Rolleiflex Standard 621 3.8 tessar.. a few images

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by golden, May 25, 2009.

  1. Hi all, and happy memorial day to everyone. Bought this camera a couple of months ago, compared to my mx-evs and automat 1 this thing is a beater. where my other 2 look almost brand new, this one you can tell has many many miles on it, but out of the 3, this one is my favorite, not sure why, I guess because there is no telling where its been in its 77 years. the man i bought it from told me that it probably needed to be restored, by looking at the cosmetics one would think so, but after testing it with a roll, the shutter is spot on. as far as im concerned this thing is like an old harley, the more ragged out it is the cooler it looks. here are a few images with it.
  2. another
  3. forgot the image
  4. another image
  5. and yet another
  6. one more
  7. forgot one
  8. Very nice, John. Can we see a photo of the "Beater" Rollei???
  9. So the cat is eyeing the chickens and the horses seem to be watching from the wing to see what happens...
    You nailed that ivy on the wall. That one needs printing time in the darkroom...
  10. here is the camera in all its glory
  11. Thanks for the pictures and the picture of the camera.
  12. A look through the cracked ground glass
  13. View from the back
  14. You just gotta love those Hot Chicks. Nice shots.
  15. Here is what your plate says approximately.
    Exposure in sunshine and diaphram
    Sunny and Bright
    Street light wide square
    landscape with light foreground
    landscape with wide square
    Portrait in open air
    portrait beneath trees
    portrait with window light
    portrait with window light and dark foreground
    Times are for May June July and August from 10 am to 2 pm
    other months double the times listed.
  16. Looks like it was for about ASA 100 film.
  17. The wide square meaning darker.
  18. John, nice images. I can see where a beater that works well would be really attractive. Shoot, my daily-use motorcycle is pushing 20 years and 100,000 miles, and it gets the same sort of reaction. Is German and in about the same cosmetic shape as your TLR, but everything works perfectly, in spite of rough looks.
  19. Gorgeous photos from a less than gorgeous camera...then again it's beautiful to us Classic Camera people. I had a Rollei Old Standard like that I got a few years back. I really loved the early uncoated Zeiss Tessar....very much regret selling last year. But it went to good home (Art Photographer Jeffery Silverthorne.)
  20. jbm


    I love it! I don't know how the scan of the barn and ivy looks at high res or under a loupe, but if it is crisp, it would make a great looking print. If you don't have access to a darkroom or a printer, check out to make a classic silver gelatin print from a digital file. Their work is amazing.
    Enjoy the machine, post more here when you get the chance!
  21. Love the Ivy, the cat, and Out By the Oak. Extremely sharp and snappy right where you want the focus, and nice and soft fade-away for the out-of-focus. That's a good look.
  22. Awesome john! I really like the cat , very classic, and second the comments on the ivy photo. It has a quality that one might find in Ansel Adams of Edward Westons work.
    I don't have a Rollei but I'll have to get out my Ikoflex with it's've got me inspired.
    Thanks for posting and do post more.
  23. Sorry John if my post caught you in the middle of your presentation. It's happened to me a few times.
    Wow, now there's a beat up camera that's a real sleeper, but most everyone here seems to appreciate the qulaity of optics Rollei stuck on the front of thier boxes...
  24. Thanks for the comments, hey and thanks for the german lessen, I am really enjoying this old thing, and as far as any type of restoration, Im not touching it though a new GG would probably help. thanks again for the nice comments
  25. John, what a fantastic "old timer" you got there. Unbelieveable picture quality from a 77 years old uncoated lens. It would make a great restoration project.
  26. Forgive the 'noob' question, but that is a medium format camera right? I ask because I am pretty sure my Canon 450d could never get away with capturing the dynamic range in some of those photos (if not all). Is that a function of the medium format, film or some of both? Specifically, the photo with the horses would be a non-starter for me.
    I too love the ivy on the side of the barn.
    thanks for sharing,
  27. Lovely stuff. I, too, have a Standard 3.8 though it is some time since I used it. I'll get it out again and see what happens. Thanks for the prompt. Incidentally, your helpful translator of the back panel is wrong in one detail: 'Schnee und Wasser' is 'Snow and water' not 'Sunny and bright' - though comes to much the same thing in the end!
    Thanks again
  28. Thanks Simon for the corection, I knew someone would help me out with my crude translation.
  29. John would be best to elaborate but the dynamic range you see is function of the film as well as photographers ability to properly expose and develop. In other words John did a fantastic job compensating for the high range of luminosity between shadows and highlights.
  30. John, is there a thing called 'chance' - by chance I bought the same two weeks ago on a Leica-flee-market here in Vienna. I did my first roll of BW400CN on a 120 film - I hope I did not mess it up while loading and unloading - the film is currently on development and will be back on next SA. So I'm really looking forward to what result I will get.
    Did you use some orange filter? which film?
    I went for the BW400CN as I know this one form the 36mm format.
    I unmounted the screen did a clean on it and had a much better, but still very dark screen.
    It looks like your shot of it, very dark on the bottom. Some imagination needed to do the right framing.
    I, anyway, wounder how the guys did their great shots in that times. About the 30th, what was the film speed max? I think 50 ISO?
    I'll mark you as interesting and look forward to see more.
    Thanx for sharing.
    Regards Axel
    PS any further help in German need - just ask!
  31. Thanks again for the nice comments. The film was arista edu ultra 200 @ 200. This a good film for testing because of the price. The only dev I had is hc110 which is not recommended for this film, usually I use d76 but ran out. I have some on the way though so I'm gonna test again when I get it. I dev with dil B so I'm really surprised they turned out as well as they did considering dev time was only 3.5 min. Several of them were pretty thin. The short dev time is probably why I had a bit of highlite detail in the horse image. Will post some more when the d76 comes in. Thanks again
  32. "Forgive the 'noob' question, but that is a medium format camera right? I ask because I am pretty sure my Canon 450d could never get away with capturing the dynamic range in some of those photos (if not all). Is that a function of the medium format, film or some of both? Specifically, the photo with the horses would be a non-starter for me."​
    Apologies if this is considered a thread hi-jack. Greg, you're right that the horse image would probably have not worked out so well on full-auto with any D-SLR, whether it's your nice 450D or one more expensive. Basically you have reduced exposure latitude with digital, and when it does overexpose it tends to do so in a rather harsh and unattractive manner. But it's not hopeless as digital photographers have some tricks available to help. At the simplest level, you need to adjust your exposure so that you don't blow out the highlights. A modern matrix meter might have done this OK but sometimes they will blow it. This is made relatively easy with digital's instant review capability, including the histograms. If in a hurry, digital has an advantage that auto-bracketing incurs relatively little additional cost. Assuming you get the highlights right, you can often bring up the shadows digitally to an extent, using curves, 'fill light', etc. during post-processing, sometimes very easily. If this isn't enough, you can take multiple shots--say, one for the highlights, and one for the shadows and combine them later in Photoshop (or the like).
    Of course, John G. did a really nice job on these using more traditional methods and tools.
  33. hi greg. sorry i didnt answer you question before but yes it is a medium format camera which shoots 120 film and gives 6cm x 6cm negatives, thanks andrew for answering the question regarding digital cameras, i myself dont know much about them. I have a digital for snaps, thats about it. As far as dynamic range goes, my slide film does not have that big of a range at all, when i shoot it i have to be very careful as to the time of day, very easy to blow out the highlites.
  34. wow. i have one of those cameras and haven't used it in forever. May be time.
    I know the lure of wondering where it's been -- the case mine came in has a pre-war Vienna Austria address engraved on it. Think of the history it's probably shot....
  35. ya charles if only these old classics could talk, wow the stories they could tell
  36. here is an image made on memorial day of some special friends we had over for a cookout, the lady looking at the camera asked me "is there a camera in that little box?" it was a fun day for everyone.
  37. Great photos John, and that Rollei beater is sure worth having around. I knew someone that only went for beater cameras, the more f***d up they were, the merrier he was.
    I personally don't mind beaters as they add character to a classic. Regards
  38. You had me with the first pic...WOW! All of them are great. The subjects really POP, with great bokeh, well done.
  39. thanks ralf and mohir, you are right ralf the old roughness does add character to them, i will probably change the GG eventually, it is pretty hard to focus but the outside , leaving as is. : ))
  40. Well John... better late then never!! Super shoot, great beater.. all character! Love the barn/ivy shot!!
  41. Here are the backs of my Standard and IV.
    The Standard calls out two film speeds; H&D 4400 and H&D 2700
    H&D 4400 is sort of like asa 50.
    Ferdinand Hurter & Vero Charles Driffield
  42. Thanks kelly for the information
  43. John,
    The photos look wonderful. The camera has great optics, and you can use it when you want a slightly different look from what the other Rollei cameras give you.
    I just got a few days ago a Rolleiflex with 3.5 Tessar taking lens. The camera comes with three rolls unexposed rolls of film[expiration date in the 70's] and one exposed roll! Who is the expert here on old expired film?
    Uncoated lenses can give great results for added details in the shade. I often use lenses from the 1930's in 35mm format.
  44. i agree on the old uncoated lenses, i love using them on overcast days with no sky in the photos, i shot some more images with the rollei only this time dev them in d76, turned out a little better negs dont seem as thin.
  45. Just writing to say I enjoyed the photographs in this thread.
  46. Finally found some of the shots I took with my Rollei Old Standard. It has the same uncoated f/3.8 Tessar as your model. Quite a unique lens and different from later Tessars I've used. I'm a fan of the old uncoated glass too. There is a distinctive quality difficult to describe.
  47. Very nice russ. Great image. Contrast is perfect. Thanks for the post
  48. When posting a nerdy bit about translations from German a little while back I promised myself to get my Old Standard out again. Which I have now done, to discover that nearly everything is blessed with a flare in the bottom right corner. See atached, presuming I manage to attach - this is my first time of trying.
    The flare is obviously easy enough to get rid of by cropping or judicious work in the darkroom (please don't say Photoshop) but that's not the point. A lenshood would obviously help but is this indicative of a leaky camera perhaps?
    Incidentally, the river photograph was taken using an original Rollei yellow filter which I picked up in a flea market in Cologne a few years ago. It came in its original little case together with red and orange filter glass; does anyone know if the filter holder is meant to be dismantled to enable one to change the glass? There are two holes on the reverse side which suggest that the inner ring can be unscrewed but it calls for a specialist tool I suppose.
  49. As I thought I would, I screwed up on ataching the images. Another go ...
  50. ... and one more

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