New Camera: Yashica Mat
I put the Yashica Mat and Rolleiflex head to head. The two images below were taken at the same place, an old cistern supplying water to one of the farms in Esporlas. You can clearly see the wider field of view in the Rollei (can 5mm difference in angle make all this difference? I'm a little surprised to see such a big difference) I may have been a few feet further back with the Rollei, but if so not very far at all.
Both cameras provide great images. I did did find that in some cases the narrower field of view in the Yashica was better suited to some shots. Although the Yashica is 5 decades newer than my Rollei, it is remarkable to see that there was practically not much difference in performance or design. The biggest visible difference in the images is due to the fact that the much newer Yashica has a coated lens which greatly reduces flaring. Having said this one of the reasons I love the Rollei is the 'antique' feel to the images because of the uncoated lens. One great feature is that Yashica made such a good copy of the Rollei that I can use the same filters and lens hood that I already own for the Rollei, saving me weeks of tolling trough e-bay and having to lug more kit around. Of course the newer Yashica has a number of plastic parts and is slightly less 'solid' feeling that the pre-war Rollei, but compared to plasticky modern digital SLRs, it still feels very much like a 'real' piece of machinery and I'm sure that in practice it will last many years. The Yashica screen is brighter and it has a built in meter, although it will take some effort to get it to work due to the mercury battery issue I mentioned previously. It is also a testament to the Rollei that it was built to last and that the basic TLR design pioneered by Rollei in the early part of the last century fundamentally lasted unchanged until the end of that century. Even today I believe that the TLR format is superior to the SLR in certain aspects, although I concede that it is less versatile and not suited to modern commercial photography.