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Your experience with Tele Rolleiflex?
Old 04-26-2018   #1
Alex Krasotkin
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Your experience with Tele Rolleiflex?

Guys. I am considering to buy Tele Rolleflex (old model) to couple with my Rolleiflex 2.8 GX. I want to shoot more tele portraits rather then only with 80 mm. Worth it or not? Can you share your experience with this camera? And if possible sample portraits? I also have an old 90 degree prism for ordinary TLR Rolleflex. Do you tnink this prism will also fit Tele Rollei?


Many thanks in advance,
Alex
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Old 04-26-2018   #2
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Krasotkin View Post
Guys. I am considering to buy Tele Rolleflex (old model) to couple with my Rolleiflex 2.8 GX. I want to shoot more tele portraits rather then only with 80 mm. Worth it or not? Can you share your experience with this camera? And if possible sample portraits? I also have an old 90 degree prism for ordinary TLR Rolleflex. Do you tnink this prism will also fit Tele Rollei?


Many thanks in advance,
Alex
Alex, the Rollei prism for the E2--F series TLRs will also fit the Tele.
Bear in mind the minimum focus distance of the Tele is 8 1/2 feet or so. Franke & Heidecke made two weaker than usual close up lenses, (Rolleinars) the 0.35 and the 0.7, especially for the Tele, to bring that down a bit for when it is desirable.

In terms of portraiture Sanders McNew is the member who has done a great deal of that. Actually the performance of the Sonnar in his images convinced me to get one. He's achieved some superb images at varying focusing distances by either using the Sonnar by itself, with one of the Rolleinars made for the Tele, or for really tight shots, by stacking a conventional Rolleinar 1 onto the 0.35 and using them together. The Tele uses Bay III accessories like the 2.8B to F Rolleiflexes.

You can still see many of his images on his Flickr account. Here is a link. Note that there's a lot of nudity so NSFW. Some of the images were made with his Sinar Norma 5x7", the square ratio ones were made with his Tele. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sander...57623916262338

If you like the lens in question, the bottom line is a Tele Rollei is the only way to use it. That version of the Sonnar was never fitted to any other camera.
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Old 04-26-2018   #3
valdas
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I was considering it for a while, but minimum focusing distance of some 2.6 meters is really a significant shortcoming. I went for Mamiya C330 and tele lenses instead - I have 105mm and 180mm and that gives more flexibility than Tele-Rollei...
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Old 04-26-2018   #4
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Sometimes I think about the Tele or the FW... But I have a Hy6 Mod 2 and getting both a 180/2.8 with AF and/or something like an old 50, or even the 40/3.5 would probably set me back less or the same than a single TLR, considering the Rolleinars are necessary. So I'm happy with my 2.8E, and when I want some other focal length the Hy6 is the go to system.
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Old 04-26-2018   #5
Dan Daniel
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Wonderful lens. I usually am pretty relaxed about lenses, but the Tele-Rolleiflex lens was something else. I used it for landscape and architecture so the close focusing wasn't an issue. It's a limited camera in many ways, but if its limits and what you want to do match up, you'll love it.
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Old 04-26-2018   #6
leicapixie
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Way back when.. the 70's I too considered the Tele-Rollei.
I disliked idea of no close focus unless with proxars..
The Hasselblad was out of range, in 'space" as to my budget.
The Mamiya C series fitted the bill, with 180 mm and with the built in bellows, easy to get close.
Mamiya has 135 mm and the 180 mm.
Mamiya is heavy!
The Pentax 6x7 also has great portrait lenses..
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Old 04-26-2018   #7
rolfe
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As has been stated, you need the weak Rolleinar for head and shoulders portraits. I believe Avedon used this setup...

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Old 04-26-2018   #8
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IMHO, it'd be such a specialized camera (and perhaps costly given its rarebreedness) you might be disappointed. I'm in the SaveKodak opinion myself as the options for the price are greater. And yet the 6000 / Hy6 series does have some issues, so that has some limits that you have to work-a-round (batteries, inserts, backs), but it can be done. I've done it. If you will use the camera a lot then it may make sense. Only you can know for sure. Suggest posting on Photrio [was APUG]) where you might find more direct user input with experience. Another wonderful option would be a Hassy... though I have no experience there.
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Old 04-26-2018   #9
charjohncarter
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Sanders McNew uses a Tele-Rollei, and he used to post here. He still has many portraits on Flickr. Warning, lots of nudity.

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/rff....php?uid=13530
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Old 04-26-2018   #10
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Sanders has some great work on flickr.... definitely worth a look.
His use of the tele among others.. inspired me to buy one.
Buying one and having a 2.8D around inspired me to sell the Tele.
It was simply not a fit for me.
The MFD makes the camera more of a full body "Glamour" focal length.
The Rolleinars .35 and .7 were in the bag but I just did not connect.

The Sonnar lens images very sharply right from f4.
At wide open and up close it has a strong 3D-ish swirl in oof area.
This image over emphasizes that effect. (f4 mfd)
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Old 04-26-2018   #11
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The Tele and the "regular" Rolleiflex models are wonderful cameras for taking portraits. Look out for possible separation in the taking lens.
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Old 04-26-2018   #12
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Too rich for my blood... You may also want to consider a Mamiya C330 / C220 with one of the tele lenses. The super 180mm has a great reputation but I have yet to pick one up. Less sexy and in use less refined than the Rolleis for sure, but these cameras are workhorses and the standard and wide angle lens options are also very fine.
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Old 04-26-2018   #13
raid
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I took one day three Rolleiflkex TLRs to the beach for a side by side comparison shoot.
1. 2.8D Planar
2. 3.5F Planar
3. Tele Sonnar

These images were from the Tele. I happen to like them a lot.
I may have used XP2 film.

Using the Tele makes portraits easy to "see" on the screen and then to capture on film.
The Sonnar is a magical lens (to me).
The camera is rock solid.











The 2.8D on same occasion gave me this:




This one is from the 3.5F:

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Old 04-26-2018   #14
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Great lens. Long minimal focus. Buy some Proxars for portraits.

If you like mild telephoto this is a terrific camera and a worthy match for your other Rollei.
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Old 04-26-2018   #15
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Don't getvme wrong because I like my Rolleis but why mess with a Tele. Having to deal with closeup attachments and the risk of lens separation plus lack of flexibility makes a Tele Rollei less appealing. For the cost of a TR you can buy a very nice Hasselblad 500CM and 150 Sonnar or even better a 120 macro Planar CF. No closeup attachments and a broad array of great glass at reasonable prices is available. You could probably find a 501cm and 120 CF Macro Planar for the price or a Rollei SL66 and 150 Sonnar for the price.

I used 3 SL66s for nearly thirty years in my business and think it's the finest MF 6x6 ever made. If I could have put a digital back on it is still be using them but went to Hasselblad for digital compatibility.
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Old 04-26-2018   #16
Steve M.
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Just my two cents here....I always preferred 35mm w/ a 90 or 135 lens for portraits to shooting them w/ MF. You can shoot so much faster, and the cameras are far enough from your subjects to avoid getting in their space. People appear more relaxed and spontaneous. If you just want the square format you can always crop. 35mm w/ the right film, developing and exposure can go quite large. It's nice being able to fire off 36 shots w/o having to reload film twice. 35mm portrait lenses are wonderful because w/ the good ones you can get a perfectly blurred background, and it's nice to pin point the focus on just the eyes. Or, as w/ some of mine, on the nose or ears if you miss it by a smidgen :[

On the other hand, I love the portraits I made w/ TLR's, especially the three element Triotars on Rolleicords (good center sharpness and nice bokeh). You can't get a head shot though, but w/ a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 neg you can crop down to that easily.
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Old 04-26-2018   #17
Robert Lai
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I bought a type 1 Tele Rolleiflex from a fellow RFF member here (NY Dan).
The type 1 cameras are 120 film format only, while type 2 could accept 120/220 films. This particular camera had lens separation along one edge of the viewing lens (taking lens is perfect). I asked around and was told by a couple of respected repairmen (Frank Marshman for one), that as long as I don't expose it to temperature extremes, there should be no progression of the separation. Since the separation is only a thin sliver along one edge, I can't see any effects on the viewing image.

Anyway, it was offered at a major discount because of the lens separation, so I took a chance and bought it. It came with the 0.35X Proxar. The proxar swings out of the way when not needed, so I just leave it on the camera all the time. It has a bay III bayonet mount on the front of the proxar, so the hood and filters can mount to the proxar. It also comes with the glass plate!!! This gives the ultimate in film flatness, as the pressure plate sandwitches the film right up against the optical glass plate.

I did send it to Frank Marshman to replace some items that were bothering me:
it has a new wind crank (OEM Rollei),
New mirrors for the body and the viewfinder.
New meter cover.
It even has a new meter cell. The old meter cell is accurate, but someone had used a solvent to clean it in the past, and it had a matte appearance on the lenses that cover the meter cell. I'm keeping the old cell as a spare.
I also bought an incident meter cover for the meter.

I do have the Mamiya C220 and Mamiyaflex C2. They are very versatile cameras.

The Mamiya 135mm lens is a Tessar (4 elements, 3 groups). 135mm is roughly equivalent to 85mm in 135 film format.
The Tele-Rolleiflex 135mm is a Sonnar (unsure what the layout is).
I also have the Mamiya 105mm DS Heliar lens (5 elements, 3 groups) - equivalent to 65mm in 135.

I will say that for fit and finish, the Mamiyas are well made and competent. The Rolleiflex however has that extra polish.
The Tele Rollei is a lot more compact than the Mamiyaflex.

This is rather reminiscent of my Nikon vs a Leica M in 35mm.
You get the idea.

Like the Leica M cameras, the paper specifications seem underwhelming. In the hand, and up to the eye - they are gorgeous cameras.
I'm still running a test roll through the cameras. However, all accounts are that the Tele's Sonnar lens is first class. The Mamiya 135mm is supposed to be less sharp than the others, but probably preferable for portraits for that reason.
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Old 04-26-2018   #18
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Tele Rollei, Fuji 160 expired 2 yrs.
It was a grab shot or I would have had the tip of the steeple in there too...


From the same 3 minutes on that square in Groningen:


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Old 04-26-2018   #19
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Have to admit...those tele Rollies..have a cracker of a lens on them!
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Old 04-26-2018   #20
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I had a type 1 tele with both of the close up lenses for about 3 years but then somebody made me a offer I could not let slip. I had the case for the camera and in the hidden slot in the back of the case I found the anti-newton glass plate that slipped into the camera before the film plane to make sure the film was held very flat. I had the camera for a year before I found this and I don't think the owner that had the camera before me even knew about it. It was a nice idea but it was hard to keep dust free, and I just put it back in it's hidden compartment. One of the cameras I wish I had not sold.
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Old 04-26-2018   #21
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I have a late 60s Tele (no lens separation.) It's a nicely balanced setup to hold and use (most frequently for me with the 0.35 Rolleinar and a Hood attached.)

I only tend to use it 'naked' for landscape/tripod scenarios, otherwise it wears the hinged 0.35 Rolleinar the whole time, maybe a Rolleinar 1 in the bag too if I felt like it.
I also have the glass plate somewhere but never used it. I do have a handy chart I made somewhere on the focus ranges with each Rolleinar (I have them all from 0.35 through to 3)

I think it's exactly like a 2.8/3.5 Rollei in practical use.
It's just as serene and unthreatening, the shutter barely makes a noise, I love the portraits I get from it, because it puts the subject at ease (and/or maybe me too) and it shows in the end result.

It's just as capable/limited as having 'only' a 75/80mm lens is. If you love the normal Rolleiflex, I see no reason why you wouldn't love the Tele.

The only absolute is that you need the 0.35 Rolleinar to get a nice head and shoulders shot, other Rolleinars are helpful too. It's all Bay 3 which is handy for me as a match to my 2.8 Planar.

Other that that, I guess the normal SLR vs TLR arguments apply but I don't see any constraint to the Tele-Rolleiflex as the superb portrait length TLR made right at the peak of their powers it surely is.
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Old 04-26-2018   #22
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I think it's a 5 element lens:
https://image.ibb.co/hjpXGx/Blogsonnar135_copia.jpg

Which I found here:
https://dobleobjetivo.blogspot.com.a...x6-lenses.html
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Old 04-26-2018   #23
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I agree cogee. Working with the Tele Rolleiflex is the same as working with any 2.8 or 3.5 E Rolleiflex.

People are universally fascinated with TLRs, as they have a truly unusual appearance. Like the Barnack Leicas, they don't seem intimidating in the least. The shutters are very quiet also.
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Old 04-27-2018   #24
Alex Krasotkin
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Guys, many thanks for all your valuable inputs! I really appreciate your views and thoughts!
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