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What's a fair price for a Rolleiflex E2?

Marc Lieberman , Apr 25, 2006; 09:08 p.m.

I was offered today a beautiful Rolleiflex E2 with Xenotar f/2.8. It is in magnificient condition. What is a fair price for this camera?

I am unfamiliar with the different Rolleiflex TLR lenses. How does the 2.8 Xenotar stack up? And how does this model compare with, say, the legendary "F" model? This one did not appear to have a light meter. But I'd rather have no meter than a dead or dying selenium cell. (I don't know whether this particular camera was made before 1970, but to me, all TLR's are classics ;-)

Responses

David M , Apr 25, 2006; 09:18 p.m.

For value look at ebay completed auctions. The Xenotar gives performance equal to the Planar, assuming your camera is still in alignment.

Rich 815 , Apr 26, 2006; 12:00 a.m.

I have an E2 with a Planar 2.8 that I simply love. I was lucky, I got it for about $150 USD. However it was in seriously ugly user condition. Worked for a while in terms of lens performance but the slow speeds were off. Just got a $165 CLA done about a month ago and it works great----though still ugly. Obviously my price is not indicative but I would say for one in decent working order between $400-700 USD depending on its condition is about what you would expect to pay.

In terms of the Xenotar vs. the Planar there is a load of discussion online about it. The consensus seems to be that there is slight, if any, difference with some giving the Xenotar just the tiniest of an edge---in other words a difference few would ever notice especially stopped 2-3 stops down.

Wonderful cameras, wonderful lenses. I hope you get it.

A small gallery of some of my Rolleiflex 2.8E2 images can be found here:

http://not.contaxg.com/folder.php?id=239

___________________

El Cerrito Hill Park, El Cerrito, California, Rolleiflex 2.8E2 Planar, Ilford HP5+

Marc Lieberman , Apr 26, 2006; 12:27 a.m.

Thanks people. Richard, your photo is exquisite. A few years ago I purchased a second-hand Rollei 2.8. I didn't know enough at the time to use it well- I didn't know that f/2.8 on a 6x6 is not the same as on 35mm or that tilting the camera would throw off the focus, as a result, I got frustrated with so many out of focus pictures and sold the camera. I'd soon like to give it another try. Besides, I've also learned that half the fun of a classic camera is using an incident meter. The GX has TTL with little red and green diodes to light the way. I see now that it was a little like putting an automatic transmission in a classic sports car--just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done.

Marc Lieberman , Apr 26, 2006; 12:28 a.m.

I see I wasn't clear. My prior Rollei was a GX model with TTL flash and light meter.

Kelly Flanigan , Apr 26, 2006; 12:48 a.m.

Here I have a E3 with a F2.8 Xenotar I bought used for 500 bucks from Franks Camera 1/3 century ago; this was when gasoline was 35 cents, so the camera cost as much as 1400 gallons of gasoline. It has been a good tool with a gem of a lens. It has paid for itself many many times over in wedding and industrial and portrait work.

H. P. , Apr 26, 2006; 08:35 a.m.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think the 2.8E2 is the nicest Rollei of them all. I don't hold with them new fangled light meters. The exposure table on the film carton's good enough for me! :-))) Seriously, though, with prices the way they are at the moment, only you can decide what's a good deal for you.


I like it!

Greg Chappell , Apr 26, 2006; 09:05 a.m.

I've not priced Rolleis recently, but I would have to say, even with the collector's value built-in, they should be less expensive than they were just a few years ago. 5-6 years ago I would have figured $500-$600 at least for an E2, but not today. I may be wrong- a quick browse through eBay at that the current biddings are should be your guide, but look for a like model. Don't look at what white-faced 2.8F and 3.5F models are going for!

I would LOOK for a version with the Xenotar, because they've always been less expensive because everyone thinks the Zeiss lens is better, so there's a built-in premium for the ones with it. I think the two are equal in performance, but use that bias to your advantage in pricing....

D Purdy , Apr 26, 2006; 08:11 p.m.

I bought a pristine E2 with Xenotar just over 3 years ago with the optical flat glass in place for $600.00. After a couple of years I loved it so much that I decided to treat my self to the best Rollei had to offer... a white face 2.8F Planar with 12/24. I then sold the E2 in no longer pristine condition on ebay for $1400.00

I quickly found out that the Planar was no sharper than the Xenotar and in fact when I used the Rolleinars it had significant flare problems even though the lenses were in perfect condition.

I went back to ebay and bought a white face 2.8F Xenotar and sold the Planar for a profit and now I am happy again. Though I must say that this very late model 2.8F Xenotar is really no better than my origial 2.8 E2 Xenotar. And here are some pictures taken with the E2:

http://www.pbase.com/dpurdy/rolleiflex_images

Raid W. Amin , Apr 28, 2006; 08:57 p.m.

I paid attention only to the taking lens and not the model of the Rolleiflex TLR line-up. I once had at one time mintish 2.8F and 2.8E in additon to a user 2.8D (all with Planar). I sold the E and F and kept the D.

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