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Early or late Rolleiflex 3.5f TLR
Old 03-21-2012   #1
peewee
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Early or late Rolleiflex 3.5f TLR

Hi..Is there a difference in optical quality between mint Rolleiflex 3.5F cameras ranging from type 3 early 60's and type 5 early 70's.

Glad of any advice, many thanks.
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Old 03-21-2012   #2
kully
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I had one of each (I still have a very late 'white face' one) and I could not tell the difference.

The only thing I can remember being different was the wind-on lever. The newer one was might light-weight than the older one.
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Old 03-21-2012   #3
D.O'K.
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I recall reading that the later cameras had a 6 rather than 5 element planar lens. To what extent this might have affected the optical quality however I know not.

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D.
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Old 03-21-2012   #4
rlouzan
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Yes,

I own a type5 Planar and it's actually a warming filter. Sharper than a Blad.

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Robert

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.O'K. View Post
I recall reading that the later cameras had a 6 rather than 5 element planar lens. To what extent this might have affected the optical quality however I know not.

Regards,
D.
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Old 03-21-2012   #5
Calzone
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Type 3 was the transitional version. After 2753002 the Planar had six elements. After 2299547 the Xenatar had six elements.

Cal
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Old 03-21-2012   #6
D.O'K.
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Thanks. That numbering means mine has 6 elements.

And if the additional element was actually a warm-up filter it would also explain why the camera gives distinctly (er) warmer results than an earlier version I once had...

Regards,
D.
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Old 03-21-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.O'K. View Post
Thanks. That numbering means mine has 6 elements.

And if the additional element was actually a warm-up filter it would also explain why the camera gives distinctly (er) warmer results than an earlier version I once had...

Regards,
D.
The 3.5F is highly regarded. I own a 3.5F "WhiteFace" that I had Harry Fleenor overhaul and at the same time got a Maxwell screen upgrade. What a camera!

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Old 03-21-2012   #8
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Many thanks for your replies..Does warmer mean better?
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Old 03-21-2012   #9
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I think warmer just means warmer. I've owned a couple of the Rolleiflex cameras w/ Planars, both early and late, as well as a 2.8 Xenotar. They all were, w/o a doubt, the best lenses I ever shot in medium format, excepting the Heliars on Voigtlander folders. The Heliars aren't necessarily better, they just image w/ more of a 3-D look.
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Old 03-21-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
I think warmer just means warmer. I've owned a couple of the Rolleiflex cameras w/ Planars, both early and late, as well as a 2.8 Xenotar. They all were, w/o a doubt, the best lenses I ever shot in medium format, excepting the Heliars on Voigtlander folders. The Heliars aren't necessarily better, they just image w/ more of a 3-D look.
+1
Heliar different not better. The 6x9 aspect and 105mm lens lends to the 3D as well (I love that Bessa ii Heliar).

My favorite Rolleiflex having owned several 3.5 and 2.8 both planar and Xenotar is a D with Xenotar f2.8 it too looks "warmer".

I think as these cameras age and change hands.
The condition of the camera you buy is as important or maybe more important than the minor unique design features of individual models.
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Old 03-21-2012   #11
D.O'K.
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"The condition of the camera you buy is as important or maybe more important than the minor unique design features of individual models."

Absolutely.

Regards,
D.
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Old 03-21-2012   #12
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Many thanks for the good advice
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Old 03-21-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Type 3 was the transitional version. After 2753002 the Planar had six elements. After 2299547 the Xenatar had six elements.

Cal
That's good to know. Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2012   #14
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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There has previously been some discussion about the change to the six element design and the reasons for this on the Rollei list. I can't recall the precise details off the top of my head. Cheaper to manufacture with an additional single piece of glass than corrected bonded pairs, perhaps? It wasn't carried out because the previous versions were considered lacking, I remember that much. If anyone is really interested in the change to the 3.5, the list has more details.
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Old 03-21-2012   #15
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No, the six element Planar and Xenotar have no warming filters. They were new designs, with one element split in two and the flat surfaces cemented together. It's said that this was done to simplify the production, and that the quality was the same as the earlier five element versions.
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Old 03-21-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
No, the six element Planar and Xenotar have no warming filters. They were new designs, with one element split in two and the flat surfaces cemented together. It's said that this was done to simplify the production, and that the quality was the same as the earlier five element versions.
Thanks for posting that! I've seen it before at some point but couldn't recall the precise details.
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Old 03-22-2012   #17
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Hi,

I respectfully disagree, it's a subject that has been disscused to death. The lens diagram shown differs significantly from my particular sample.
I would also check the lens serial n., since many early 3.5F Planar cameras have been factory upgraded to a six element Planar - as in my Rolleiflex TLR.

Regards,
Robert

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
No, the six element Planar and Xenotar have no warming filters. They were new designs, with one element split in two and the flat surfaces cemented together. It's said that this was done to simplify the production, and that the quality was the same as the earlier five element versions.
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Old 03-22-2012   #18
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http://photo.net/medium-format-photography-forum/001CcP

http://photo.net/medium-format-photography-forum/001v5d
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Old 03-22-2012   #19
JPD
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Marc James Small wrote: "Check out Prochnow 16-369 for diagrams of the 5-element lenses and 16-376 for diagrams of the 6-element designs. There is no "flat glaass color correction filter" in the 6-element lenses: they are both six lenses in four groups. Parker is, at best, a very unreliable source. Marc"

My source is also the Rollei engineer Claus Prochnow, and the drawings of the lenses look correct to me. I have a six element Planar on my 3,5F and had the six element Xenotar on my 3,5 E3. Sadly, Claus Prochnow passed away a couple of years ago, but it's possible that Zeiss can dig in their archives and clear things up. Schneider Kreuznach helped me with info about the old five element Xenar (Rolleis didn't use them, but early Kodak Retinas II cameras did)
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Old 03-23-2012   #20
JPD
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I emailed Carl Zeiss and asked about the reason behind the redesign of the 3,5/75 Planar to a six element one. This is the reply I got:

Quote:
Dear Patric,
Thank you for your inquiry to Carl Zeiss.
Well, the reason for the change of the lens design was an improve of the lens performance (less vignetting, more consistent performance across the image field) as well as an easier production. The splitting of the second lens element into two cemented elements with a plain surface in between is easier in production than the meniscus element.
Hoping to be of service to you we kindly ask you to contact us again should you need further assistance.
Sincerely,
Bertram Hoenlinger
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Old 03-23-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
I respectfully disagree, it's a subject that has been disscused to death. The lens diagram shown differs significantly from my particular sample.
I would also check the lens serial n., since many early 3.5F Planar cameras have been factory upgraded to a six element Planar - as in my Rolleiflex TLR.
Can you show us your 3,5F and its Planar? I doubt that owners had their Rolleiflexes upgraded with a six element lens. That would have been very expensive for minimal gain.
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Old 03-23-2012   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
I emailed Carl Zeiss and asked about the reason behind the redesign of the 3,5/75 Planar to a six element one. This is the reply I got:
Dear Patric,
Thank you for your inquiry to Carl Zeiss.
Well, the reason for the change of the lens design was an improve of the lens performance (less vignetting, more consistent performance across the image field) as well as an easier production. The splitting of the second lens element into two cemented elements with a plain surface in between is easier in production than the meniscus element.
Hoping to be of service to you we kindly ask you to contact us again should you need further assistance.
Sincerely,
Bertram Hoenlinger
That is an impressive level of customer service in response to an enquiry about a legacy product. Thanks for passing the information on, too.
Regards,
Brett
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Old 03-23-2012   #23
D.O'K.
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Thanks JPD for taking the time to resolve the issue.

Regards,
D.
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Old 03-23-2012   #24
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Hi,

I'll see if I can post a picture over the weekend. From the Serial numbers Mark James Small confirmed to me that it was a factory upgrade.

Regards,
Robert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
Can you show us your 3,5F and its Planar? I doubt that owners had their Rolleiflexes upgraded with a six element lens. That would have been very expensive for minimal gain.
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Old 03-23-2012   #25
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Hi JPD,

As promiseds Rolleiflex TLR 3.5F type2 w/ 6-element Planar (factory upgrade).

Regards,
Robert
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TLR 1.jpg (97.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg TLR 2.jpg (156.1 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg TLR 3.jpg (104.8 KB, 38 views)
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Old 03-23-2012   #26
rlouzan
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Rear element, Rollei 3.5F
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Old 03-23-2012   #27
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Riouzan, that's the antireflection coating. Is the front element purplish?

The Planar on my 3,5F has the warm coating on the front element and the rear element has a purplish coating.

Here you can see a 2,8F with the warm coating on the front element:
http://johnsrolleionlypage.homestead...e_1._large.JPG

And this has the purplish coating:
http://johnsrolleionlypage.homestead...iew_no_cap.jpg

This was before multicoating, so the explanation may be that the warm and cold coatings would cancel each other out.
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Old 03-24-2012   #28
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Hi JPD,

Taking lens SN 2.986.XXX:

*Front element exhibits both a magenta and orange multi coating 'of sorts'.
*Rear element is orange-yellow, similar to the color cast of a radioactive Summicron, could be lens coating ...

However, this still doesn't explain why the rear element is completely flat, not even close to the lens cut shown in #15.

Regards,
Robert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
Riouzan, that's the antireflection coating. Is the front element purplish?

The Planar on my 3,5F has the warm coating on the front element and the rear element has a purplish coating.

Here you can see a 2,8F with the warm coating on the front element:
http://johnsrolleionlypage.homestead...e_1._large.JPG

And this has the purplish coating:
http://johnsrolleionlypage.homestead...iew_no_cap.jpg

This was before multicoating, so the explanation may be that the warm and cold coatings would cancel each other out.
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Old 03-24-2012   #29
JPD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
Hi JPD,

Taking lens SN 2.986.XXX:

*Front element exhibits both a magenta and orange multi coating 'of sorts'.
*Rear element is orange-yellow, similar to the color cast of a radioactive Summicron, could be lens coating ...

However, this still doesn't explain why the rear element is completely flat, not even close to the lens cut shown in #15.
The rear element is less curved than the front element, but the reason to why it looks flat is the angle you're looking from. You can't look at it from the side when it's deep inside the camera, and it will probably also feel flat if you touch it with a finger (don't, that's unecessary!). You can cut a ca 2 cm piece of thick paper and hold it with a pair of tweezers against the lens surface and see that it's not exactly flat.

I took a picture of mine, and it does look "flat", but you can see the reflections from my lightsource that they bend a little.

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Old 03-25-2012   #30
rlouzan
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JPD,

You've convinced me!
I wonder if they changed the lens coating at some point.

Regards,
Robert
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