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Rolleicord V vs. Minolta Autocord

S. Linke , May 05, 2005; 11:47 p.m.

I used to have a beat-up, early model Minolta Autocord. The front lens element had scratches on it. Still, it took very good photos. I was surprised. Last weekend I came across an Ex+ Rolleicord V (c. 1955 by its serial number) that must have been in someone's attic or closet for decades. The lens is pristine, shutter speeds sound OK. Question: Is the lens quality of the Rollei comparable to that of the Minolta? I know they are both Tessar-type designs.


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Kelly Flanigan , May 06, 2005; 12:47 a.m.

The 75mm Rokkor f3.5 is an excellent lens; Minolta even had a TLR model before WW2 too.

Pavel Pinkas , May 06, 2005; 01:33 a.m.

I've read somewhere that Rokkor lenses (Minolta) are consistently sharp at all apertures, while Tessars at Rolleis are designed to be softer when wide open (presumably for portrait photography). The overall quality is supposed to be close (some people will even say that Rokkors are better).

But hey, you have both cameras available, so why don't you run some test and tell us the results? :-)

jacques minassian , May 06, 2005; 01:50 a.m.

actaully the rollei cord is not a tessar it is a triotar and thereore with less correction. the rear cell of the triotar is a single element. i have heard time-and-time again that the minolta *tessar* is better than the triotar and often better than a zeiss tessar in 75mm. is the minolta a 75mm or 80mm?

S. Linke , May 06, 2005; 02:15 a.m.

I no longer own the Minolta. The Rolleicord is sitting in a shop, for sale. Rolleicords offered both the 3-element Triotar and the 4-element Xenar. This one is the latter. The Minolta has a 75mm lens.

Ivan Dzo , May 06, 2005; 03:31 a.m.

I've just bought a Rolleicord with the four part lens. On testing, it is very sharp centrally even wide open, but needs to stop down to f8 before it is very sharp at the edges. An amazing lens though, which is a match for any of my bronica sqa lenses. Not bad for a 50year old lens, and amazing value for money.

R.J. Fox , May 06, 2005; 09:42 a.m.

I have an Autocord and am always impressed with the quality of the results. There's a certain ?3D? quality to the Rokkor (using a decription often used with Leica lenses). I have also used a Rolleiflex T with Tessar and from f5.6 on down, mine was bitingly sharp. The Rokkor and Tessar are both high quality lenses that I wouldn't hesitate to use.

Robert Budding , May 06, 2005; 09:45 a.m.

I have an Autocord CDSIII that has a 75mm lense. It's a wonderful lense, and the camera is very nice to use. I doubt you would feel disappointed.


Kelly Flanigan , May 06, 2005; 10:26 a.m.

I have never seen a Rolleicord Iv or V model with a 3 element lens. My IV model has a 4 element Xenar; which this xenar is a Tessar lens design. Mine is a very sharp lens; about the same as my Xenotar in my E3 Flex in the central core; but the Xenar on my has softer far corners. In shooting portraits of one or two folks; only the central region is used. Here often I could'nt tell the difference between the IV and E3. Thus I but a notch in the film gate of the IV and blackened it; as to tie the negatives to which camera.

For a large group of folks; a sterle industrial aerial; or shots of buildings and machinery; I like the E3 which on mine has tack sharp corners

I worked my way thru college using a IV and Xenar. Now decades later I hear that they are impossible to focus; and have poor lenses :)

Andrew C , May 06, 2005; 10:49 a.m.


You got a good thing going. Keep it that way.

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