[rollei_list] Update on Rolleiflex MX TLR (was: Re: Re: TLR)

Update -

today I received back the 2 rolls I'd taken with the MX last weekend, both Tri-X (due to the low light and list-recommendations to shoot at 5,6 and up to ensure image sharpness).

The negs look great! Sharp corner to corner, evenly exposed, loads of detail, nice contrast and tonal gradation. Even spacing between each frame (this was built in 1952? My 6008i2 can't get frames spaced this nicely, and on rare occasions even overlaps them!), no apparent light leaks. I couldn't test for flare as it was cloudy and raining all weekend.

This is a nice little camera. Of course, it's made me want more ;-). Are the f2.8 models that much more heavy/large or unweildy? Can they be shot wide open? Are there any niceties I'd want in a newer model (seems everyone wants an F)? I have a handheld metre, don't see the need for interchangable finders, but like the convenience a linked EV system (move one controll and the other follows) provides.

I don't want to get into a flame war as to Planar vs. Xenotar, but will there be much difference between a Tessar and a Planar (or Xenar and Xenotar)? I almost always use available light, and most often shoot 100ISO film (or lower), which is why I wondered if a 2.8 might be more appropriate, and whether a Tessar will perform anywhere near a Planar when shot wide open (either 2.8 or 3.5). I expect there will be more than a few occasions where that might be neccessary.

Or I could ask my friend if he's inerested in selling and just go with this one if he is. Are parts available (Europe)?

Hmm, probably I've already asked some of these questions before. Better go back over the archives and check...

Cheers,
Thor


On 31. okt. 2005, at 20.19, Thor Legvold wrote:

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the little piece of history. I'll let my friend know about it as well. I took a few rolls this weekend, but haven't had time to develop them yet.

So far it seems like a really great little camera. The only problems I've noticed so far is the impossibly dark viewing screen (an easy upgrade, I imagine) and that the winding crank has to be all the way in reverse (the second part of the winding) to fire. If it's been fully cocked but the winding lever is slightly below the end of travel, the shutter won't fire. It hasn't been a problem to ensure proper positioning with my thumb.

When I looked at the lens through the back, I noticed that it actually does have 10 aperture blades, I had mistakenly though it had 5 based on viewing it from the front of the camera (silly me). I'm looking forward to seeing the developed rolls.

Cheers,
Thor

On 31. okt. 2005, at 16.26, Marc James Small wrote:

Thanks for the numbers, Thor.

Hysteron proteron: you have to buy Prochnow in print the old-fashioned
way. It is well worth the while to purchase the entire run of his
publications. One of these is a Rollei repair manual, by the way. He is
now engaged on issuing Voigtländer Reports every bit as authoritative as
are his Rollei Reports.


So you have a Rolleiflex 3.5A/MX (Type 1):

Body s/n 1287946
Taking Lens:  3.5/75 Zeiss-Opton Tessar T 913174
Viewing Lens:  2.8/75 Heidosmat T 633608

The numbering on the Heidosmat is problematic and these numbers seem to
have been assigned by Rolleiflex and not by Carl Zeiss. That you viewing
lens is marked with a red T is a rarity but has been previously noted, I
believe.


The taking lens is part of a lot of 15,000 lenses completed on 5 OCT 1950
according to the factory records, so the lens on your gem must have been in
storage for a few years before being installed in your camera. It seems to
have been the practice of the era for Franke & Heidecke to order lenses
well in advance from Zeiss -- and, until the early 1950's, a lot of lenses
might come from either Jena or Oberkochen. We do not know whether Franke &
Heidecke paid for these lenses at the date of manufacture or upon delivery
and whether these lenses would have been stored at a Zeiss facility or in
Braunschweig at the Franke & Heidecke facility. It is probable that Zeiss
Oberkochen did not warehouse Zeiss Jena lenses and the converse, but even
this is not certain.


The rule of thumb is that the guys at Oberkochen shifted the marking on
their lenses from "Zeiss-Opton" to "Carl Zeiss" on 1 OCT 1954 and that the
transition occurred at the 1,000,000 mark but the truth is not nearly this
neat. Zeiss produced lenses in batches and numbered them sequentially
within these batches. As a result, there are Zeiss-Opton lenses bearing
serial numbers well in excess of that one-million mark and some Carl Zeiss
lenses with lower numbers. The changeover was a gradual one, as was the
elimination of the red T marking indicating coating, though, in general,
coated Zeiss-Opton lenses bear the T mark and coated Carl Zeiss lenses do
not, a practice soon followed by Carl Zeiss Jena, Joseph Schneider
Kreuznach, and the Soviet lens factories.


Marc



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