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Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Joshua_G, Oct 22, 2007.
Which 6x6 TLR have the sharpest lens?
Would it have noticeable benefit over Bronica 80/2.8 PS lens?
The Bronica you mention is a very good lens and I've seen beautiful work from a friend's. My guess is that a Rollei, likely a 2.8 Planar would be about as sharp as you could find on a TLR. I had one and it was a great piece of glass. I also had a Koni-Omegaflex back then and the Hexanon 90mm was an under-appreciated optic that was as capable as anything, especially when stopped down but was excellent at wider apertures, too. Some of my favorite old enlargements were done with a Tele-Rollei which was exceptional, also.
I would nt think many lenses, if any, would have a noticeable difference in sharpness over Bronica lenses....I think Bronica lenses are incredible lenses.
Okay, please let me rephrase my question. I'd like to add a TLR for better portability at times. Out of those TLRs out there, which are considered having extremely sharp lenses, including wide open?
f/3.5 Planar, followed by f/2.8.
But who is doing the 'considering'?
Betcha plenty will argue with the above.
I appreciate your view and experience, as much as I'd love to see others views and others mileage
should a war start, it must be a Holly War
All I'm interested in is differences seen by the naked eyes (at enlargements). I'm not into any MTF tests, only in what the eyes see.
Mamiya TLR lenses are excellent, especially the later model black versions. Not too pricey either, especially compared to Rolleis .
Thanks. Mamyas are fairly bulky and heavy (as far as I remember) no much improved portability over Bronica SQ-AI.
The Mamiya lenses are excellent, but if you're looking for something more portable than the Bronica, that rules out the Mamiya - the C2x/3x series of cameras are pretty big and bulky, especially if you start carrying around more than one lens set. Look at a Rollei, or a Minolta Autocord.
I am able to carry a Mamiya C220 with prism finder, a 65, 80, and 135mm lens, and a Soligor (Adorama branded) one degree spot meter in a Lowepro Micro 100 backpack which is the smallest backpack they make I think....it's damn light anyway. The lenses are quite good. All the recent pics in my gallery were made with the 135mm. I doubt the web is a fair arbiter of lens quality, but you can take a look if you want to.
I can not say which is the sharpest. However, as mentioned by Roger, my Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar is exceptionally sharp.
Below is a hand held shot taken with my Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar 12/24 camera.
Some suggest that the Xenotar lenses are sharper than the Planars. This is an ongoing debate.
But TLRs aren't portable. And if you're going to shoot handheld tremor will beat any increase in sharpness you might gain by going to a better(?) lens. If you want light, get a Fuji fixed lens RF.
You might want to look here http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html
Roger is right.
Wear may make a difference, as will f/stop actually in use.
Above f/8 many have a hard time spotting the Rollei from a Yashica (flare in the Yashica will always reveal it, though).
Because someone has to make an inane comment, I will also suggest the Mamiya 6 rangefinder as a lightweight high-quality 6x6
No argument at all from me.
In real-world terms (i.e. differences you will actually notice) an older coated Tessar-type lens will have slightly higher contrast and worse edge definition compared with an older Planar/Xenotar. Older f3.5 Planar/Xenotar more contrasty than older f2.8. Newer Planar/Xenotar more contrasty than older.
In practice, you are unlikely to be disapointed by any post-war Rollieflex with a coated lens which is in good order (a dirty screen and a tarnished mirror can make a Rollei very unpleasant to use). Yashica/Minolta cameras can offer good optical performance but not the mechanical reliability of a Rollei - at today's prices, why bother?
As others have said, MF rangefinder cameras arguably are more portable and easier to use than a Rollei - Rolleis were designed as fast-working portable miniature cameras, but our definitions of these terms have changed since 1928!
Finally, if I wanted the best optical quality, without regard to portability or cost, I would buy a new or late-model Hasselblad. As I already have Mamiya RB67, which I consider optically virtually equal, I am not going to switch to Hasselblad just to save a few hundred grams!
TLRs are portable. As Dan suggests, much of the lens sharpness may be lost handheld depending on the situation. How large do you want to enlarge the neg/tran? - up to 10x10 I doubt you will see a difference between Rolleiflex 3.5, 2.8, Mamiya C lenses etc. I have a Rolleiflex 2.8 (1959) and my Voigtlander Brillant (Skopar 4.5, from about 1938) is its match in many circumstances (up to 10x10).
If I were you I would focus on the ergonomics - which feels better to you? The Rolleiflexes for me are the best handling cameras.
Rolleicords are smaller, simpler and lighter and come with Tessars and Xenars. Great carrying-around cameras and cheap. I have a IV with the Xenar and the 16x20's look great. And I agree with John Voss than the Mamiya c220 is alot lighter and a good bit more compact than a c330.
If budget isn't a problem the later version 2.8 Planar on the Rollei GX and FX is sharper wide open than the older lenses. In all my tests with the older cameras you will not be able to tell a difference. Except that the Xenotar is a little more contrasty and the Planar is a little more flare prone especially when using close up attachments (Rolleinars).
I got myself a Rolleiflex T in a great technical order for very reasonable money. It has a Tessar lens. Although it is a common knowledge that tessars are not at their best wide open - my photos taken at f4 - f5.6 are plenty sharp and it gets to unbelievable sharpness at f11. An I like the out of focus are as well. Planar would have cost me 3 times more although to be able to shoot at 2.8 I sometimes miss. You have to choose. If I would he the possibility - I would have hard time to pass on the newest FX model with built in TTL, but for that money one could get a nice motorbikel .. OK - or mamya 7 II.
Look at the attachement - first full frame taken at f4 on the tripod (fp4+ in Pyrocat HD) - second is the crop from file that printed 15x15cm (I felt that this size fits the photo) at 300 dpi. Both were sharpened in PS though ..
When you are on a budget you can always look into a Meopta Flexaret, the ones with a Belar Lens are really great (but be sure to have one that had a CLA recently).
.. or a Voigtlander Perkeo. Great lenses, unbeatable 6x6 portability
I will agree with that. I have a Rolleicord V and I am always amazed at the sharpness of the images. And apart from having a fixed lens (use your legs to change viewpoint) it is, for me, an ideal carying around camera.