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[Rollei] Rolleiflex - two systems submitted to a USAF test chart


There's a reason why some of you must love working with Rolleiflex TLRs.
I'm only recently a convert.  In fact, my club membership card has yet to
arrive in the mail.  :-)

I took two cameras and "tested" a limited set of optical/system properties.
I looked at only on-film resolution.  Using Kodak TMax100, souped in D76,
shooting a test target at 6:1 contrast ratio, from a distance of 20:1 of the
focal length of the lens, here's what I found.

Rolleiflex  	2.8E Model 1 US 
(serial #16,xxx,xxx) 	80mm f/2.8 Zeiss Planar 	
ct md edg
68 68 42 f/2.8
76 96 68 f/4
68 76 68 f/5.6
96 96 76 f/8
96 85 68 f/11
68 76 60 f/16
54 60 48 f/22

Rolleiflex 	3.5E Model 1 US 
(serial #17,xxx,xxx) 	75mm f/3.5 Schneider Xenotar 	
ct md edg
48 48 24 f/3.5
85 96 38 f/4
85 96 42 f/5.6
96 96 68 f/8
76 85 60 f/11
68 68 54 f/16
54 54 42 f/22

Am I shocked?  Am I amazed?  Am I over the top happy?  You betcha!

These two cameras tested as well as a 80mm Hasselblad Planar and a 80mm
Mamiya 7 plasmat of similar focal length.  What is remarkable is that these
two Rolleiflex were manufactured nearly 50 years ago.  That they are as
sharp as anything I own leaves me slack jawed.  And if you'll recall from a
set of earlier comments on the subject, I found that flare control nearly
equaled my modern Mamiya 7 system.

I will check a mint "T" Tessar Model 2 and "3.5F" Model 3 after they come
back from the repair shop.  That's it.  No more.  I'm done.  Well, maybe.  I
also tested a pair of Mamiya RZ lenses and found that my 65mm L-A floating
element optic is equally brilliant, and that my 180mm W-N is merely OK
(nothing to get excited about).  But that's it.  Really.  I mean it.

Having said this, I also read over the weekend (in LensWork?) that one
should never ask a camera collector to see their photographs.  Well, I'm
satisfied and will attempt to concentrate on the "art" of photography from
now on.  Aren't y'all pleased?  I thought so.  :-)

Regards - Chris