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Rolleicord Va - loose taking lens front element and unsharp photos
Old 12-06-2018   #1
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albireo is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 41
Rolleicord Va - loose taking lens front element and unsharp photos


A while ago I purchased a Rolleicord Va in seemingly amazing condition. Great lens, functioning shutter, no rust, no peeling of the leatherette etc.

On further inspection though, I found that the front element of the Xenar taking lens was loose. No signs of tampering are visible on the rim of the element so I've been assuming it's something that just happens on these old cameras. I very carefully fully tightened the element until no further screwing action was possible, and went ahead to shoot a test roll.

To my disappointment, the pictures are not as sharp as I was expecting. For reference, I own a Yashicamat 124G, too, and the results I get out of the 124G are noticeably sharper. Now, I *know* a Rolleicord Va can easily be a match for Yashicamat 124G: for a brief time I owned another Va (which I stupidly returned, because it came with a 16 frame adapter and no 12 frame adapter). That Rolleicord gave me excellent, sharp pictures, equal or superior to those produced by the 124G.

Going back to the current Va, the photos are ever so slightly out of focus and noticeably soft, even at f/8, in the corners. I will clearly have to check the focus at infinity, and potentially re-collimate viewing and taking lenses. I do not notice lack of parallelism in the front standard wrt the camera body.

My question could be: has anybody had experience in collimating both lenses in a Va? Will just unscrewing both front elements to reach an agreement at infinity do? I fear it won't because unscrewing the front elements will result in them being loose, which means the collimation will be lost due to movement in time. Any better solutions for this?
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