with a glass plane to flatten the film. Useless also
because the expected gain in film flatness is from a user point of
view destroyed by the burden of keeping this glass spotless clean.

A R-TLR always kept in its original leather ever-ready case looks
always prettier than one always kept without protection. Unfortunately
most pros in the old times never used the ever ready case to save time
on assignment.

As far as filters and accessories are concerned, original Rollei
accessories are easy to find on the second hand market. Bayonet III
accessories are still made by Rollei for the 2.8 GX. Moreover one may
find adapter-rings fitting the 3 sizes of R-TLR bayonets to various
standard metric threads. I myself have bought such adapters from SRB
film service, (UK) and some made made by Heliopan (Germany) ; this
company maintains a full line of bayonet filters, lens hoods, adapters
etc all made of brass for Rolleiflexes, Hasselblads, Zeiss Ikon
classic cameras. In Germany B&W also has a comprehensive range of
Rollei bayonet filters and accessories. Several US companies offer
similar products.

- -- 
Emmanuel BIGLER         
Besancon, FRANCE

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- ---------------------------------------------------------------
Frequently Asked/Answered questions on the Rollei Users List.
- ---------------------------------------------------------------

Contributors, alphabetical order

Emmanuel Bigler     <bigler  
Ross Bleasdale      <ross  
Jan Boettcher       <jab  
Jan Decher          <Jan.Decher  >
Peter Kotsinadelis  <peterk  >
Marc James Small    <msmall  >
Ferdi Stutterheim   <ferdi  

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Revised:   December 21, 2000
- ---------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to Ferdi Stutterheim this document is hosted on:


To get a copy of the last version of this document by e-mail, please
send a blank e-mail message to <bigler   with the subject

send rug faq

- ---------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to our list. In addition to the welcome message please find
here a document to help you to find useful information about the
discussion list itself as well as general information about Rollei
cameras. There is another FAQ project, different in its spirit and
complementary, under the form of a web page (for more information
please e-mail Ed at <edhoo  >)

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Linguistic foreword: we are an international group mostly speaking
about German cameras, although the exchanges do take place in English.
Group members frequently use various acronyms, abbreviations and
trademarks explained below.

The original German pronunciation for "Rollei" sounds like "Roll-eye" in

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Frequently used acronyms and trademarks (TM)

Various film sizes and formats

Goldeck cassette   16mm film special cartridge for Rollei 16 
                                               and Rollei 16S

APS               for Rollei Nano

110         pocket film cassette for Rollei A110 and E 110

126         instamatic cassette for Rollei A26 and Rolleiflex SL 26

127    size code for small rollfilm used in the "baby" Rolleiflex TLR,
     12 frames, image size 4x4 cm (38x38 mm, 1.5"x1.5") "superslides".

135      most popular film size used for 24x36mm and 18x24mm cameras and
or 35mm  also on Rollei 6x6 TLRs with the Rolleikin adaptor.

120   size code for un-perforated rollfilm, width = 61mm, with black
      backing paper, used in medium format cameras. Allows various
      formats to be obtained on the same roll, namely (metric sizes in
      cm) 4.5x6, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, and panoramic 6x12, 6x17.

220   similar to 120 but with twice as many frames per roll, no backing
      paper except at start and end of film.

6x6  6x6cm (2"1/4x2"1/4) square format (actually ~ 56mmx56mm) used by
     medium format cameras including of course Rollei TLRs and SLRs.

6x9   6x9cm (2"1/4x3"1/4) format (actually ~ 56mmx82mm) used by medium
      format and view cameras on 120 or 220 rollfilm.

6.5x9   6.5x9cm (2"1/2x3"1/2) format (actual film size ~63.5x88.5mm)
        sheet film size adaptable on a Rollei TLRs or SLRs with a
        special adaptor back.

4x5   4"x5" sheet film size used on view or field cameras

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favourite acronyms, photographic terms and trademarks

CLA    Clean, Lube, Adjust: maintenance of a mechanical shutter

Compur (TM) a famous type of leaf shutter used on various Rollei
            cameras. Formerly a brand name of the Deckel company, Munich

Synchro-Compur (TM) same as above but with a contact system to allow
                    flash synchronisation.

CZ      Carl Zeiss (Germany)
CZJ     Carl Zeiss Jena (Germany)

Cord   'cord or short for "Rolleicord"

Distagon (TM) wide-angle lens made by Carl Zeiss or Rollei under licence
              found on the rare Rolleiflex 6x6 TLR "wide", on 6x6 SLRs,
              and 35mm cameras.

DBP/DBPM  DBP means Deutches BundesPatent or "German Patent". BGM stands
           for "Deutsches Bundesgebrauchsmuster" which translates to
           "German Federal Registered Design" and is a simplified form
           of a patent. These mentions were engraved on R-TLRs.

DRP/DRGM   same for pre-WWII cameras and until ~1951.

DOF     Depth of Field

ERC    Ever-Ready Case. Often mocked at as 'Never-Ready'

Flex   'flex or short for "Rolleiflex"

Heidoscop (TM)  Early stereo camera (for plates, later a roll film
                adaptor available) 

JSK     Jos. Schneider, Bad-Kreuznach (Germany)

LTM  Leica Thread Mount 39mmx26tpi thread lens mount for Leica cameras
     and compatible

MXV   system found on synchronised shutters that allows either M-agnesium
      flash synch, electronic (X) flash synch and self-timer (V)

P11 (TM?)    a classic Rollei dual format medium format slide
             projector from the sixties

Planar  (TM) 5-, 6-, or 7- element lens by Carl Zeiss or Rollei under
              licence found on Rollei TLRs and SLRs

R-TLR    Rollei twin-lens reflex camera

RUG    Rollei Users Group, this list

Rolleiflex (TM) trademark of various TLR and SLR cameras by Rollei

Rolleifix (TM) quick-release plate for Rollei TLRs.

Rolleikin (TM) a device allowing the use of 35mm film in a Rollei TLR

Rolleidoscop (TM) Evolution Heidoscop stereo camera for roll film only

Rolleiscop (TM) Projector for slides in 5x5 cm mounts

Rolleinar (TM) Close up lens for Rolleiflex, later brand name of
               Rollei-SLR lenses  

Rugger    a member of the RUG discussing list

SLR   a Single-Lens Reflex camera like the Rolleiflex SL66, SLX and SL
       6000 series as well as 35 mm Rollei SLR's.

Sonnar (TM) 5-element lens by Carl Zeiss or Rollei under licence found
            on the Tele-Rolleiflex 6x6 TLR, on 6x6 SLRs as well as some
            35 mm cameras

TLR    a Twin-Lens Reflex camera like the classical Rolleiflex.

Tessar (TM) 4-element lens by Carl Zeiss or Rollei under licence found
            on various Rollei TLRs as on some Rollei 35mm cameras.

Triotar (TM) 3-element lens by Carl Zeiss or Rollei under licence
             found on early TLRs as well as on some Rollei 35mm

UV          Ultra-Violet (for optical filters)

WLF    Waist Level Finder, associated with a folding viewing hood.

WWII   The second World War like in ".. it was a pre-WWII design.."

Xenar (TM) 4-element lens made by Schneider Kreuznach found on various
           Rollei TLRs

Xenotar (TM) 5- or 6-element lens by Schneider Kreuznach found on
             rollei TLRs and SLRs

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Other acronyms, also shared by discussion groups in English on the

FS   For Sale ; according to the RUG's rule: Friday's Buy/Sell posts

IMHO   In My Humble Opinion

OT     Off-Topic posts (in the subject line)

WTB    Want To Buy for Friday's Buy/Sell posts

For other Internet acronyms and jargon you should refer to Eric
Raymond's authoritative work <esr  > available (among
numerous other sites) on the following web sites


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Information available on the World Wide Web
- ---------------------------------------------------------------

Archives of the Rollei Users group: 

To get, for example, a list of messages related to the subject
"rolleiflex t", type the previous keywords in the "keyword, search"

Below is a list of useful keywords to look for, as an answer to
frequently asked questions. Select either "subject" or "body" or both
according to the number of relevant messages you get. You sometimes have
to refine your search (additional keyword) to narrow down to a tractable
number of messages. Clicking on one message shows the full text of the
Rugger's contribution as well as related posts which is often useful

keyword(s) search:      related topic:
repair  CLA              "Where do I get my Rollei repaired ?"
planar vs xenotar        "Which is the best lens ?" 
                         (~90 relevant messages ;-)
tessar vs xenar	     

serial  number           "Which model do I have ?"
battery (ies)            replacement batteries for older 35mm models
battery 35               for the rollei 35
cementing                rebuilding a lens, repairing a prism
coating                  anti-reflection coating
exposure meter           many Rollei camera have a built-in meter
selenium                 but many Ruggers use a hand-held meter as well
meter E                  specific meter of the 'E' and 'T' R-TLR
meter diffusor           
rolleiflex t	     
rolleiflex 3.5           advice on specific
rolleiflex 2.8	     
rollei 35 S               
rollei 35 T              camera models
rollei SL35	     
rollei SL2000	     
qz 35		     
ISBN                     favourite reference books
strap                    taking care of camera cases and straps
case repair                    

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Many questions related to general photography, (which *strictly
speaking* should be off-topic), are also discussed on the RUG list and
the RUG archive is a good source of information.

About basic questions regarding photographic lenses, you can read

For specific depth of field questions related to the use of Rolleinar
lenses, see:

A list of photographic subjects for which you may find good advice on
http://www.listquest.com/lq/search.html?ln=rollei from expert Ruggers:

keyword(s) search:             related topic:

depth of field         depth of field issues

slide          "Hi, What is your favourite slide film here ?"
filter                 self-explanatory subjects, but        

strobe                 combine with another keyword !
case bag

pixel          "Hi, Do you think digital is the way to go?"

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Rollei factory web site in Germany http://www.rollei.de

Famous lens companies, partners of Rollei for a long time: 
Carl Zeiss  http://www.zeiss.de
Schneider Kreuznach: http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com (Germany)
                      http://www.schneideroptics.com (USA)

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A short list of non-commercial web sites where you'll find useful
information and links to numerous other Rollei-related web sites not
listed here:






Rollei threads in Medium Format Digest:




http://www.rflex.de  (Germany)

- -------------------------------------------
Rollei 600X camera series:

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Rollei 35 model: 

35 SE model:

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Serial numbers: 
http://www.matthes.com/#Rollei.org and also:

- ---------------------------------------------------------------

A web site hosting images taken with Rollei cameras:
For more information please contact Daniel Alexander <pndalex  >

- ---------------------------------------------------------------


- ---------------------------------------------------------------
In English

"Complete Rollei User's Manual", Parker, Ian,  ISBN 1-874031-96-7, 
HOVE FOTO BOOKS (Jersey) (1994)

"Rollei TLR, The History",  Parker, Ian, ISBN 1-874657-01-7,   
HOVE FOTO BOOKS (Jersey) (1992)

"Rollei TLR Collector's Guide", Parker, Ian, ISBN 1-874031-95-9,
HOVE FOTO BOOKS (Jersey) (1993) 

"Collectors guide to Rollei cameras", Evans, Arthur ISBN 0-931838-06-1 

"The Rollei Way", Mannheim, L.A., 10th edition, 
                 ISBN 0-8038-6351-9 (USA only) 
                  and-0-240-44911-8 (excl.USA) FOCAL PRESS (1974)

"Rolleiflex SL66 and SLX Way", Mannheim, L. Andrew, ISBN 0-240-50788-6, 
FOCAL PRESS, London. ca. 600 pp. (1975)

"Rollei 35 Guide",  Emanuel, W.D., ISBN 0-240-50696, FOCAL PRESS (1974)

"Advanced Rolleiflex and Rolleicord Guide", Tydings, Kenneth S., 
(for Rolleiflex 4x4; Rolleiflex 3.5,2.8; Rolleicord and Tele-Rolleiflex)
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. (60-15377)

"Fritz Henle's Guide to Rollei Photography", Henle, Fritz, 208 pp,
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 56-10900. THE STUDIO PUBLICATIONS
INC. NY. (1956)

A camera book of general interest covering the early sixties: 
"Cameras, the facts, a collector's guide (1957-1964)", Emanuel, W.D
       and Matheson, D., historic edition edited by L. Gaunt, 
       ISBN 0-240-51062-3, FOCAL PRESS (1981)

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Bi-lingual German-English

"Rollei Technical Report", Prochnow, Claus, ISBN 3-89506-156-5, LINDEMANNS  (1996)

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In German

"Rollei-Werke, 1920-1945", Prochnow, Claus, Rollei-Report Volume I
               (pre-WWII cameras), ISBN 3-89506-105-0,  LINDEMANNS  (1993)
"Mini-report 1" same but condensed ISBN 3-89506-116-6

"Rollei-Werke, Rollfilmkameras", Prochnow, Claus, Rollei-Report 
  Volume II (6x6 rollfilm cameras), ISBN 3-89506-118-2,  LINDEMANNS (1994) 
"Mini-report 2" same but condensed  ISBN 3-89506-117-4

"Rollei-Werke, Rollei Fototechnic 1960 bis 1995", Prochnow, Claus, Rollei-Report
        Volume III (35 mm cameras), ISBN 3-89506-141-7,  LINDEMANNS (1995)
"Mini-report 3" same but condensed  ISBN 3-89506-142-5

"Rollei-Werke, Rollei Fototechnic 1958 bis 1998", Prochnow, Claus, Rollei-Report
  Volume IV (projectors, flash units, 2.8GX TLR),  ISBN 3-89506-141-7,

"Rolleiflex SLX und 6000 Report", Prochnow, Claus, Rollei-Report
Volume V, ISBN 3-89506-183-2, LINDEMANNS, (2000)

"Rollei, Das grosse Handbuch",  Beckhusen, Dieter and Maschke, Thomas,
                               ISBN 3-874675831 LATERNA MAGICA (1997) 

"Rollei 35", Pangerl, Franz,   ISBN 3-895061301 LINDEMANNS  (1999 )

"Rollei 35, Kameras und Objektive", Afalter, Udo, ISBN 3-895061301
                                     LINDEMANNS   (1994) 

"Rolleiflex, Rolleicord", Afalter, Udo ISBN 3-920890-09-4 
                                         AFALTER (1991)

"Rollei-Vom Heidoscop zur Rolleiflex 6008", Afalter, Udo ISBN 3-928126-51-2 
                                      LINDEMANNS (1992)
"Das Rolleiflex Buch", Heering, Walther (reprinted from last 1967 edition) 
                         ISBN 3-928126-00-8 LINDEMANNS (1991) 

"Rollei 35, Eine Kamera-Geschichte.",  Prochnow, Claus, 
                      ISBN 3-930292106  LINDEMANNS (1998) 
 this book includes a summary in English ISBN 3-00-004582-1

"Rollei fototechnic" Weyer, Helfried, ISBN 3-524680453, 
                                     UMSCHAU BRAUS (1997) 

"Rolleivision twin MSC 300/300P", Scheibl, Josef, LATERNA MAGICA

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In French

The following book on medium format cameras has a section on the
Rolleiflex 2.8 GX:
"Les moyens formats, tome 2", Salvaire, Paul , ISBN: 2-862580694,

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