I bought my first Rolleiflex yesterday.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by daswiggles, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. daswiggles

    daswiggles Member

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    Hi everybody!

    I recently moved to Northern California for college, and I put a "wanted: camera equipment" ad on my local Craigslist. So Saturday morning, I have an email stating that someone has a camera for sale, with no pictures. I reply back and receive a really bad cell phone picture of a Rolleiflex with the lens cap on, so I have no idea what lens it has. I express interest, and she tells me she's looking to get $475 for it. I don't reply, and a few hours later she emails back saying to just make any kind of offer I want. By this point I'm curious enough to drive the half hour to meet her. I also discovered that she posted in on Craigslist for $375 that evening. The next day I leave with exactly $200 in my pocket hoping for a best case-scenario of leaving with a beater Planar or Xenotar camera, and worst-case I drove an hour for a beater lower-end camera. We meet at a McDonalds in a truck stop town, and she hands me a Rolleiflex. After I figure out how to remove the lens cap, I discover that it has the Xenotar 2.8, but no built in light meter. The camera itself is in awesome cosmetic condition, but there is a bit of haze and what appear to be small fungus marks in the lenses and the lowest shutter speeds seem off. I show her these flaws and tell her that I'll probably have to spend around $150-200 to get the camera repaired, and ask if she would accept $200 for it. Lo and behold, she accepts, and I am the proud owner of a Rolleiflex 2.8C with the Xenotar lens. I can't wait until I've had it repaired and it's good to go. I put a roll of Tri-X in just to see what the results are as-is, and I hope to develop it this week.
     

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  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Awesome! Good luck and have fun. I remember my first I got around 1999. A beat up Planar 2.8E in a Beijing alley of all places. Paid about $150 USD. Lens with little to no coating left and some minor fine scratches. Makes me wish it could talk. How did it get to an old alley in Beijing? Since then I've gotten more "perfect" other Rolleiflexes yet this original beat up one remains my favorite. Something about it's slightly more moderate contrast yet still tack sharp character as a result of it's "flaws" has it drawing a beautiful signature.
     
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  3. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Well, get it CLA'd and put it to good use, it might have been her father's.
    My rollei is my desert-island camera, a companion in wanderings, a relied-upon
    tool and friend to help me see the world.
    -Tim

    ps: and, of course, share some images :smile:
     
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  4. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Congratulations and happy Rolleiing!
     
  5. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Send it for cleaning esp., the lens. Please.
     
  6. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I've owned the same model Rollei you just bought
    for 30 years. I use it fairly regularly. I suspect the slower shutter speeds are a bit slow, and the shutter release is a bit slow closing the shutter on "B." It's time for a clean,lube, adjust. I will never sell this camera.

    Finding accessories is a bit of a hunt, but it's fun. You'll begin to recognize the brown leather cases for the filters, lens hood, closeup lenses and other accessories when they pop up on used camera sites or in old camera stores. Expect to pay good money for them, they're worth it!
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    A word of caution when using your 2.8C: when engaging the highest shutter speed (1/500th), be aware that you should not change it from or to 1/500th while the shutter is cocked. There was a separate "accelerator" spring in the shutter for that one to enable that fast of a speed, and if you change speeds while cocked, you can break the spring and jam the shutter. Go to http://www.butkus.org/chinon/rollei/rolleiflex_28c/rolleiflex_28c.htm and download the owners manual to get a better understanding of how the camera works. The C has one great feature in its favor: the multi-bladed iris that gives a much more round aperture, which many people feel gives a more pleasing bokeh (out-of-focus rendering). The way you change apertures/shutter speeds is a quirk that takes some getting used to (I have big fingers so I found it hard to squeeze the locking lever(s) and turn the wheel(s), but your mileage may vary. Congrats on getting a great camera, though - you'll love it.
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    A 2.8C for US$200?? That's a steal in pretty much any condition. Certainly it deserves a CLA---you may get pretty good results from that trial roll, but with a lens that good it would be a shame not to get it worked over to its full potential. And you certainly have plenty of headroom left between the price you paid and the price you might have expected to pay!

    The dials do take some getting used to. I'm always turning them the wrong way.

    -NT
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Congrats! That's a nice looking camera. The 2.8C is much loved by photographers.
     
  10. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

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    Congratulations! That is one of my dream cameras. That said, I dearly love my rolliecord iv. It is a tough little beauty in great condition. I bought it for $39.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. daswiggles

    daswiggles Member

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    I will most likely take it to Harry Fleenor when I am visiting my home in Southern California at the end of the month. I developed a test roll a few hours ago, and I am damn impressed by the results... this camera isn't going anywhere.

    Here are a few of my favorites from the test roll:
    oh, they were taken on Kodak Tri-X rated at 400 ISO and I used a light meter app on my iPhone as a meter. I developed in Arista Liquid Developer for 6 minutes. The negatives are a bit dusty but I didn't want to edit them at all for the test roll. I scanned these with an Epson V700, 16-bit greyscale, 2400 dpi with the unsharp mask on medium and the autoexposure turned on. These are completely unedited; all I did was save for web at 100 quality in Photoshop.

    motorcycle.jpg orange-cat.jpg leaves.jpg car.jpg

    Motorcycle is 1/100 at f/4, the cat is 1/500 at f/4, the leaves are 1/100 at f/4, and the car is 1/250 at f/8.
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Nothing at all wrong with the light meter app in the iPhone. I've compared it head-to-head with my Sekonic 408 and it has matched it within say 1/5th of a stop, well within the margin of what I can set the aperture to.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy
     
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  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    daswiggles,

    If you ever feel guilty about the very good deal you got, just tell yourself that the seller knew the camera was going to someone who will appreciate and use it for many years...
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I love my Rolleiflex!

    Jeff
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Nice shots! Looks like it works! They show that Rolleiflex character nicely. Imagine when you really try! :smile:
     
  18. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    > and friend to help me see the world
    Yes, that describes it well. I love my Flex, it is my most used camera (3.5F with working meter).
     
  19. daswiggles

    daswiggles Member

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    Indeed, but I don't think that I should... the seller mentioned that she looked it up on eBay and online, and I even told her that I plan on having it repaired so I can use it. To be honest I was surprised that she took my offer... I guess the universe wants me to have a Rolleiflex heh.



    To be honest, I'm amazed at how nice they look given the lens condition. I was so anxious to play around with it that I shot a test roll around my apartment building. I was bracing myself for total disappointment, but I can already tell that I will not be parting with this camera. I think it will be a lot better for travel than my Hasselblad, and it really is a work of mechanical art. The film transport is so smooth that it feels like there is no film in it. My only other experience with a TLR has been a Yashica-Mat 124G I borrowed, for some reason any picture with a light source had a weird glow around it. And the mechanical precision of this 60+ year old Rolleiflex is just in another league. It's like comparing a Mercedes-Benz S-Class to a base-model Honda Civic.
     
  20. smolk

    smolk Member

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    I have the same model. The rear lens, I found out much later, suffered from severe fungus. But it could be repaired (and recoated) and it now is my beloved take-anywhere camera. I even sold my 2.8F planar, since I decided I could get more for that model while the results of my 2.8C Xenotar where no less spectacular. The repair did add to the costs, but the camera still is the one to go for me (I have a Rolleiflex 6008i and Pentax 645N as well, and just sold my Plaubel Makina 67).
    CLA is worth it. I am probably replacing the screen with a Mamiya 67 screen too (not the more expensive options of Maxwell etc, not because they are too expensive, but because they may be too bright in daylight).
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Congrat! My first camera was a 3.5 model. I do enjoy the tread's title as it hints of more Rolleis to come!
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I got my first Rollei a few years back. Paid close to $400 for it. It was not in great shape. Had a CLA done on it. My first prints from my Automat IV were scary sharp for a camera that is 70 years old. You'll enjoy using for a long time.
     
  23. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Member

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    Congratulations. I have a 3.5F and I can say without hesitation it is my most beloved camera. I use it every week. Have fun with yours.
     
  24. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    Congrats, have fun with it for many years to come, I was frankly completely blown away when I got a Rolleiflex Automat 3 years ago, it has to be my all time favorite camera, and the prints from it just seem to have a character that is all of t's own, something I never find on any of my other cameras, I was using mine only this afternoon, not the greatest light but for sure the rollei came though
     
  25. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    People should post favorite Rolleiflex TLR images in this thread. The love for these babies is prolific!
     
  26. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    If I'm not mistaken, Rollei is Avedon's favorite camera.