Originally Posted by jamin-b
I am considering getting either a Werramat or a Rollei 35 - as a pocketable reliable, fun camera, mostly for b/w, generally shooting at around F8 since they are zone focus. Either way it will be a tessar lens and I like to have a light meter, at least for a sanity check.
Any hands on experience that would indicate a preference in terms of image quality, reliability, usability (or other)?
I owned both.
Rollei 35 is heavy so don't get fooled by the small size. It is an ergonomical nightmare. And the focus scale is poor, it does not allow setting the focus with precision, unlike other scale focus cameras. Put it in your pocket and the focus setting will be disturbed wildly (i.e. 3 meters --> infinity). So it is not ready to shoot as soon as you take it out (and you need to uncollapse that lens). Want to protect the lens? Good luck finding a cap or a filter in that filter size. Ok, ebay is always to the rescue.
I had the Minox 35GT and it was a more practical camera overall. Open the lid and the lens uncollapses with the scale focus setting undisturbed and the AE mechanism means you can just instantly shoot.
Olympus Pen S, i liked more than the R35... more usable overall and has almost the same dimensions. Plus it is always ready to shoot, it does not require uncollapsing the lens. The lens is excellent, as well. Focus scale is great and it is a full unit focusing lens, not a front-cell focusing lens. It is a half frame camera but the lens is high resolution so with fine grain film you will still be satisfied.
Werra 3 has an amazing rangefinder and has good ergonomics. It is bigger, though. Nosier.
Leave the Rollei 35 to the collectors that want to pay good money for them.
To be honest i'd be trying the Olympus 35RC and similar alternatives.
All these cameras have great image quality, so don't worry about that.