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Just got My Rolleiflex T back from service!
Old 02-17-2018   #1
Steve Ruddy
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Just got My Rolleiflex T back from service!

I tried Henry Fleenor but his turn around time is 4 months so at his referral I used Karl Ehlers in WA. I ended up with it back in just over a week. He also sent me a Rolinar 2 at an incredible price. The T needed CLA bad. Focus was way off, and the shutter at 1 second was more like 2 seconds. I shot a test roll to check the focus and it seems good. The image is way softer wide open at f3.5 but very sharp at 5.6-11 I haven't tried it stopped any further down and haven't shot at infinity. The infinity is like all my digital lenses. It will go past focus a little. I have read on this forum it should stop at infinity focus but I think that maybe wrong info. I'm asking Karl about it now. I think I may need to look for another model that will compliment this one, probably a 2.8 that will shoot sharper wide open. Have any suggestions? Here is one of my focus test shots @15" using the Roleinar 2.

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Old 02-17-2018   #2
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I very much like my (basic) 2.8D. It is sharp wide open.
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Old 02-17-2018   #3
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I would suggest you shoot another roll to test that wide open performance.
It's a tessar and will never be as sharp as a Xenotar at wide open but it should not be soft.
I found plenty of detail at wide open with the Tessar that in the Rollei T that I owned (Karl overhauled that one as well).
Karl Ehlers is great to work with. If anyone can adjust that Infinity issue he can.
It may be fiddly to get there though.

The T is a nice camera and would sell quickly after an Ehlers Overhaul.
If you bought a 2.8 Xenotar or Planar.... it's difficult to imagine the T getting much use.
What did you scan your text chart with?
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Old 02-17-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
I would suggest you shoot another roll to test that wide open performance.
It's a tessar and will never be as sharp as a Xenotar at wide open but it should not be soft.
I found plenty of detail at wide open with the Tessar that in the Rollei T that I owned (Karl overhauled that one as well).
Karl Ehlers is great to work with. If anyone can adjust that Infinity issue he can.
It may be fiddly to get there though.

The T is a nice camera and would sell quickly after an Ehlers Overhaul.
If you bought a 2.8 Xenotar or Planar.... it's difficult to imagine the T getting much use.
What did you scan your text chart with?
I don't think the infinity is an issue, all my dslr lenses act the same way and Karl did adjust focus. Regardless I have emailed him about it so we will see what he has to say. Here is a shot wide open @ 48" I think it's definitely useful for say portraits but it's way softer than the same shot at f5.6. I scanned with a POS Epson v600, I am now scanning with my Canon 5D Mark IV with 100mm macro lens but didn't have time to set that up. I don't think the sacanner has anything to do with the wide open shot being soft as it's all relavent. The 5.6 is much sharper scanned the same way.

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Old 02-17-2018   #5
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I have often read that it is pretty typical for a Tessar lens that you need to stop down to f/8-f/11 for ultimate sharpness...
That being said, my prewar Automat with uncoated Tessar gives me perfectly useable results wide open.

Of my 3 Rolleiflex (3.5F Xenotar, 2.8C Planar, Automat with uncoated Tessar) the 3.5F Xenotar is the sharpest. I think the 3.5 Planar and Xenotar are often thought of as slightly sharper than their 2.8 counterparts. I don't know how true that is though...

All my Rolleiflex focus correctly at infinity at the stop...

This was shot wide open with the Automat with uncoated Tessar.


Untitled by Colton Allen, on Flickr
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Old 02-17-2018   #6
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The Rolleinar is not helping resolution or contrast when used wide open. Did you try it without the Rolleinar? I'm pretty sure the Rollei notes that go along with the Rolleinar suggest stopping down to 5.6 or 8 and of course the Tessar is not made to be bitingly sharp wide open. The Planar/Xenotar models will be better in this regard, my 2.8s have been excellent.

Do you mean you checked infinity focus at the film plane, or the knob is indicating focus past infinity, or the viewfinder image looks like it is going past infinity? You have to have all three of these things calibrated together to be able to stick it on the infinity stop and have it be right.

What did you use to check it, if at the film plane?
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Old 02-17-2018   #7
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Well no.... f3.5 will not be as sharp as f5.6-f8 not with a tessar or any other Rollei lens.
Usably sharp and especially nice for portraits.... yes.
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Old 02-17-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
The Rolleinar is not helping resolution or contrast when used wide open. Did you try it without the Rolleinar? I'm pretty sure the Rollei notes that go along with the Rolleinar suggest stopping down to 5.6 or 8 and of course the Tessar is not made to be bitingly sharp wide open. The Planar/Xenotar models will be better in this regard, my 2.8s have been excellent.

Do you mean you checked infinity focus at the film plane, or the knob is indicating focus past infinity, or the viewfinder image looks like it is going past infinity? You have to have all three of these things calibrated together to be able to stick it on the infinity stop and have it be right.

What did you use to check it, if at the film plane?
Same results with or without Roleinar. 3.5 is considerably softer than 5.6. Camera just came back from service so I haven't attempted testing beyond actually shooting. Also I have not shot anything at infinity yet however looking into the viewfinder my split screen shows accurate focus a smidge before the focus nob stop. If I didn't have a split screen I would say the max infinity focus was working it's so close that I'm not sure it would make any difference.
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Old 02-17-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
I have often read that it is pretty typical for a Tessar lens that you need to stop down to f/8-f/11 for ultimate sharpness...
That being said, my prewar Automat with uncoated Tessar gives me perfectly useable results wide open.

Of my 3 Rolleiflex (3.5F Xenotar, 2.8C Planar, Automat with uncoated Tessar) the 3.5F Xenotar is the sharpest. I think the 3.5 Planar and Xenotar are often thought of as slightly sharper than their 2.8 counterparts. I don't know how true that is though...

All my Rolleiflex focus correctly at infinity at the stop...

This was shot wide open with the Automat with uncoated Tessar.


Untitled by Colton Allen, on Flickr
Thanks for the info! Nice shot, sharp enough for me. Why did you shoot this wall wide open???
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Old 02-17-2018   #10
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Sounds like the infinity discrepancy is between the taking lens and the viewing lens. Easy to get that right with modest tools, if you can confirm accurate infinity at the film plane.
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Old 02-17-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
Thanks for the info! Nice shot, sharp enough for me. Why did you shoot this wall wide open???
Was the first roll I shot with the camera and wanted to see how the lens would do wide open for a shot like this.
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Old 02-17-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
I very much like my (basic) 2.8D. It is sharp wide open.
I just took a 2.8d on a trip around India last month. I'm, for once, sitting on the film for a while before I scan, but I'm really excited about the results. Looking at the slides coming out of the tank made me giddy.
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Old 02-17-2018   #13
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Very nice camera, Steve. I really like the Rolleiflex T.

I have always seen Tessar and Tessar-types as the perfect dual-purpose lenses.

For portraiture, I normally shoot at wider apertures, and the slightly softer rendition is ideal for this. Starting with a sharper lens and degrading it with a Softar filter makes less sense to me.

For landscapes, I normally shoot at smaller apertures, and I get the extra sharpness where I want it.

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Old 02-17-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post

Untitled by Colton Allen, on Flickr
This photo is a great reminder than we don't always need to show the whole object to make a successful photo. A detail can evoke an image of the original scene. It calls to mind a word I learned in a perceptual psychology class: "Redintegration" which means the part reinstates the whole. (No idea who dreams up words like that.)

Great shot! Love it!

P.S: I think the slight softness of the wide-open shot works very well for the subject!
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Old 02-17-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
This photo is a great reminder than we don't always need to show the whole object to make a successful photo. A detail can evoke an image of the original scene. It calls to mind a word I learned in a perceptual psychology class: "Redintegration" which means the part reinstates the whole. (No idea who dreams up words like that.)

Great shot! Love it!

P.S: I think the slight softness of the wide-open shot works very well for the subject!
Thanks Rob.
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Old 02-17-2018   #16
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I'm not sure about this 'soft' Tessar at f3.5. I use it all the time, and it doesn't take much of a focus sift to throw and image into the 'soft' category. After my CLA I've never thought f3.5 was a big disadvantage to sharpness. Maybe I'm not a as picky as you guys but I don't see enough of a fall off to warrant a mental breakdown.

I have two Ricoh Diacord G cameras with basically the same lens only Japanese. And they are just as good as the Rollei.

This is my 'T' wide open (3stop ND filter):

Tmax100 HC-110h Rodinal by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 02-18-2018   #17
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Something I liked about the T was that I found the sidewise direction of the shutter release was easier to press without jiggling the camera than the front-to-back direction of other Rolleis (and TLRs in general).
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Old 02-21-2018   #18
Steve Ruddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogarth Ferguson View Post
I just took a 2.8d on a trip around India last month. I'm, for once, sitting on the film for a while before I scan, but I'm really excited about the results. Looking at the slides coming out of the tank made me giddy.
Glad to hear it, I'm looking for a 2.8D or E.
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Old 02-21-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMur12 View Post
Very nice camera, Steve. I really like the Rolleiflex T.

I have always seen Tessar and Tessar-types as the perfect dual-purpose lenses.

For portraiture, I normally shoot at wider apertures, and the slightly softer rendition is ideal for this. Starting with a sharper lens and degrading it with a Softar filter makes less sense to me.

For landscapes, I normally shoot at smaller apertures, and I get the extra sharpness where I want it.

- Murray
Thanks for the info. I just passed on a Rolleisoft as I felt the same.
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