Rollei Automat

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tony_lockerbie, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Nothing like an old Rollei, new ones are ok too! I particularly like the post war Automats, they seem to have an extra dollop of smoothness, and the Tessar has a really nice signature.
    I took mine for a walk in the late winter sun to give it a workout. First the camera in question.
    00bur6-541938784.jpg
     
  2. ...and a few pics.
    00bur7-541938884.jpg
     
  3. A couple with the lens wide open.
    00burF-541939484.jpg
     
  4. Lucky last, the dogs on a hay bale.
    00burG-541939584.jpg
     
  5. Fuji Across in Pyro-Cat HD, scanned on Epsom V750
     
  6. "Old gate" is gorgeous. I do love my Automat.
     
  7. Really great tonal gradations in #1, 2 and Gate. Shows what the camera/film/development can do. Fine compositions as well.
     
  8. Nice results and good looking camera. Thanks for posting.
     
  9. Gene and Mike picked out my favorites for the same reasons as well.
    Great results Tony. You got me itching to put some more film through my Automat.
     
  10. Beautiful, Tony. There's just something about the way that Tessar renders an image...Great tones and excellent compositions. "Along the Beach" would be my pick. We're coping with aftershocks from a fairly large earthquake, down here; it adds a whole new dimension to "camera shake"!
     
  11. Very special. Nice.
    I like #2 especially. ;)
     
  12. Thanks for posting. I bought my Rolleiflex Automat X (1949 model with Zeiss-Opton Tessar) at a swap meet in 1990. Wonderful camera. Shot a roll a few weeks ago with it while on holiday (color film, must send it out for development). I got my start with Rollei TLR cameras when my aunt gave me a Rolleicord III that my late uncle had purchased new in Germany in 1950. I've been in love with these cameras ever since.
     
  13. Thanks all, love the Rolleis, and Rick, I hope it all calms down soon...it almost seems that En Zed was built on a bowl of jelly :)
     
  14. Some great shots there, Tony. I really like #3 and your first example with the lens wide open. Very 3D looking.
    I've owned two Rollei Automats -- MX-EVS models from the early 50s. One had a Xenar lens and the other had the Tessar. Honestly I preferred the Xenar, but they were both superb picture takers. I sold the one with the Xenar lens to buy the one with the Tessar lens (because it was in better condition) and like a fool, I sold that one several years later. These days, I'm making do with a Yashica Mat 124, which is no slouch but which was much cheaper to obtain than the Automats when I decided to re-acquire a TLR a couple years ago.
    Here's a scan of a slide I took with the Automat with Tessar. Colors were well saturated with that lens. The film was Fujichrome 100, taken circa 1990. Scanned with an Epson Perfection 4990.
    [​IMG]
    And a natural light still life taken with the Automat with Xenar. Tri-X, developed in D-76. Scanned on the same Epson.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Very nice pictures, Tony. I am torn by the Rolleiflex, really want one. On the one hand, the Automat would be a great fit since it would take my Bay I accessories from the Rolleicord. But I wonder that, between the Tessar on the flex and the Xenar on the cord, if the images would be distinctive and if I should go for the Xenotar/Planar. Choices, choices...
     
  16. Nice work Michael, love that still life. Shash, the Tessar and Xenar lenses are so similar as not to matter, some prefer the Tessar, some the Xenar etc.
    I have Automats with both lenses and it's hard to pick a difference, and of course this is the same lens as the Rolleicord. You can live without the Auto load on the Rolleicord, although the 'Flex has a brighter screen.
    The Planar/Xenotar lenses are really only better at wide apertures and if you shoot a lot wide open a 2.8 Rollei can be a good thing...high price to pay though.
     
  17. I love Rollei TLR cameras. I recently shot a Rolleicord III with Xenar lens against a Rolleiflex 3.5F with a six element Planar lens. I haven't seen the results yet (still have to send the film out for development). I wonder, if there is no discernible difference, should I then sell the 3.5F and just keep shooting with the Rolleicord?
     
  18. Joe, as you probably know, the 3.5F is much more collectible than the 'cord, so it'll bring a premium if money is important to you. I'd hold off until I got my photos back, though.
    Shash, I've also owned a couple of 2.8 Rolleis, a C and a D model. One had the Planar and the other had the Xenotar. Honestly I couldn't really tell much of a difference between them, but to me there's a noticeable difference between the 2.8s and the 3.5s, even when not shooting wide open. The 2.8s seem to have a sort of rich warmth to them that the 3.5s don't have. It's a subtle difference, though.
     
  19. Gorgeous set of images Tony. I don't have an Automat yet, although I do own a few Rolleis. I would love one with a Tessar though, I love Tessars in all their incarnations but maybe the ones fitted to Rolleis are the most exciting of all because the whole package is first rate.
     
  20. Tony and Michael, yes, the more I think about it, for me Tessar versus Xenar, and Planar versus Xenotar, Zeiss versus Schneider is a non issue. For purists, I am sure there are plenty of discernible differences, but this is not something that makes a difference to me. The Rolleiflex is really a "want", I am sure I don't "need" it :). I have a brighter screen for the Rolleicord to negate most of that difference as well, and I am used to the Rolleicord film/winding and shutter cocking sequence. So, Michael, as you say if (and still pondering :)) I get the Rolleiflex, I likely should just opt for the 2.8 version. I know the Xenotars and Planars are sharper than the Xenar, but for my amateur purposes, the Rolleicord essentially provides close to what I will likely see with the 3.5 versions, and I do like to shoot wide open if I can. My wallet thanks you for helping me reach this decision, it is certainly going to feel a lot lighter!
    Michael, great images, by the way.
     
  21. Tony,
    You always seem inspired while on your walks down by the shoreline. You do some of your best work there.
    I have seen that when I lived by the coast of California. When some people get near that salt air they just seem to come alive.
    It is easy to find ads for the various Rolleiflex/Rolleicord models. Here is an ad that was in the Oct. 1953 issue of Popular Photography.
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  22. There is a beautiful layer of smoothness in these pictures. I have a 1945 Automat with a 3.5 Xenar. It doesn't get taken out as much as my Ikonta with Tessar combination but even when I hold it I love the look and feel!
     
  23. I don't know if I would say the Planar and Xenotar are "sharper" than the Tessar and Xenar. At f8, all lenses are sharp. However, the Planar and Xenotar have distinctly different signatures, and perhaps have better local contrast. I do love the look of my vintage 1949 Automat with the Opton-Tessar lens, though I am eager to see the results from my 1970 3.5F too!
    Michael, money isn't an issue for me at present (but who knows what the future holds!), and I've lusted after a late model 3.5F with the Planar lens for the past 25 years and it just arrived fresh from a CLA so I think I'll keep it a while and enjoy it.
     

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