How to use a Rolleicord.....hard?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by vegard_norway, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. vegard_norway

    vegard_norway Member

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    Hello from Norway all.


    Oh, for some years I have looked, and looked at the style of the TLR like Rollei cameras. They look just superb!
    Now I am using a Pentax SLR from the ´60`s. I am far, faaaar, from a good camera man, but trying and hope to get better.

    How is a Rolleicord Vb to live with? Hard to use?
    I ask about the -cord, it is not so expensive. Guess it is because it has a bit lower quality. Or?

    I am/will use the camera for landscape photos and maybe some family photos outside, kids and so.
    Something I need to look out for?
    Something/equipment I NEED to aid the handeling of the camera?

    All tip, information is welcome.
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The quality of construction was every bit as good as a Rolleiflex.

    The price different isn't about quality. The Rolleicord is a simpler camera. Film loading is different, and you must tension the shutter manually. Advance the film by knob rather than by crank. And the top lens was a Xenar (Tessar-type), rather than a Planar or Xenotar. It also did not offer a meter as an option, which became available with the later Rolleiflexes.

    You simply have to get used to working with a twin-lens reflex.
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    To add to the good advice above:

    1. Don't be cheap and think that you can always get away without having the camera professionally serviced if you want a reliable camera
    2. Get and use a lens hood
    3. Seriously consider a monopod and a Rolleifix quick release.

    I have many years with a Rolleicord and find the Vb, especially, to be a simple and easy camera to use for capture of exceptional imagery.
     
  4. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I prefer the use of a rolleicord to a flex, I like the focusing on the right. Also if you took all my cameras away and I was left with one, I would be keeping my cord.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Mike... I think you have a typo: 'top' should be 'taking'.

    Edit: Unless you meant "top" as in "the most advanced lens of the entire Rolleicord line."
     
  6. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Very simple to use. You can download the manual online. Outdoors, you don't need a meter as there are only about four different exposure values you need. With slide film, you probably want some sort of meter. Very light and portable. A real joy to use.
     
  7. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    The Rolleicord is easy to use. Some things about it would be different from what you are used to doing -- besides the obvious (reversed image; loading of 120 film), you need to wind and charge the shutter as two separate steps. And the shutter release is definitely different from the normal "push the button" as you have with your Pentax. But these are easy to get used to.

    You will love the quality of the pictures. It's true that the Xenar lens, as a 4-element lens, is a "lesser" lens than the Planar or Xenotar of the later Rolleiflexes. But it is quite good indeed. As others have said, get a lens hood. I would recommend one of the Rolleinar close up lenses, particularly the Rolleinar 1, which lets you focus from 1 meter down to .5 meter. Very useful for closeups, including tight portraits. And of course you will want an exposure meter.
     
  8. vegard_norway

    vegard_norway Member

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    Hello all and thank you for all the reply`s.

    Sounds like I can manage:confused:. I like to try.
    Did come over a Vb from -62, with a Xenar 3.5/75mm lens, if my memory is right.
    Will go and ask some more tomorrow.

    But, I do not need a meter for outdoor photos? I am also looking to try and take slide film, maybe not so much, but still try it.

    Lens hoods, is it the Rollei Bay I hood you mean? The camera comes with one and two filters, red and yellow.
    Other things that will help me?

    Thank you all for taking time to guide a amateur on the right track.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Here is a source for a manual, if you decide to get that or another camera.
    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/
    I would recommend using a meter, even outdoors, if you will be using slide (transparency) film - or any other film, for that matter. It will be one less thing to wonder about.
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hello and welcome to APUG. The Rolleicord Vb is an excellent camera and like any tool, the skill of the user is what matters most. The more you use it the better you will become. Good luck.
     
  11. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    Hi. I use a Vb and really enjoy it. It was the last Rolleicord produced, and only one with a removable focus hood. You will need an exposure meter for slide films. The hood and filters are all Bayonet I fitting. You can fit a shutter release button to the cable release socket for an alternative to the standard release which you push horizontally to operate. To change aperture you hold the shutter speed control and push the aperture lever. If you don't, they move together. You do the reverse to change speed. This is simple, once you try it out. It is also a very lightweight camera to carry around.
     
  12. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Using a Rolleicord or Rolleiflex isn't hard. It takes a little bit of getting used to but, once you get the habit, no problem at all.

    The thing you will learn when using a Rollei is to pay attention and to slow down. This will teach you to think about your pictures more.
    There are often no meters. When there are meters they aren't coupled. No automatic settings. Everything is manual. You have to meter separately and consider all the factors before clicking the shutter.

    Use your Rollei, exclusively, for a while then when you go back to using your Pentax, you'll suddenly notice how your photography skills have improved! :smile:
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... but definitely read up on Rollei cameras. Between this thread and the one on another forum it is clear that you have an interest but may have done virtually no homework except ask a few questions on forums. The manuals are all out there on the internet for free. You can learn a lot about the ease-of-use by reading hte manuals.
     
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  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I had a Rolleicord V for about a year. It's REALLY sharp and easy to use.

    It's a simple camera.

    Focus, set exposure, click. Wind, and repeat.

    This of course assumes you are familiar with manually focusing lenses, know how to set shutter speed and aperture. If your prior experience is a modern camera with everything automated, I guess it'll be hard but it's not anything that's daunting even if that is the case. If you can use Pentax from 60s, you'll have no issues with any of this, I think.

    You'll want a light meter though.
     
  16. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Dare I suggest a Yashica Mat?
     
  17. Apugabug

    Apugabug Member

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    It's a simple enough camera. It forces you to slow down (manual focus, manual shutter adjustment, manual aperture, don't forget to advance the film, etc.). Oh yeah, and do all the above while tracking a moving object on the reversed image finder - well that's where it gets a little tricky.

    Great camera.

    If you carry an iPhone in your pocket, there's a good metering app out there called Light Meter. It seems plenty good and would save you from carrying a separate meter. Maybe not for the purists, though. But I like cheap solutions.
     
  18. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    > How is a Rolleicord Vb to live with? Hard to use?

    I have a Cord Vb and a Flex 3,5F as well. I cannot say that one of these is easier or harder to use. The Flex has a crank and film advancing is some fractions of a second faster. The most important difference lies in the lens: The 5 lens Planar is wide open sharper in the corners in comparision to the 4 lens Tessar. At f/8 I don't see any difference.
    The Vb has the bright finder groundglass which is very good. You have with that camara a piece of equipment which can service you the whole life.
    You need an exposure meter, I guess you know that.
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Me too.


    Same here.



    Steve.
     
  20. vegard_norway

    vegard_norway Member

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    Sounds like it is not going to be to bad.
    Thanks all for helping and thank you for the link, will download the information now.

    Good day all.
     
  21. vegard_norway

    vegard_norway Member

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    Slow down and take better photos, sounds good.
    And I find that right. I do take better, if I can say so, photos with the old camera than a new digital, with the digital I am to fast, or at least I used to take photos to fast.

    Also, the meter, yes I know, so will get myself one.
     
  22. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    if you want to buy an older Cord please notice that between the Rolleicord V and the Va the fokussing knob was changed from right to left. The Vb also has it on the left side. All models befor the Vb had a rather dark ground glas viewing screen, but it can easily be changed against a modern one cut to size from a RB 67 (maybe the fokus has to be adjusted then).
     
  23. vegard_norway

    vegard_norway Member

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    Thank you for the information, did not know that.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have a V. I prefer having the wind on and focus on the same side. With a Rolleiflex you are constantly swapping holding the body from one hand to the either to wind on then focus.


    Steve.
     
  25. rst

    rst Member

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    I second that as that was exactly the reason why I went for a V and not a Va or Vb or a Flex.

    Cheers
    Ruediger
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've taken a backward step and have begun using an MPP Microord essentially an updated British made Rolleicord III with a better lens, a Ross Xpres, I've been using a Yashicamat 124 extensively in Turkey and a Rolleiflex here in the UK and love them both. However the Rollei is in mint condition despite being ove made in 1961/2 so I'd much rather carry a less valuable camera all the time.

    My first TLP was a pre-WWII Rolleicord so it's not too starange but we do have to remember to wind on after each shot to prevent double exposures and I prefer to cock the shutter immediately before use, all good fun :blink:

    Ian