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Classic Rolleiflex Guide for Beginners
Old 01-26-2018   #1
Swift1
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Classic Rolleiflex Guide for Beginners

Awhile ago I wrote a fairly brief guide to classic Rolleiflex, aimed toward people with little or no experience with Rolleiflex. I wrote it for the Film Shooters Collective website, and it was published yesterday.
I thought that some of you here might like to check it out.
https://www.filmshooterscollective.c...ing-guide-1-11

They are a few typos that I'm getting fixed, and the article isn't meant to be a concise history so may have some generalizations...
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Old 01-26-2018   #2
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A good intro! I have one of the original pre-war Rolleiflex Automats with the uncoated Tessar lens. Very sharp but low contrast because of flare. Gives a very unique rendering.
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Old 01-26-2018   #3
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Nice intro, Colton, thanks for posting. I'm happily using an Automat MX EVS and a Rolleicord Vb. I love these cameras. Would you consider expanding your intro to include the humble (but still excellent) Rolleicord series?
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Old 01-26-2018   #4
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Curious what the difference between a white face and a non-white face F are. They look the same to me.
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Old 01-26-2018   #5
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Excellent write up Colton.

White face are the last production 3.5F / 2.8F / Tele Rolleiflex models. They are otherwise identical to their predecessors. Soon afterwards, Rollei ceased TLR production.
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Old 01-26-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
A good intro! I have one of the original pre-war Rolleiflex Automats with the uncoated Tessar lens. Very sharp but low contrast because of flare. Gives a very unique rendering.
Thank you, Chris.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingley View Post
Nice intro, Colton, thanks for posting. I'm happily using an Automat MX EVS and a Rolleicord Vb. I love these cameras. Would you consider expanding your intro to include the humble (but still excellent) Rolleicord series?
I've never owned a Rolleicord and I'm not real familiar with all the various models. I wouldn't be opposed to doing something to add Rolleicord, I just don't know a ton about them.


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Originally Posted by Hogarth Ferguson View Post
Curious what the difference between a white face and a non-white face F are. They look the same to me.
I think main difference is that the white face Rolleiflex are newer, and are the last of classic Rolleiflex.
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Old 01-26-2018   #7
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Many thanks, Colton!

- Murray
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Old 01-26-2018   #8
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Very nice intro to Rolleiflex. Attractive layout, photographs and very well written and edited.

You will have lots of suggestions for expanding this, but life being what it is, that may very likely not happen and may not be desirable as it would no longer then be an intro. But the title of the thread alone will hopefully see a lot of RFF traffic to this thread for those thinking of getting a Rolleiflex so I add my humble two cents worth too.....

I bought an Automat from here in the classifieds from Kevin Knox who had several and was clearly a reputable seller and I have been happy with it, except that a newer after-market focussing screen would make a big difference.

Mine is an Automat 4 I think and has the little dimpled lugs at the bottom of the front face that allow the use of the tripod mounting plate. Earlier Automats apparently don't have that. The light door construction puts that part of the camera at risk of distortion and light leaks with heavy use of the native camera on a tripod and the mounting plate spreads the load and makes it much safer for the camera long-term. I keep the plate in the camera bag.

Also, of all the accessories available a lens hood is the top priority for these older cameras in most users' opinion.

Then there's the fun with the Rolleinars, small lens attachments for the viewing and taking lens for close up shots.

Mine has the f3.5 Xenar lens. It makes the camera very light. Everyone hankers for the wonderful f2.8 Planar but it is a heavier and more expensive camera as you point out.
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Old 01-27-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Excellent write up Colton.

White face are the last production 3.5F / 2.8F / Tele Rolleiflex models. They are otherwise identical to their predecessors. Soon afterwards, Rollei ceased TLR production.
Thank you, Robert.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CMur12 View Post
Many thanks, Colton!

- Murray
Thank you, Murray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Very nice intro to Rolleiflex. Attractive layout, photographs and very well written and edited.

You will have lots of suggestions for expanding this, but life being what it is, that may very likely not happen and may not be desirable as it would no longer then be an intro. But the title of the thread alone will hopefully see a lot of RFF traffic to this thread for those thinking of getting a Rolleiflex so I add my humble two cents worth too.....

I bought an Automat from here in the classifieds from Kevin Knox who had several and was clearly a reputable seller and I have been happy with it, except that a newer after-market focussing screen would make a big difference.

Mine is an Automat 4 I think and has the little dimpled lugs at the bottom of the front face that allow the use of the tripod mounting plate. Earlier Automats apparently don't have that. The light door construction puts that part of the camera at risk of distortion and light leaks with heavy use of the native camera on a tripod and the mounting plate spreads the load and makes it much safer for the camera long-term. I keep the plate in the camera bag.

Also, of all the accessories available a lens hood is the top priority for these older cameras in most users' opinion.

Then there's the fun with the Rolleinars, small lens attachments for the viewing and taking lens for close up shots.

Mine has the f3.5 Xenar lens. It makes the camera very light. Everyone hankers for the wonderful f2.8 Planar but it is a heavier and more expensive camera as you point out.
Thanks Richard.
I bought aftermarket metal hoods for all 3 of my Rolleiflex. Definitely a good investment. I don't have the Rolleifix attachment, but I don't use my Rolleiflex on tripod much.
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Old 01-27-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Excellent write up Colton.

White face are the last production 3.5F / 2.8F / Tele Rolleiflex models. They are otherwise identical to their predecessors. Soon afterwards, Rollei ceased TLR production.
Yes, they are mechanically the same, the term “white face” refers to the unadorned lens surround on the late issue cameras. The last of the classic Automat-style Rollei TLR camera’s rolled off the production line in 1971.

But the GX and FX TLR cameras continued in production until Rollei’s very recent exit from camera production.
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Old 01-27-2018   #11
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Very nice page you have created there Colton. Kudos!
I like the image galleries throughout. It's inviting and beautifully conceived.
You've touched on and cleared up much of what confuses people when they seek out these cameras.
The one thing I might see you add is a link to the Rollei-club Serial number page.
As you mentioned in the article, most of the cameras are not labeled with their model designation.
The serial number table helps clear up some of that "which model?" mystery as well as giving a range of the year built.
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Old 01-27-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
Thank you, Robert.




Thank you, Murray.



Thanks Richard.
I bought aftermarket metal hoods for all 3 of my Rolleiflex. Definitely a good investment. I don't have the Rolleifix attachment, but I don't use my Rolleiflex on tripod much.
The only one of the classic Automats that the Rolleifix can be used on is the MX-EVS. There is a groove around the tripod mount base that the Rolleifix latches onto. If you do use an early Rolleiflex on a tripod, it would be a good idea to use a mounting plate that provides support for the feet and the tripod mount on the camera.
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Old 01-28-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Very nice page you have created there Colton. Kudos!
I like the image galleries throughout. It's inviting and beautifully conceived.
You've touched on and cleared up much of what confuses people when they seek out these cameras.
The one thing I might see you add is a link to the Rollei-club Serial number page.
As you mentioned in the article, most of the cameras are not labeled with their model designation.
The serial number table helps clear up some of that "which model?" mystery as well as giving a range of the year built.
Thanks Andy.
I will look into adding a link to the rolleiclub list. There is lots of great info on that site.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
The only one of the classic Automats that the Rolleifix can be used on is the MX-EVS. There is a groove around the tripod mount base that the Rolleifix latches onto. If you do use an early Rolleiflex on a tripod, it would be a good idea to use a mounting plate that provides support for the feet and the tripod mount on the camera.
Thanks, that's good to know.
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Old 02-09-2018   #14
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Nice! I have a T that I'm having restored. Would like to find a 2.8E or F in nice shape.
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Old 02-09-2018   #15
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Great write up and photo's, I'm getting back to taking pictures again with a
Rolleiflex.
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Old 04-25-2018   #16
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Great write up Colton. I'm researching for an upcoming purchase of a 2.8 Rollei, series and lens dependent on what I get for my Hasselblad 500 C/M kit I have not been using since 2016. I love my Series E 3.5 Planar Rolleiflex.
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Old 04-25-2018   #17
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Quote:
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Great write up Colton. I'm researching for an upcoming purchase of a 2.8 Rollei, series and lens dependent on what I get for my Hasselblad 500 C/M kit I have not been using since 2016. I love my Series E 3.5 Planar Rolleiflex.
That's what I did, I had a 500cm complete which I used once or twice
and decided to sell it (separate) which I did. I purchased a nice 2.8C
with a Xenotar and never looked back. I still think at times the Rollei
takes a better picture than the Hassey!.
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Old 04-25-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
Great write up Colton. I'm researching for an upcoming purchase of a 2.8 Rollei, series and lens dependent on what I get for my Hasselblad 500 C/M kit I have not been using since 2016. I love my Series E 3.5 Planar Rolleiflex.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Range-rover View Post
That's what I did, I had a 500cm complete which I used once or twice
and decided to sell it (separate) which I did. I purchased a nice 2.8C
with a Xenotar and never looked back. I still think at times the Rollei
takes a better picture than the Hassey!.
I bought a Hasselblad in 2014, and then about a year later my 2.8C kinda fell into my lap. There is no denying that the Hasselblad is a truly superb camera, and I made some of my favorite photos with mine, but I enjoyed using the Rolleiflex so much more. After 2 years of using both, I decided to sell my Hasselblad last year, and I really don't regret it. The Hasselblad is a better tripod camera, and better suited to landscape/field/studio work, with all its lenses and accessories, but I also have a fairly complete Pentax 67 kit, so it really didn't make sense to keep the Hasselblad... so I sold it... a I bought myself a 3rd Rolleiflex
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Old 04-25-2018   #19
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Thank you for the write-up.
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Old 04-25-2018   #20
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I agree with 'raid' thanks for the write up. I had my Rollei serviced a few years back and feel it was worth every penny to have a perfectly working copy. Ergonomics are a little crazy but really it is an easy camera to use for a 120. My Balda Hapo 66e is more compact but not as fluid in use as the Rollei.
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Old 04-25-2018   #21
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Thank you for the write-up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I agree with 'raid' thanks for the write up. I had my Rollei serviced a few years back and feel it was worth every penny to have a perfectly working copy. Ergonomics are a little crazy but really it is an easy camera to use for a 120. My Balda Hapo 66e is more compact but not as fluid in use as the Rollei.
Thanks guys
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Old 04-25-2018   #22
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Cool. I really like the photos in your guide. Nice work.
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Old 04-25-2018   #23
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Cool. I really like the photos in your guide. Nice work.
Thank you
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Old 04-26-2018   #24
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Thanks Colton. As usual, you have done a great job.

And I love your photos. I am always amazed at how simple and yet beautiful they are. Thank you.
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Old 04-26-2018   #25
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I'll be going back to your Film Shooters Collective page to read it in more detail while I'm fully awake, Colton, but the brief glimpse looked really nice.

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Old 04-26-2018   #26
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Quote:
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Thanks Colton. As usual, you have done a great job.

And I love your photos. I am always amazed at how simple and yet beautiful they are. Thank you.
Why, thank you, kind sir


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I'll be going back to your Film Shooters Collective page to read it in more detail while I'm fully awake, Colton, but the brief glimpse looked really nice.

PF

Thanks, PF.
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