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Is the Rollei 35RF dead?

Pete , Sep 28, 2004; 10:59 p.m.

Has the horribly over priced Rollei 35 RF been discontinued? What became of the lenses they were going to bring out for that camera? I hope the new Zeiss ZM lenses are priced more like C/V lenses and not like the Rollei lenses.


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Andrew Robertson , Sep 28, 2004; 11:06 p.m.

You can get the same camera for 1/3rd the price. It's just a Bessa R2.

Stuart Dorman , Sep 28, 2004; 11:06 p.m.

Right now it's a special order item at B&H. I don't know what it cost when it was first released, but now there's only a $50 premium for buying the body & 40/2.8 kit over the body alone ($1199 vs $1150). Still quite an upcharge for a Bessa R2 in chrome, but if you want a slooooow 40mm lens, now might be the time to get it kinda sorta cheap.

Christopher Chen , Sep 28, 2004; 11:50 p.m.

What's so "slooooow" about the 40/2.8 Sonnar? If you need a faster lens, get 1. Otherwise, it's no different from choosing the 50/2.8 Elmar over the Summicron. Also, the Rollei lenses are available for a lot less than retail via eBay, etc., you just have to be willing to look . . .

Stuart Dorman , Sep 29, 2004; 12:29 a.m.

Perhaps next time I should remember the emoticons. Let's just say that none of the proposed or actual Rollei RF lenses are low light speed demons. The 40mm lens is 1 stop slower than the 25-30 year old Leica Summicron & Minolta Rokkor; and it's 2 stops slower than the VC offering. That's a fairly big penalty when each of the latter three lenses sell for $350 or less.

Christopher Chen , Sep 29, 2004; 01:31 a.m.

I wasn't offended, Stuart. In fact I generally prefer fast lenses, have the wonderful 40/2 M-Rokkor, & may look into getting the CV 40/1.4 . . . I was just trying to make the point that the 40/2.8 Sonnar isn't really that over-priced in the real world--it can be had for not much over $350 (around $400-450, albeit used & like new) & has modern coatings, etc., in which case it can fairly be compared to the > $400 "speed demon" Elmar, current Summicron, etc.

vlad chapkin , Sep 29, 2004; 02:32 a.m.

I hope so

It indeed is Bessa R2 - but in PLASTIC (!!)
The recent ZeissIkon announcement seems to mean they realized the futility of selling the same stuff under 2 different names and at a huge hike in the price - and so decided to engineer a kind of better quality body with additional functions (I hope) on the basis of the same Bessa chassis.
Which new functions? - a better rangefinder and a better exposure indicator, not the stupid 3 LEDs that do not let one know if the exposure is 1, 1.5 or 2 stops off the middlegrey for the surface. The rest seems the same - shutter, the viewfinder, AE - as the stuff to go into the Bessa 3Rs.

Peter Volle , Sep 29, 2004; 03:24 a.m.

You can have the wonderful legendary 2,8/40 Sonnar for less - and you get a free Rollei 35 S body that comes whith it. If you want a nice 40mm Leica M lens get a 'Cron.

Volker Hett , Sep 29, 2004; 04:38 a.m.

Pete, I've never seen a Rollei 35RF, so can't comment on it's price and quality. I think it was never available in Germany, my dealer has the complete Rollei Range from Prego to 6008 but no RF.

And prices for japanese made small format Zeiss lenses never were close to Cosina,I.E. a Planar 45/f2 in G mount for 449 Euro compared to a color Skopar 50/2.5 for 290. The german made lenses for medium format are expensive, even compared to Leica standards.

So I think, the lenses made at CV will maintain the Kyocera/Contax pricelevel as every lens carying the Zeiss and T* badge is individualy tested and made from Schott glass with Zeiss T* coating. The german made lenses will be much more expensive. A german Contax Planar 80/f2 is around 2500 Euro compared to a Bronica Zenzanon 80/f2.8 for 997 Euro!

Francisco Solares-Larrave , Sep 29, 2004; 06:25 a.m.

Someone said this RF was a kind of limited run, hence the price. At least it's a film camera, and that is a good sign.

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