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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Best overall - Werramat or Rollei T 35?
Old 03-16-2015   #1
jamin-b
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Best overall - Werramat or Rollei T 35?

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)?
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Old 03-16-2015   #2
David Hughes
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Hi,

Werras; - I'd go for either the simplest one in green (fun) or else the RF and meter and 3 lenses (serious) version.

My main complaint is that it is easy to cross thread the hood when reversing it on to the body. Secondly, if you forget which way to turn the thing to remove the lens then you can jam it on permanently.

And the meters are now very elderly but seem no better and no worse than any other old meter. Finding instruction manuals seems impossible...

Regards, David
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Old 03-16-2015   #3
sevo
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Both are odd designers pieces that seem to add bizarre quirks just for the heck of being different. Either will do, if you have the mindset of a Isetta or Reliant driver. As a reliable and practical rather than strange photography tool, there are many better options - my Werramats all jammed soon, and I always missed the shot when using the Rollei as I forgot to expand the lens...

I now use a Petri Color as the vintage camera of that form factor...
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Old 03-16-2015   #4
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For pocket use, the lens cap on the Werra is a weakness as they are 50+ year old plastic, and very prone to breaking. Beyond that, so long as you don't wind on with your finger on the shutter release (it jams the mechanism, and you have to remove the top cover to unjam it), it's a nice camera - though be aware that some versions lock the shutter speed and aperture ring together so you can shoot by EV, which is a bit of a PITA if you don't.

Roger wrote a very good review in Shutterbug a few years ago now.

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Old 03-16-2015   #5
ruby.monkey
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Try 'em in the hand before you make your decision. The Werras don't have a lot of finger-room for your right hand (I always found mine more comfortable to use if I held it with my left hand and worked all the controls with my right).
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Old 03-16-2015   #6
Dguebey
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Pocketable ? for that the only response is Rollei 35.
I love my Werramatic but it is not really a pocket camera.
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Old 03-16-2015   #7
FrankS
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Rollei !
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Old 03-16-2015   #8
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dguebey View Post
Pocketable ? for that the only response is Rollei 35.
I love my Werramatic but it is not really a pocket camera.
Seconded!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-10-2016   #9
flavio81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin-b View Post
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.
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Old 06-10-2016   #10
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PS: Also consider the Olympus Trip 35. It is bigger, it is only auto-exposure, but it still compact and very light, so "pocketeable."

PS: The Agfa "solinette" and "super solinette." Google those tiny things. I wish i had one.
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Old 06-10-2016   #11
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I've owned a Werramatic, Werra IV, and Rollei S. As folks have said, the Rollei is the pants-pocketable choice; though the Werra body is small, all its important functions are packed into/onto its protuberant lens/mount. My Werramatic lube was pretty dried out, too, which should be a consideration. The viewfinders are delightful in good examples of either, but the Rollei operates more straightforwardly.
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