Rollei 35, canonet ql17 gIII or olympus 35rc

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Jaschabordon, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. dpurdy

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    I like my 35S as well. I have carried it in my pocket as an after thought many times. Estimating close distances is not that hard if you have a reference in your mind. I think in terms of how wide is a sheet of plywood, which I am very familiar with. Distances much longer are easier to guess especially if you have a good idea of what 20 feet looks like.
    For the always on meter I put a small piece of black electrical tape over the sensor when not in use. Also for a lens cap you can use the plastic cap off a plastic 35mm film can. The Sonnar lens is very good though more expensive than the regular Tessar.
     
  2. Ko.Fe.

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    I'll just skip them all. Rollei 35 is heavy and aquard in handling, rewind. Another two are nothing special with too old electronics.

    Take small SLR like Oly 10 with 50 1.8 or Smena-8m, or Leica IIf with collapsible Industar-22, 50. Measure with phone, if camera doesn't do it; but you have to.
     
  3. flavio81

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    So, in other words...
    - You can't see the shutter speed and aperture, unlike the Olympus 35RC and other cameras. You need to take your eyes out of the viewfinder.

    - You need to keep it in the dark to prolong battery life. By the way, you can't change the battery on the classic R35s without first removing the film, so it's a good idea to keep the camera on a storage case. Even better, to protect the lens, unlike the Kodak Retina, Minox, and Olympus XA, all which feature integral lens protection.

    - So you keep it in the "dark" case. Now when you want to take an impromptu shot you need to do four steps:

    1. Take the camera out of the case.
    2. Push the button, twist the lens, pull it out, twist again to secure
    3. Set focus distance
    4. Place your eyes in the viewfinder and shoot.

    Still very slow for a travel camera...
    The compact SLR recommendation is a good one.
     
  4. Theo Sulphate

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    You don't need to push the button to extend the lens - just when retracting it (with shutter cocked).

    Aha! Saved 1/4 a step!
     
  5. flavio81

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    You are right... It is only 3.75 steps then!!

    Jokes aside, i really wanted to like my Rollei 35, but usability was not good, being used to the Minox 35 which was lightning-quick to operate and quiet. In the same way as i tried to like the Nikon F3, but there were many things I did not like.

    It is not a coincidence that I sold both my Nikon F3 and my Rollei 35 at the same time, to the same person. This was a part payment for a mint Canon New F-1 1984 Olympic model, a camera i can kiss every night.

    Some cameras are just... overrated. In the same way as for example there are underrated cameras; for example I ignored the Spotmatics for years and years, until I actually used one. Excellent camera from an usability point of view. Now i own three.
     
  6. guangong

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    As with most artist tools, there is room for personal choice. There is also a question of a persons ability to handle tools. I have taken pictures of printed banners and photographs in very dim light at 1/4 sec with my rollei that were enlarged to 16 x20 with no visible camera shake. The mass of the camera makes this possible. With my Minox 35 cameras this is possible but requires more concentration. My Retinas are used locally but the winding mechanism requires care when advancing film. I would not take either too far away from home. However, one should not dismiss a tool or camera simply because one does not have the physical ability to use it.
     
  7. zanxion72

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    I see many speaking with awe for the small rollei cameras. From all Rollei 35 cameras the only really worth of something is the 35S. The rest of them wide open at 3.5 are as soft or more as the QL17 at f/2. Add to that the distance guessimate and in close encounters you get an overall low quality pic with it.
    Well build, but just that. From the Rollei 35 series I love the 35B. Plastic, but a really lightweight one.
     
  8. MartinP

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    I think you miss the point that the match-needle meter readout is on the top-plate, seen from the same direction as all the controls. One does not meter with the 35S held to one's eye. The very last Rollei 35 models had the readout inside the viewfinder and, as usual with anything LED related during their early adoption, it was a stupid idea.

    Note that extending the lens doesn't require all the twisting and separate motions you describe. Just extend and turn a few degrees. The button is for putting it back in the storage position and falls naturally 'to the finger' when the camera is held in one hand and the lens in the other. The focusing control is recessed and should be where you last left it, as appropriate for the environment (usually three metres or infinity, in practice) and nor will the aperture or shutter-speed dials move on their own. The battery seems to last more than a year, but I replace it just before the first Summer trip each year and have never actually had one go flat in use.

    The likelihood of not carrying a camera in a bag or case during practical activities (climbing, walking, even visiting an interesting town) is pretty low. It would get smashed to bits, rained upon and/or stolen quite quickly.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  9. flavio81

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    Good defense of the Rollei 35. However to extend the lens you do need to extend and twist, otherwise it does not lock. And indeed many times the focus distance was disturbed on my Rollei once it got into a storage bag. I agree that the shutter speeed and aperture will not move easily, they have interlocks.

    My point is that ergonomically it has its faults, there are better options, and that the current high prices are not justified.

    On the other hand, i don't think that "From all Rollei 35 cameras the only really worth of something is the 35S" as zanxion72 says. I saw some test on the internet where the results was that the Tessar model was every bit as sharp as the Sonnar at middle and smaller apertures. And following common practice in optics, if you can compute a very good 40/2.8 with 5 elements, then you can also compute an equally good 40/3.5 with 4 elements.
     
  10. frank

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    Maybe it's not valid not to generalize an individual experience with a camera, positive or negative, to all users. If you love or hate a camera, it may not be that the camera is great or crap, but your experience with it was. Someone else's experience with that camera could be the opposite.
     
  11. guangong

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    Well said, Frank. Personally, I find the Rollei 35 very ergonomic and very sharp. Perhaps Flavio81's inability to hold the camera steady causes "soft" pics. My bought my first Rollei 35 the first day they were offered for sale in nyc. Later I bought a second. Both recently received their first service since manufactured. Have taken many pics hand held at 1/4 sec with few failures from the technical aspect(the aesthetic is something else). Also, the Rollei will operate without a battery. My Minox 35s have been known to fail with a perfect battery....push the button and nothing happens. However, to each his own...whatever works. That is why cars, cameras and women come in such Variety.
     
  12. John Wiegerink

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    I think the Rollei lens is superb, but I'm talking Tessar and not Sonnar. I like the Sonnar, but I find my Rollei Tessar 35's to be pin-sharp and sold off my Sonnar versions. Still, I use Minox 35's more often since they are like carrying a pack of Camel straights or Lucky Strikes (ah, the old days when I was young and stupid) in your pocket and just as light too. The shutter failure on the Minox 35 is a big problem. When you wind and trip the shutter it sounds like everything is just fine until you process the film and find out every frame or almost every frame is blank. I now use the Minox ML and Minox Touring and have had 100% reliability with those and they also use a modern battery to boot. Still, the sharpest Minox 35 I own is a beat-up Minox EL and it's every bit as good as my Rolei's Tessar. The only Rollei problems I've encountered were meter related and slow speed sticking. I never liked or thought the meter on the Rollei 35 very good anyway so I never relied on it and the sticky shutter was taken care of very easily by yours truly. All said, the rollei 35 is the most reliable, but the Minox 35 is a joy to carry anywhere.
     
  13. frank

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    John, one of my Rollei 35's has sticky slow speeds. Can you elaborate on how to fix this? Maybe a PM or new thread since it's a tangental topic?
     
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  15. ph

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    Long time since I used my R35s and M-EL Some pictures as far back that Kodachrome still was available. Very good contrast both with the Tessar, the Sonnar and the Minox lens.

    The electronic shutter on the Minox and its way of collapsing was more convenient than the Rollei system, but I went through 3 different ones, one repaired on guarantee, the next kept long enough to be discarded rather than repaired, the third kept. my two R35 models both have sluggish timekeeping from 1\30th and down. 10-20 excercise snaps will improve matters slightly. A consequence of the digital age and not using film much any more.

    An old Retina IIc still works, (Xenon 50\2,8) very nice gradation on b&w films and as has been said here before, the clamshell protects the lens very well.

    p.
     
  16. baachitraka

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    - Agfa Optima 535/1035/1535
    - Agfa Selectronic and Selectronic S

    - My favourite is Agfa Silette LK Sensor.
     
  17. flavio81

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    I think the problem in the Minox cameras are the tiny, very very tiny wires that connect the electrical circuits to the CdS cells on the (collapsible) lens. They eventually break.

    As for slow speeds on the rollei, it's just a matter of cleaning the internal clockwork mechanism.
     
  18. frank

    frank Member
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    I've read that dust accumulation on electro-magnetic contact points in the Minox shutter mechanism is the cause of much of the shutter failure problems of the Minox, of which I've owned 2 or 3 with that problem.

    I'd like direction on how/where to access the internal clockwork mechanism on the Rollei.
     
  19. John Wiegerink

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    Frank is correct about the Minox shutter problem. 99% of the time it is crude or dust that gets between the contacts that operate the magnetic solenoid in the shutter. You can gain access to the shutter magnet contacts through the rear of the lens assembly. It is tricky, but doable if you have the right tools. they consist of tiny Phillips head screwdriver and several specially curved and altered dental picks. anyone who wishes to take on the Minox 35 I have to suggest you buy something like a non-operating Minox EL for cheap on eBay or where-ever as a learner camera, before you sacrifice your treasure.
     
  20. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member
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    Frank,
    I'm at my cottage and do not have my Rollei 35 at hand, but will try to help. I have stripped one down to the slow-speed gear train before, but it's been many moons ago. If I remember right I had to remove the complete shutter speed dial setup on the front and the leatherette. then there were some screws after that. That's about all I can remember anyway. I now usually don't go that far and I can get things going just fine. Here's what I do:
    1. Retract the lens all the way back in and then take off the back and flip down the pressure plate. Looking at the camera from the rear as if you were to take a picture you'll see a little lever at about 9:00 o'clock. With your finger or something like a pen move this lever down and let it spring back while watching your shutter blades. If everything is "snappy" you'll know your shutter blades are free from rust, crude or oil. That means the slow-speed gear train is the culprit.
    2. Now you know the problem and where it's at here's the next step. Extend the lens fully and lock into place. Now wad some paper towel or Kleenex and put it in the lens chamber to protect the rear lens element. Take your can of naphtha or cigarette lighter fluid and a small hypo-needle/syringe and draw a very small amount of into the syringe. Now stand your camera on end with the viewfinder down. While standing on end you squirt just a little fluid in the slot where the shutter lever rest. Make sure your shutter speed is on 1/15th second before you shoot it with fluid. now after the fluid is in there and while not moving or lifting the camera you cock and trip the shutter several times and if the fluid was enough and in just the right spot the shutter should fire. Now run your dial down through the speeds and see if they all work. If not shot a little more in at a slightly different angle and see. Make sure you DO NOT pick the camera up and move it around or that fluid will go to places your surely don't want it to go. When you finally have success and it seems to sound just right don't get impatient. Leave it sit right where it's at for a day or two, but every time you walk by it give the shutter a run. If after a full 24hrs or 48hrs(better yet) it should be ready to roll. The Rollei slow-speed gear train is very well built and almost never needs adjustment. One other note: I NEVER oil my gear train unless it is rusty and that usually is only on large format type shutters that have been store in places like a basement.
     
  21. frank

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    Thank you, John!
     
  22. AgX

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    Maybe a tiny tube inserted to the right area and pressurized air could do the job. Just a guess.
     
  23. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member
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    I'm not saying that that won't work, but you would probably have to remove the black tapered cone baffle to get near trouble spot and if going that far you might just as well clean them right.
     
  24. I've never used a Rollei 35, so I can't comment on it. But you certainly have enough opinions about it by this point. I have owned Canon QL17 GIII's for over 20 years. The lens is sharp enough to give a Leica a run for its money. It's a great little camera, but somewhat larger than the others. Still, of the three, it would be my choice. There is also a dedicated flash you can get for it.

    I do have a couple other recommendations, both Oly:

    The Trip 35 is a very simple, yet very good picture taker. Nice and compact and very easy to use. The Oly XA requires a bit more adjustment to use, but then that's what most people like about it. It is also an excellent tool, plus it's very compact. And it has a dedicated flash, which fits in a way to keep the outfit very pocketable.
     
  25. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member
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    Of the ones you mention the Oly AX is my favorite pocket camera, but not my favorite when it comes to image quality. My wife bought me one when they first came out and I've owned probably four or five since then. None are what I call sharp until you hit f5.6. I suppose that's okay by most, but I was never really happy. That said, it was a dream to carry. I've owned several QL17's and still own one. It's got a lens that will blow the XA in the weeds, but it is not as easy to carry. Light seals can be a bugger on the QL17 also since they have a tendency to turn to black goo. Ah, now for the Oly Trip 35! I've never owned one, but my kid brother has and swore by it. I never saw any of his pictures that said anything but first rate image quality. Someday I will try one out for myself since they can be found at yard sale with low price tags. There are so many great little cameras out there like the Koni c35, Petri Racer, Ricoh ZF and Electronic, Minolta's small Hi-Matic series and the Oly RC and many more. Try them all since the price is right!
     
  26. flavio81

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    For what it's worth, in very humid climates (like my city), most examples of the Oly Trip 35 will have coating damage that renders the lens hazy. I could not repair this damage, not even trying to polish the lens.

    I agree the O.T.35 is a very good camera, despite not giving you exposure control. But it is light, easy and quick to use, and gives great results. I like compact Olympus cameras in general (while i dislike their SLRs!)
     
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