First shots from the Rolleiflex rehab project...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bliorg, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Hi, all -

    I picked up a user Rolleiflex Automat X (K4/50) a week ago. Been cleaning the shutter, cleaning the glass, bringing it up to shooting level (been blogging it here). Developed the first shots last night. I'm pretty happy with the results.

    Some shots from the WWTP in which I work:
    [​IMG]
    img119 by Scott --, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    img123 by Scott --, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    img124 by Scott --, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    img125 by Scott --, on Flickr

    I need to do a more controlled test to check focus, etc., but walking around with the camera was too inviting. Need to decide on replacing the screen or not - with the mirror being in such good shape, the screen is pretty usable as-is. Hmm...

    Thanks for looking.
    Scott
     
  2. Rom

    Rom Member

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    Nice shots ! I look at your blogs and your posts related to the restauration of the camera. I will read the whole later with a lot of interest. Have you ever repaired a camera before starting this project ?

    Between, what is a WWTP ?
     
  3. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, Rom. FWIW, I've been doing camera repair for over ten years now. I've done many Rolleiflexes.

    "WWTP" = Wastewater Treatment Plant
     
  4. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    You could try waxing the screen to brighten it up. I have done it several times and it works very well. I use Butcher's wax, but any beeswax or carnauba wax should do.

    I enjoyed reading your blog.
     
  5. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, Patrick!

    I've heard of waxing before, but have never tried it. Do you just apply the wax to the ground side of the screen?
     
  6. one90guy

    one90guy Subscriber

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    Photos looking good, you need to go into camera repair.

    David

    Opps should have checked the blog first.
     
  7. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    That is all there is to it. If you have solid wax you will need to thin it. I wipe it on then wipe off any excess. You only need a light coat. It is completely reversible as well.

    The other way I have heard is to use shellac, but I think that is too much trouble.
     
  8. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    I wonder if Johnson's Paste Wax would work? Guess I'll be trying this tonight. Thanks for the tip!
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Great shots!

    Jeff
     
  10. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I am amazed at the detail and sharpness you have achieved with this re-worked Rollei. I am a Rollei collector and love them dearly. I wonder how you can achieve this level of detail and sharpness. Are these hand held? If so, they are even more amazing. What developer did you use for these. I did find ion some of your other writings that it is Acros film. At any event, it is excellent work, especially from an older Rollei.
    Logan
     
  11. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Fantastic! I'm happy to see it have a new life. Nice work, Scott.
     
  12. gleaf

    gleaf Subscriber

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    Good to see. My mid size baby is in CLA and getting a new meter cover installed. Gives me great hope for another god bit of years.
     
  13. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks again, everyone! Did some more work last night, including waxing the screen (used Minwax paste wax). Amazing difference. It's a toss-up though - creates a hot spot on the screen, but more definition and brighter overall.

    Logan, thank you. These were all hand-held, and honestly, a little softer than I was expecting. The shutter release button was sticky and stiff, and I think that induced some motion blur. I've since disassembled that and cleaned/lubed it, which made a lot of difference. I have gotten fantastic results from these old Tessars on several Automats, including pre-war models with uncoated lenses. I love them!
     
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  15. Fast

    Fast Member

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    Waxing?? That's new to me. Intrigued.... What's the intended purpose?
     
  16. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Fast, I'm not sure what's going on with the waxing, as it makes the screen more transparent than translucent, but there's a dramatic increase in "pop" and brightness. Downside is that it creates a hotspot in the center of the screen that seems worst in dim lighting conditions...

    [​IMG]
    P1010115 by Scott --, on Flickr
     
  17. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Result of a film test, minimum focus distance, maximum aperture, tripod and cable release:

    [​IMG]
    img129 by Scott --, on Flickr

    If I change out the screen, which is a possibility yet, I'll have to reset focus. But for now, it looks pretty good.

    Daughter hamming it up to finish the roll:
    [​IMG]
    img132 by Scott --, on Flickr
     
  18. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    You've done a nice job there Scott. The wax trick seems from the photos to have made quite a difference to the viewing screen, but I can see how the hot spot could be annoying. If I had to decide, I think I'd prefer the easier focusing, though it would be worth some experimenting to see if there were any way to even it out a little.

    Are you going to re-clothe it with standard leather, or go for something more radical?
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Really? my Rolleicord probably has the sharpest lens of all of my cameras.

    It seems to reduce the spread of light so more of it goes perpendicular to the glass. the result is a brighter image but a more narrow viewing angle.

    Steve.
     
  20. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    After more than 25 years experience with Leicas , I can say older the camera better the image. I think japanese image trends killed the Summicrons and others with time with the help of Canada Leica. Now Leica lenses are the worst in their history , I am not writing from the stomach , new lenses are cyan oriented like new films. No elegant colors. They work like japanese brothers , when you look to 50 , 80 years old Leica image , you cant detect a unsharp area , annoying high contrast and misjudging tones in composition , lots of visual guiding noise around and in small 3d areas , if image is not sharp , colors goes to kodachrome colors and visual experience like a autochrome. They had hot colors like a flame. Dim light photographs are most elegant. Same thing for middle format german optics or large format lenses.
     
  21. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, guys. Paul - I'm putting an order in with Morgan today for some black leathers. I'm done with the radical stuff for now. Steve - thanks for the explanation. I'm still not sure if I'm leaving this the way it is or stripping the wax back off. Also have another Automat on its way here (it's a sickness, really), so I'm kind of in a holding pattern...
     
  22. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    It looks like the hot spot in the waxed screen is actually because the screen is now so transparent that you can see the lens.
     
  23. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    I think that's accurate, but I don't know that there are varying degrees of applying this wax to the screen (i.e., varying degrees of transparency/translucency). I might try stripping the wax and applying a light coat of dewaxed shellac (I've read that has a similar effect).
     
  24. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    If the screen has a hotspot then you put too much wax on it. The reason why older screens are dim is because the grind of the screen is rough. The wax fills in some of the ridges thereby increasing the transparency. If you use too much, you fill in all of the edges that refract the light. If you have a hotspot, you need to thin the wax so use whatever solvent you need to do so. Keep in mind you can take off the marking on the screen with some solvents. Be careful.

    The other alternative is to place a fresnel over the screen or of course just replace the screen with something modern. The wax trick works though if you do it right.
     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It was more of an assumption than an explanation!


    Steve.
     
  26. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    One more, from yesterday at the Daniel Boone Homestead:

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Scott --, on Flickr

    I need to strip the wax off of the screen. Hot spot is too distracting, and too difficult to compose around. I may try thinning the wax, or just leave the stock screen as-is. It's way cleaner now than when I got it, anyway...