A Rolleiflex Original at The Autojumble

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by John Seaman, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. The original Rolleilex looks oddly squat compared with later models, but it's a perfectly usable camera, more like a Rolleicord in use, with knob wind and separate shutter cocking. I believe the viewing hood was identical to that fitted to the stereo Rolleidoscop on which the Rolleiflex was based. The red window is quite dark, with a line down the middle – it was hard to see the rather indistinct numbers on the Shanghai 100 ISO film, but I managed to get all 12 exposures. One surprise was that the film area is slightly longer than the typical 56mm of other square format cameras, the film gate is around 59mm high, so there is hardly any gap between the negatives.


    This camera came with the battered Rolleicord which I tried to make a plastic mirror for. It's in much better nick, with a near perfect mirror, clean undamaged lens and a working shutter. They were made for 6 exposures on 117 film but many were converted to take 620. Mine came with two 620 spools, although I tried trimming a 120 spool to fit it wouldn't turn smoothly, so I had to revive my respooling skills.
    The little focusing knob on this example has distance markings but they are hard to use. The knob actually performs nearly two full turns between infinity and closest focus, which is presumably why early variants had no distance markings.
  2. I took it to the local Autojumble / Classic Vehicle meet. Unfortunately it was a dull morning and the results are nothing to write home about. I had to use f/5.6, hence the limited depth of field.




  3. Here are another four to finish up with. Thanks for looking as always.




  4. Very nice results from such a classic camera.
  5. Very nice pictures. Love that Vellocette Thruxton
    andyfalsetta likes this.
  6. Cool camera. My dad gave me a 1938 model Rollei, which I still have (packed away), for a photography class freshman year of college. I was a bit embarrassed and intimidated by the others' Nikons and Pentaxes until the professor picked it up and went on about its history and quality. It made some lovely photos. Funny, I just realized that it was only 33 years old then, much younger than the film cameras that I now use.
  7. A great find, John, and certainly very acceptable results, given the conditions. Thanks for the post.
  8. Actually Originals are the best in construction. None of that sliding sheet metal bullshit. Gears and helicals.
    They started cutting costs right after them.
  9. Thanks to all for the comments.
  10. Nice series, John.

    I believe that the car in the second picture is an Austin. First car I drove!
  11. Thanks Julio. I think it's an Austin Westminster. I should really pay more attention to noting the makes and types of these classic vehicles.
  12. Austin Cambridge A55/A60 4cyl engine. Westminster a larger car with very similar body styling and a 6cyl engine.
  13. I stand corrected.
    RCap likes this.
  14. Nice work.
  15. A55, that was the model. Thanks.
  16. It looks like the camera reversed the image. The steering wheels in the cars are all on the right side.

    Kent in SD
  17. Not all, Kent. There are a couple of gas guzzlers in there.
  18. I agree. They are all on the correct side
  19. Hey John,

    Nice catch with that original. The lenses look great and obviously perform equally well. The over all condition is excellent. I'm envious!! I had/have an Art Deco model of similar vintage and the spacing was really tight too. Love the subjects you shot and the tones are nice too. My neighbor has a Royal Enfield remke from India, I have a soft spot for old Triumphs although I am generally more interested in the cars MG/Triumph/Healey/Jags etc. . You seem to have an affinity for TLRs.

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