I've just finished reading Michael's post on the Hassy H2. I couldn't resist opening this topic since it has been bothering me for months, and Michael's article was enough of a nudge to get me to write.
Has it occurred to anyone how strange it is that the Rollei 6000 series hasn't cleaned up in this market, especially with digital backs? I purchased a 6008i in 2002, mostly as a result of Michael's posts about the wonderful performance of this camera and its lenses. And wonderful it was, producing images that remain the best and favorite I've done. However, once the siren song of digital mesmerized me, I sold the whole kit for a Canon 1Ds (first iteration) and have been disappointed ever since. I miss the astonishing sharpness and non-digital look of prints that the Rollei produced, and as a result, I have wanted to get back onto MF. But losing money "twice" is just too painful for me right now (and not practical). In any event, when one looks at the dwindling MF choices today, I'm shocked at how little press the Rollei system gets. Just consider what's going for it:
- 6X6 format with outstanding ergonomics
- fully automatic operation with built-in motordrive and impressively accurate metering
- Zeiss AND Schneider glass choices
- leaf shutter lenses with 1/1000 speed available, with flash sync across entire range
- built like a tank
- modern digital backs available, up to the current state of the art 39MP (but only from Imacon)
- somewhat more reasonable pricing (no $2K film backs here!), especially on the used market
- paper manual included (Had to slip that in)
Seriously, though, I can't really think of another MF platform that has ALL of these attributes--and yet, most people talk only of the other (and I think "compromised") platforms as logical choices. And I don't just mean Michael. Even Phase One continues to support a discontinued camera, the excellent Contax 645, instead of a currently still-in-business camera like the Rollei 6008AF! I just don't get it.
An excuse that many potential customers and digital back vendors give, including Phase One, is that "Rollei only sells well in Europe." So? How big is this market anyway? It seems to me supporting this camera (both as users supporting good photography and as vendors of digital backs) would make good business sense. For example, I'd be surprised if the investment Phase One or Leaf would have to make to create a fitting for the Rollei back would be insignificant.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts about this excellent system with this knowledgable group, if only to get it off my chest. I know it probably sounds like I work for Rollei or something, but trust me--I don't even own one anymore, but I want to!
I look forward to reading any feedback this elicits...