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Are the Rollei HFT lenses just as good as the latest Contax lenses



I am intending to buy a new SLR system with Carl Zeiss lenses, and the Rollei HFT lenses ( for the 'old' Rollei SL35-E and 2000F ) seem very affordable on ebay, as well as those bodies.
Can anyone tell me if these lenses are just as good as the recent Contax lenses? Are there records of the similarity of these lenses?
And is there somewhere a record to find that tells me how and when a certain lens got a new technical upgrade in its history?




Hello Joep,

somwehere on Zeiss-homepage I read something about the HFT-coating. This should be in fact a T*-coating. But it was done at Rollei and so it hasn't got the same name. Confusing, eh?
I think there are some quite similar lenses in the Rollei line. There should also be a 1.4/85 mm?!
By the way, the Rolleiflex 3003 is a really interesting camera! Poorly it's no longer available as new.



> > By the way, the Rolleiflex 3003 is a really interesting camera! <

I read somewhere (can't remember) that the design of this line of cameras was from Zeiss and was supposed to be the Contax RTS. Yashica said no way and they chose to go a more conventional route. That 3003 Rollei is very impressive. Not too reliable I've heard.



"HFT, meaning "High Fidelity Transfer", is a multi-layer anti-reflection coating system co-developed by Zeiss and Rollei. This occurred several decades ago at a time when Zeiss T* coating was new on the market and could only be applied at the Zeiss Oberkochen plant to rather small camera lens production batches. Rollei envisaged very large volume production in their then new Singapore plant and therefore encouraged this joint development.

Today the situation is this: HFT has become a well established trademark for Rollei's proprietary multi-layer anti-reflection coating. The optical performance of this Zeiss/Rollei co-development is so close to the performance of the original Zeiss T* that one can hardly detect any difference in all practical picture taking.

The PlanarR, DistagonR, SonnarR lenses that Rollei produces under license from Carl Zeiss are all HFT coated by Rollei. All the lenses that Carl Zeiss produces for Rollei at the Zeiss Oberkochen plant are actually Zeiss T*. coated. However, the designation on these lenses is "HFT" in the interest of remaining fully consistent throughout the Rollei product range."

It appears from this "article" I copied from a Zeiss web site they are different, though the last paragrphy is very interesting.




Look for "Camera Lens News No. 13 (Spring 2001)" at Zeiss homepage where this is mentioned. (How do Zeiss T* and Rollei HFT compare?)
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Bjorn S


I have both a new Contax system with Zeiss prime lenses and the old Rollei SL35 and SL35E cameras with both Zeiss and Rollei-made HFT prime lenses. I don't see a lot of difference in performance between old and new, although I suspect that a formal lens test would show the newer lenses are technically better optically.


the Rollei 3003 is totally reliable - however it relies totally on a ni-cad battery pack. I think ni cads are an invention of the devil and should be banned -
Regards Bob M