Rollei RF 35/Zeiss 40mm 2.8

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by BBonte, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. BBonte

    BBonte Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    Belgium near
    Med. Format RF
    Anybody any experiences with this camera ? Worth it in this digital age. I just read in a journal that a Sony CCD chip that has been build into many digital cameras in 2002-2004 is slowly deteriorating. Sony will pay for all costs to replace this sensor, they say so.
  2. Biogon Bill

    Biogon Bill Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    I've owned one for almost 2 years. The Rollei 35 RF is a good basic camera, a virtual clone of Cosina's Voigtlander Bessa R2 except for the frame lines (40/50/80), cosmetics, & longer warranty. Unlike the R2, on which 35 & 90 frames are combined, none of the frame lines on the 35 RF does double duty, so there is a nice uncluttered view of every frame. At today's prices, it's a sensible buy. The 80 mm frame lines actually make more sense than 90, given the 25 mm effective base length, in that it maximizes both focal length & aperture. A longer focal length requires a slower lens, like the CV 90/3.5, while the shorter Rollei 80 can be matched with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Same for the CV 75/2.5, which is actually 77/2.7, according to Popular Photography.

    The 40/2.8 Sonnar is a little gem of a lens. Very compact, it's a little soft in the corners at wider apertures, but that was characteristic of all Sonnar lenses. It's also a little soft in the resoultion of very fine detail but very sharp otherwise, which gives a nice effect to people shots by not accentuating every zit, line, & wrinkle in their faces. Color saturation is outstanding. It is capable of taking stunning photographs.
  3. elekm

    elekm Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    New Jersey (
    35mm RF
    I agree that this is an excellent little lens. It's somewhat heavy -- much heavier than the Cosina Voigtlander offerings, which seems to hint at brass and steel construction.

    Optically, it's really a sweet lens. If you can live with the f/2.8 max aperture, it's a good lens. You will get some barrel distortion in closeups, so it wouldn't be the first choice in shooting doorways and windows.

    The body is nothing special -- as mentioned, a rebadged Bessa-R2.

    The lens decouples from the lens at about 0.8 meters, while the lens focuses to 0.7 meters. However, when the lens is mounted on the new Zeiss Ikon, you can focus through the lens's full range (infinity to 0.7 meters).

    I've always been very pleased with the results from this lens. When mounted to the Zeiss Ikon, I find it to be somewhat smoother to focus and makes for a more compact package than the Carl Zeiss lenses.

    As noted, color rendition is quite good. I have some photos samples, if you're curious. Just drop me a note.