Rollei X-Act1 camera, Rollei X-Act2 digital camera
If I had to replace any of my three Hasselblads, I would immediately get rid of them and get either a Linhof M 679cs or Rollei X-Act 2. Once you get used to a large format camera you find how limiting a normal Hasselblad is.
Downside of these medium format studio cameras is that your old Zeiss lenses lack the ability to provide enough coverage to allow you to use tilts and swings on a studio camera. So you need to use Schneider or Rodenstock lenses which are made for cameras with tilts and swings.
I have only seen the Rollei and Linhof cameras at two Photokina trade shows and countless photography trade shows across the USA. In our own studio we use Cambo Ultima, Wisner, and several old-fashioned Hasselblad ELX cameras. However I am seriously thinking of upgrading to a Linhof, Rollei, or perhaps an Arca-Swiss. The advantage of an Arca-Swiss is that you can then also use a large format scan back. A large format tri-linear digital scanning back such as BetterLight captures about 7 x 9 cm, so a bit too high for the Linhof or Rollei.
But a modern medium format 1-shot digital back is more adaptive than a tri-linear scanning back, so the 6x9 cm size of the Rollei X-Act2 is more appropriate for medium format digital than for large-format digital backs.
The Rollei X-Act1 seems to have not lasted long on the market. The Rollei X-Act2 has better features.
Comparisons of the Rollei X-Act2 with 6x9 cameras of other brands
There are five serious 6x9 format cameras that immediately come to mind:
• Arca-Swiss 6x9 F-Classic Compact
• Cambo Ultima 23
• Linhof M679cc, Linhof M679cs
• Sinar f3 SL, Sinar ps, ps SL
• Silvestri S5 micron
There is also the Horseman, but this was always a Japanese copy, and this brand did not exhibit at Photokina 2010. I was told that the owner died recently.
The difference between the Rollei X-Act2 and the others is that the Cambo, Linhof, and Sinar are all descended from 4x5 cameras. A 6x9 is a downsized 9x12 cm studio camera (9x12 cm = 4x5 inches).
The Silvestri S5 micron is a unique design, not simply a downsized 4x5 studio camera.
Rollei never made a studio camera nor a 4x5 camera either (at least none that is well known).
First posted November 2, 2010, after Photokina 2010.
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