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[Rollei] The Truth About the Sixth Element ...
- Subject: [Rollei] The Truth About the Sixth Element ...
- From: jerryleh
- Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 10:56:27 -0800
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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
The execution of the Planar design since its inception by Paul
Rudolph in 1890'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 "equivalent" comparison of
modern executions between the 2.8GX and the 600X 80/F2.8 Planars
yield to the "purer" 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 "filter". 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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