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[Rollei] The Truth About the Sixth Element ...

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I thought the forwarded reply on "The Sixth Element" may
be germane to a previous question on Planars.



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<h3>The Truth About the Sixth Element ...</h3>

Dear Rollei Luminaries,


I have been for some time unable to reach conclusion on the matter of 
the captioned subject, am now turning to this pool of Rollei resource 
for help.


The execution of the Planar design since its inception by Paul 
Rudolph in 1890&#39;s has had 3 very rough incarnations (in my naive 
eyes). This was a brilliant symmetrical design with flatness of field 
being one of its great achieved design objectives. It began as a six 
element design, and became 5 element for decades in the Rollei TLR 
configuration. This was seen in 6 elements in the later series. A 7 
element Planar is seen commonly in SLR designs and it is thought that 
the extra elements goes towards a slight retrofocus bias so that the 
obligatory SLR mirror clearance maybe achieved (Is this why there is 
a perception in some quarters that an &#34;equivalent&#34; comparison of 
modern executions between the 2.8GX and the 600X 80/F2.8 Planars 
yield to the &#34;purer&#34; more symmetrical TLR implementation?)


I have read several previous sources from Arthur Evans, Ian Parker 
(both not particularly noted for accuracy beyond doubt) and sites on 
the web. Here is what I have gleaned:


- - In 1965, Rollei introduced a 6th element to the Rolleiflex 3.5F 
series in both the Planar and Xenotar executions of the lens and NOT 
the 2.8F series.


The various explanations that I have read include:


- - that it is not really a 6th element, but a colour 
correction &#34;filter&#34;. This explanation comes from the thinking that 
circa 1965, colour films were becoming more popular and the Rollei 
engineers wanted to correct for a perceived colour cast in the 
results of the 3.5F. It further goes to state that multi-coating was 
just becoming available, but was seen to be too costly vs. an 
addition of a simple filter element.


- - The second explanation that I have come across is that the 3.5F was 
not as sharp out to the edges as the 2.8F and this 6th element was 
placed to correct for this problem.


I have further read that the last few batches of 2.8 and 3.5Fs were 
multicoated just before discontinuation of the series.


To this my questions are:


1) Are there perceptible differences between the 5 and 6 element 3.5F 
pictures in terms of edge definition, or colour cast? And is there a 
perceived deficiency of the early 3.5F vs. the 2.8F lens executions 
enough to warrant a new/amended design (with its attendant added 
cost) so late in the life of the 3.5F series? This is perhaps the 
first and most important question.


2) Why would the 3.5F have a colour cast (if indeed it does), where 
the 2.8F does not?


3) What is the truth in the REAL reason for the 6th element?? Was it 
a combination of what I have stated or something else?


4) Is there truth in the multi-coating of the last batches??


I would be grateful for your expert opinions.


Thanks one and all. Look forward to what you have to say.


- -- <a href="/shared/community-member.tcl?user_id=48227">TC Khoo</a>, January   06, 2001; 09:24 P.M. Eastern



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