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

Thank you all for your succinct and erudite answers. I just wanted to add
another reply that I got on the Asia TLR site from a bloke called TLRcams.
You will note that they are very similar to Marc James' own response (with
minor differences) and would justifiably support these. Taken as a whole and
crystallised to their core, I would consider these definitive answers to my
queries. Thought that you might want to see this as well:

Answers to the follow queries.

((Are there perceptible differences between the 5 and 6 element 3.5F
pictures in terms of edge definition, or colour cast?))

IMO, based on actual professional assignments and practical usage, you
cannot discern the differences with your naked eye.

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

Both do not display any colour cast that I know of. I've shot pictures on
slide film and they display excellent qualities. This is again based on
actual shooting conditions in the field. Not in a lab.

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

It was thought that by having a slight retro focus design this would provide
a larger image circle to combat vignetting.

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

All Rolleis made after 1950 had the proprietary hard coatings. It is not
known if multi layers were applied. But in the 80s, Rollei introduced the
HFT coating across the production line. The TLRs made then had HFT multi

Sorry my answers aren't academic but hopefully informative.   - TLR cams (@


- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Marc James Small" <msmall  >
To: <rollei  
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 3:10 AM
Subject: Re: [Rollei] The Truth About the Sixth Element ...

> At 10:07 AM 1/7/2001 +0800, TC Khoo wrote:
> >What is the truth in the REAL reason for
> >the 6th  element?? Was it a combination of what I have stated or
> >else? - Is there truth in the multi-coating of the last  batches??
> The sixth element was added by Zeiss and Schneider to improve edge
> definition.  I have used both five-element and six-element Planars and
> never noticed an appreciable difference in performance but, then, I wasn't
> doing critical work looking for such distinctions.  I suspect there were
> sound optical reasons for adding the additional element but that, in
> practical use, the differences in performance are minor.
> On the second point, yes, the final F series cameras had multi-coated
> lenses, at least if they had Zeiss optics.  The current state of analysis
> is that, by1973, Zeiss was multi-coating almost all production but
> consumers had to pay extra for the "T*" marking, and cash-strapped Rollei
> Fototechnik simply opted not to pay for the extra marking, though the
> lenses were multi-coated.  No one has done research on the state of the
> Schneider Xenotar but I would be surprised if a similar occurrence didn't
> happen with these, as well.
> Marc
> msmall    FAX:  +540/343-7315
> Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!