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Looking for a 2.8 Rolleiflex
Old 02-21-2018   #1
Steve Ruddy
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Looking for a 2.8 Rolleiflex

I have my Dad's T 3.5 Tessar. I remember him showing me it and saying how he would like to have a 2.8 but couldn't afford one. I just had his T restored and while looking through the manuals and catalogs I found a manual for a 2.8E so this must have been the one he was drooling over. After talking with my service tech he recommends a D or later. After looking on the auction site I realized the prices there are really high. Is this how the entire market for these models run? If not what is a good price for them say thru CL or private sale?
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Old 02-21-2018   #2
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A good working 2.8D or newer model will likely be around $800 US on the lower end and higher for the newer models. You might get lucky and find a 2.8D for a bit less, but probably not much.
It would also be worthwhile to look for a 2.8C. There are not much different than a D, and not much older, and are usually the most affordable of the 5 element 2.8 models.
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Old 02-21-2018   #3
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Check out Jimmy Kohs ebay store.
He often has serviced 2.8 models available at BIN prices that typical auctions end.
A friend bought a fully serviced 2.8D from him last summer... was a great deal.

My advice from observation is to seek a Xenotar lens model.
As well as being a bit less dough, the Xenotars seem to have less occurrences of Separation compared to Planar lens.
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Old 02-21-2018   #4
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eBay finished listings will give you an idea of current value. Buying from a specialist dealer, while more reliable will invariably cost more. Factor in a CLA if getting one on eBay. You can get lucky. I got a 2.8f a few weeks ago for about $500 and just paid for a full CLA. Took some effort to fine one at that price but worth it after all was said and done.
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Old 02-21-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Check out Jimmy Kohs ebay store.
He often has serviced 2.8 models available at BIN prices that typical auctions end.
A friend bought a fully serviced 2.8D from him last summer... was a great deal.

My advice from observation is to seek a Xenotar lens model.
As well as being a bit less dough, the Xenotars seem to have less occurrences of Separation compared to Planar lens.
I'm gonna have to save that seller.
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Old 02-21-2018   #6
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I'm gonna have to save that seller.
Two cameras I noticed when posting this have already sold!
Our rff member X-ray recommended Koh.
Hes a retired Camera tech who now tunes and sells cameras.
Full return policy... typical price. It seems like the way to go.
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Old 02-21-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Check out Jimmy Kohs ebay store.
He often has serviced 2.8 models available at BIN prices that typical auctions end.
A friend bought a fully serviced 2.8D from him last summer... was a great deal.

My advice from observation is to seek a Xenotar lens model.
As well as being a bit less dough, the Xenotars seem to have less occurrences of Separation compared to Planar lens.
Thanks I'll check him out but looks like he is selling them for 1K. My budget before CLA is $800 tops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuffed Cheese View Post
eBay finished listings will give you an idea of current value. Buying from a specialist dealer, while more reliable will invariably cost more. Factor in a CLA if getting one on eBay. You can get lucky. I got a 2.8f a few weeks ago for about $500 and just paid for a full CLA. Took some effort to fine one at that price but worth it after all was said and done.
Were did you find one for $500?

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Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
A good working 2.8D or newer model will likely be around $800 US on the lower end and higher for the newer models. You might get lucky and find a 2.8D for a bit less, but probably not much.
It would also be worthwhile to look for a 2.8C. There are not much different than a D, and not much older, and are usually the most affordable of the 5 element 2.8 models.
Thx!
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Old 02-21-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post



Were did you find one for $500?
eBay. Patience allows for good deals on that site. Though I had to massage that price out of a seller. Always worth asking them for discounts or seeing if an off-site sale can drop the price.
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Old 02-21-2018   #9
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The 2.8C model is the last of the series to use the 10 blade aperture. If I hadn't found my 2.8F for a stupidly low price on Craigslist, I'd be looking for one of them. I dislike the out-of-focus highlight shapes that the later models show when stopped down, but I just shoot it at f/2.8 or f/4 and it's fine.
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Old 02-21-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Check out Jimmy Kohs ebay store.

He often has serviced 2.8 models available at BIN prices that typical auctions end.

A friend bought a fully serviced 2.8D from him last summer... was a great deal.



My advice from observation is to seek a Xenotar lens model.

As well as being a bit less dough, the Xenotars seem to have less occurrences of Separation compared to Planar lens.


I thought Jimmy retired?


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Old 02-21-2018   #11
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The lowest price I see in sold listings for a 2.8F is $1200. I have a 2.8F whiteface that Fleenor just brought up to snuff. I think any camera 50 years old is going to need a tune up, of course you may get lucky. it may have been tuned up only 10 years ago. I have a 3.5F whiteface that (I think) I had Harry do about 10 years ago that runs like a Swiss watch. So whatever you buy figure about $400~500 and a 4 month wait.
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Old 03-02-2018   #12
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I have a chance to purchase a 2.8E first version. I'm wondering about the focusing screen. Apparently the first E models hood is not removable like my T's hood. I see in the manual there is a retaining button on the back of the hood. Does that mean the screen will just slide out? If so will someone who has one mic the screen. I'd like to know if a Mamiya screen will work without re-calibration. My T's screen is .057" and I'm using a Mamiya rangefinder spot screen that's .060" It seems to work fine and I can easily swap to the original Rollei grid screen if needed.
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Old 03-02-2018   #13
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Steve, I've used a bunch of Rolleis. Sold my 2.8f to buy a large format lens. I missed it & then bought a T off the *bay & had Harry F do his magic (including a Maxwell screen). I've used it often & hard & it works like a charm & I really like the character of the Tessar lens even wide open. Since you've got the T....if you're looking for a 2.8......go for the 2.8f.... you knows it's likely the one you'll always want.
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Old 03-02-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Two cameras I noticed when posting this have already sold!
Our rff member X-ray recommended Koh.
Hes a retired Camera tech who now tunes and sells cameras.
Full return policy... typical price. It seems like the way to go.
I've done quite a bit of business with Jimmy especially service on the 3 SL66's I had. Jimmy always did a fantastic job even on my Leica M's.

As I understand Jimmy was head of Bronica service. He opened a shop ymany years ago and Alex Thomas who had a store in Buffalo used him and recommended him. Alex delt in premium cameras and had Jimmy do all his service. Alex is where I bought two of my SL66's and they'd been serviced by Jimmy.

I don't believe Jimmy services cameras other than what he has for sale but they're in first class shape when he's finished with them. His prices are excellent and I'd never hesitate to buy one from him. You know that when you buy from Jimmy it won't need service unless he states it does.
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Old 03-02-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Steve, I've used a bunch of Rolleis. Sold my 2.8f to buy a large format lens. I missed it & then bought a T off the *bay & had Harry F do his magic (including a Maxwell screen). I've used it often & hard & it works like a charm & I really like the character of the Tessar lens even wide open. Since you've got the T....if you're looking for a 2.8......go for the 2.8f.... you knows it's likely the one you'll always want.
Thanks for the reply. Your right, I would go for a 2.8F but funds are tight. This E is at least three times less expensive. So at least I can get a 2.8 in my hands and if I love it I can always sell it and use the cash for a F! :-)
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Old 03-02-2018   #16
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I just looked at Jimmys EBay site. He has a couple of C's with Xenotars that he just serviced, a couple of D's with Xenotars and an E model 1 non removable hood like the C and D. The E he has is a non meter version and has the Xenotar. All are 2.8's and just serviced. The look to be in very clean shape and range from low $800's to low $1000. No need to have a CLA done since he just did one.
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Old 03-02-2018   #17
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For what it's worth, after reading this thread I bought one of Jimmy's 2.8D Xenotars. I can confirm that it is in excellent shape, and works like a dream. (Or, feels like a dream, I'm about to send my first roll of Portra 400 in for processing).

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Old 03-02-2018   #18
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I sold all my Hasselblad equipment and decided to take some of the money
and get a Rolleiflex 2.8, I found at KEH one of there deals off ebay a 2.8C and
went for it. I know it's a older model but I already have two others so I went
for the C, I read the 10 blade aperture does marvels.
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Old 03-02-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I just looked at Jimmys EBay site. He has a couple of C's with Xenotars that he just serviced, a couple of D's with Xenotars and an E model 1 non removable hood like the C and D. The E he has is a non meter version and has the Xenotar. All are 2.8's and just serviced. The look to be in very clean shape and range from low $800's to low $1000. No need to have a CLA done since he just did one.
I messaged him weeks ago thru eBay and he didn't bother to reply. His prices are too high for my budget which is under $800. He does have some for this or less but none of them are in a good enough condition for me. I have one on the line for less and it is being serviced now.
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Old 03-02-2018   #20
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Just keep searching, one will pop up at the price and condition you want. He did (Kohs)
had on less than $800 but the taking lens was marked up.
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Old 03-02-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
I have a chance to purchase a 2.8E first version. I'm wondering about the focusing screen. Apparently the first E models hood is not removable like my T's hood. I see in the manual there is a retaining button on the back of the hood. Does that mean the screen will just slide out? If so will someone who has one mic the screen. I'd like to know if a Mamiya screen will work without re-calibration. My T's screen is .057" and I'm using a Mamiya rangefinder spot screen that's .060" It seems to work fine and I can easily swap to the original Rollei grid screen if needed.
Karl can trim one down and adjust it fr your camera.
He put a mamiya A screen in my last 2.8D.... was the perfect screen choice.
Youre fortunate ...Since you have now made a connection with KE.
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Old 03-02-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karateisland View Post
For what it's worth, after reading this thread I bought one of Jimmy's 2.8D Xenotars. I can confirm that it is in excellent shape, and works like a dream. (Or, feels like a dream, I'm about to send my first roll of Portra 400 in for processing).


Excellent choice. All f2.8 models/lenses giving equal iq, this model and lens are very robust.
In the past I always searched for a 2.8D xenotar.
Some like the 2.8F. I prefer the fixed wlf and meterless focus knob.
The Xenotars have less incidence of seperation than the Planars.
Someone wrote recently that the front bonded group of the xenotar is flat compared to the curved bonded Planar group resulting in a more robust, long lasting union.
With Focal point now out of the lens repair game... balsam separation will quickly lay some US residing cameras down.
No on else does this repair in North America.
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Old 03-02-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Excellent choice. All f2.8 models/lenses giving equal iq, this model and lens are very robust.
In the past I always searched for a 2.8D xenotar.
Some like the 2.8F. I prefer the fixed wlf and meterless focus knob.
The Xenotars have less incidence of seperation than the Planars.
Someone wrote recently that the front bonded group of the xenotar is flat compared to the curved bonded Planar group resulting in a more robust, long lasting union.
With Focal point now out of the lens repair game... balsam separation will quickly lay some US residing cameras down.
No on else does this repair in North America.
I bought it partially at your recommendation. I believe you put similar advice in another thread, and it was convincing enough for me!
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Old 03-02-2018   #24
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I promise I'm not trying to manipulate the Xenotar prices
It just seems like a legit potential issue at this point.
If one shops for a Rollei, those Planars with a edge separation are not difficult to find.
Once separation starts it can remain stable for years or it can completely fail.
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Old 03-02-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
I messaged him weeks ago thru eBay and he didn't bother to reply. His prices are too high for my budget which is under $800. He does have some for this or less but none of them are in a good enough condition for me. I have one on the line for less and it is being serviced now.
Sorry to hear he didn't get back. I've never had any issue with him. Matter of fact I messaged him this morning and had an answer this afternoon. Since I e been a customer for thirty years he's going to do a little adjustment on
my 3.5F.
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Old 03-02-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Excellent choice. All f2.8 models/lenses giving equal iq, this model and lens are very robust.
In the past I always searched for a 2.8D xenotar.
Some like the 2.8F. I prefer the fixed wlf and meterless focus knob.
The Xenotars have less incidence of seperation than the Planars.
Someone wrote recently that the front bonded group of the xenotar is flat compared to the curved bonded Planar group resulting in a more robust, long lasting union.
With Focal point now out of the lens repair game... balsam separation will quickly lay some US residing cameras down.
No on else does this repair in North America.
I'm glad to hear about this, I just purchased a 2.8C, I just wanted to get
a 2.8 so I would see thing's a bit difference. it's to bad about Focal Point,
I found out that there's a lens repair in japan and Taiwan that does repolishing
but to sent it around the world is a big step.
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Old 03-02-2018   #27
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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I've heard of one or two cases of rear Xenotar cells de-cementing. But the reason it is not an issue at the front, as it sometimes is with the Planar equivalent, is because the 80mm Xenotar front glass is a single piece, and not a cemented doublet like the Planar uses. There is, quite simply, no front joint surface that can de-cement.
Cheers
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Old 03-03-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Excellent choice. All f2.8 models/lenses giving equal iq, this model and lens are very robust.
In the past I always searched for a 2.8D xenotar.
Some like the 2.8F. I prefer the fixed wlf and meterless focus knob.
The Xenotars have less incidence of seperation than the Planars.
Someone wrote recently that the front bonded group of the xenotar is flat compared to the curved bonded Planar group resulting in a more robust, long lasting union.
With Focal point now out of the lens repair game... balsam separation will quickly lay some US residing cameras down.
No on else does this repair in North America.
Yeah, I preferred the meterless versions and was lucky to find a 2.8f without a meter.
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Old 03-03-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
I've heard of one or two cases of rear Xenotar cells de-cementing. But the reason it is not an issue at the front, as it sometimes is with the Planar equivalent, is because the 80mm Xenotar front glass is a single piece, and not a cemented doublet like the Planar uses. There is, quite simply, no front joint surface that can de-cement.
Cheers
Brett
You might be right but there is conflicting info available.
During my search, I bookmarked the article below. It seems to concur with other info on the 2 lenses.
With the Xenotar..The front glass is single yes, the front group has a bonded pair.


http://dobleobjetivo.blogspot.com/20...x6-lenses.html

Xenotar 2.8/80


Planar 2.8/80
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Old 03-03-2018   #30
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Quote:
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Yeah, I preferred the meterless versions and was lucky to find a 2.8f without a meter.
I prefer the meterless version too, so I picked up a 2.8E.
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Old 03-03-2018   #31
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Quote:
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I prefer the meterless version too, so I picked up a 2.8E.
If you buy one with an inoperative meter, isn't it the same as getting one without the meter???
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Old 03-03-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
You might be right but there is conflicting info available.
During my search, I bookmarked the article below. It seems to concur with other info on the 2 lenses.
With the Xenotar..The front glass is single yes, the front group has a bonded pair.


http://dobleobjetivo.blogspot.com/20...x6-lenses.html

Xenotar 2.8/80


Planar 2.8/80

Thanks for the link Andy!!
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Old 03-03-2018   #33
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If you buy one with an inoperative meter, isn't it the same as getting one without the meter???
The meter is a glass bulb thing on the left side, like a carbuncle sticking out of the camera. So the meterless ones look better anyway, and an inoperative meter is adding insult to the injury to me. At least if the meter works you can excuse the look..

All kidding aside, another reason I bought one w/o the meter is that these meters are not ttl, and are so old now I doubt their accuracy.
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Old 03-03-2018   #34
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Quote:
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If you buy one with an inoperative meter, isn't it the same as getting one without the meter???
Sure it's functionally the same, but I don't like having faulty equipment. The problem is in my head, I admit.

I tried to sell a Rollei 35S with faulty meter (the pocket camera) to a dealer who said that people would prefer a camera without a meter to one with a faulty meter.
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Old 03-03-2018   #35
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Quote:
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Sure it's functionally the same, but I don't like having faulty equipment. The problem is in my head, I admit.

I tried to sell a Rollei 35S with faulty meter (the pocket camera) to a dealer who said that people would prefer a camera without a meter to one with a faulty meter.
Ah, I wonder if the focus nob on a metered camera can be exchanged with one without. I'm getting ready to buy one with a dead meter.
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Old 03-03-2018   #36
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You could put a cap on the end of the focusing knob, when you remove the
meter.
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Old 03-03-2018   #37
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Thanks for the link Andy!!
You're welcome.
I thank Carlos Manuel Freaza for creating that page.
He's aggregated info and diagrams for many (all?) the Rolleiflex lenses and add on lenses.
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Old 03-03-2018   #38
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I replaced the meter cell with a cap from a 35mm Ektachrome canister. Easy to get it to pop in there after some cuts/trimming, almost looks factory if you aren't super anal retentive. Keeps the meter cell in great shape, saves a bit of weight. Win win, in my book.

There are also aftermarket knob caps made that are made from metal (aluminum, I think?) and had an engraved Rollei style R but I prefer the plain cap...plus it was free.
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Harry Fleenor
Old 03-03-2018   #39
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Harry Fleenor

Steve: In my search for the perfect Rollei, I bought an Automat Xenar 75mm for about $380 at the bay site. I has been working perfectly since couple of years ago, no need to adjust. Then I bought a Rolleicord IVb, the last of the Cords, it had the shutter CLAd but not the self-timer (I did not want to pay for it, I do not need it). I paid $450 for it to a seller from the Neederlands. Finally, I bought a 2A for $300. When I took to Harry, he estimated the CLA in $540. He did not recommend me to do the clean up, the 2A is soft. So, I have it as a decoration. Finally, I found at the bay a 2.8F for a bit over $1,100. When I took to Harry, he found lots of things to do, he has a trained eye. I left it with him for 4 months and after about $400++, he called me to pick it up. It looked like new, it works like new, it sound like new. I would not sell it for less than $3,000. Of course I am not selling it. I am just trying to say that you can wait for a non-dealer to sell one. I bought it from a man whose father left it after he passed away. He did not know what to do. I recommend you go to Harry Fleeror's site (Google Harry Fleenor, Rolleiflex in Torrance, CA) and buy his guide to buy a Rollei (for $10). It is a pdf with his adivice. He is a very honest and rightful man. He was trained by Rollei, and he has all the equipment to calibrate roles. His son follows his footsteps and does a lot of the work. You are in good hands with him.
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Old 03-03-2018   #40
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Get a meter one if you can. It really helps. Although I am used to not having a meter with the 75mm Automat. But the meter is really something, and Harry CLA them to the point that their calibration is on the money. My opinion is that Xenotar may be a bit better lens. However, I read the book ROLLEI TLR - THE HISTORY by Ian Parker, and he tell the true story of every single lens and model.

Here is a shot taken after the CLA:

RolleiRetro80-Rodinal105 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr

RolleiRetro80-Rodinal109 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


These are taken with the Automat 4A 75mm Xenar


Train in the Desert by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


Like father, like son by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


I also realized that I could be happy with just the Automat 4A. Since I am shooting Large Format 4x5 now.
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