I, too, did it again

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kavandje, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    So on a road trip, I found a beat to hell Rolleiflex TLR mouldering away on a tripod as a display piece in a photography shop. I took a closer look; looked like the same sort of vintage as the other one I found recently, except with a 2.8 Tessar.

    "Oooh," thinks I; "I reckon that after a CLA and some basic repairs, she'll come right." Made an offer of not-very-much, which was accepted, so now I own *two* Rolleiflexes, one of which looks like hell.

    When I got home, I discovered that this is a Rolleiflex 2.8A Type 2 from ~1951, of which apparently only around 2000 were made, and which were allegedly all exported to the US (the distance scale is in feet), and which seems to be the only one equipped with a Bay 2...

    Apparently some US-model cameras found their way to South Africa and Namibia. The one I found came with a set of Rolleinar 1 closeup lenses -- including the parallax correcting doodad -- and a lens shade. The lens looks clean, the mirror is scratched, the focussing screen is a little loose. The shutter fired a few times, but it is now unresponsive. Dried up, gummed-up lubricant, methinks.

    This camera has had a hard life, but the patina is awesome, and I'm gonna try to save her. Wish me luck!
     
  2. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    I hope you get what you're expecting from the device, but, as far as I'm concerned, Tessar's at 2.8, no thanks!

    For 2.8 exists the Planar, Tessar's at 2.8 in anything over 50mm, can't deliver satisfactory results, IMHO!



    Cheers




    André
     
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  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    2.8 Tessar

    Your 2.8 tessar may be a fine lens, see how you like it. Here is a little history on your camera. Personally, I think that if yours has a good lens it is both rare and desirable. If it is not one of the 'good' lenses, it still is usable as tastes change (ie popularity of old brass lenses, Bokeh, and Diana cameras etc.)

    From the internet:

     
  4. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I read about the CZJ recall, and mine is indeed Opton-equipped, seeing as it's from the second production run.

    As for how it performs, well, I'll have to wait and see until I get the shutter operational again... I still love the way it looks, all weatherbeaten and rough. This camera's been places.
     
  5. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I managed to revive a Rolleiflex shutter once by putting it in the airing cupboard (warm place. for a couple of days.
    While not a fix, if it works will allow you to get a film through to evaluate lens/transport and CLA cost.
    I quite like the Tessar and have the 3,5 version on my T.
    No idea if the 2,8 version is a 'stretched' 3,5 design or a redesign but should have a unique signature, from memory the 2,8 Tessar that came on Praktica cameras were pretty good.
    Mark
     
  6. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I don't have an airing cupboard; would maybe putting it in the sun for a few hours do the trick? Maybe on a sunlit windowsill?
     
  7. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    We demand a picture of it!!
     
  8. weasel

    weasel Member

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    I am not sure that I buy the idea that a 2.8 tessar is by nature a poor lens. I have a zeiss super ikonta folder with a 2.8 tessar that is very sharp and contrasty.
     
  9. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I have taken a picture of it. In fact I have taken four. They were taken, using my other Rolleiflex, on Rollei Retro 100 film (see thread elsewhere), which is currently weighted down under a book and two heavy batteries in order to mitigate the curl prior to scanning...

    For what it's worth, I love that film, especially in Rodinal, but the curl is terrible...

    Patience, Uncle Goose...
     
  10. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    No, I haven't said a Tessar is a poor optic, I said a Tessar at 2.8 isn't my cup of tea at focal lenghts over 50mm. I have 2 Tessar's and I like them alot, they are capable of razor sharp results stoped down a bit, but my ones are both 3.5, because they are all MF optics (one 105mm and one 75mm).

    When speeds and coverage greater than 3.5 and 60 degrees are needed, I think there are better options available, for example the Planar. Tessars at 2.8, are pushing the limits of the optical design itself, but of course, this is just a personnal opinion, nothing else.:smile:



    André
     
  11. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Well, here she is, in all her patina'd glory:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The covering is held on by sticky tape, prestik, inertia and not a lot else. The exposure table is gone. The flash socket has been ... modified ...

    What's interesting is that in contrast to my Automat, which is labelled 'DBP / DBGM', this one still says 'DRP / DRGM' -- was the body perhaps part of a pre-war manufacturing batch?
     
  12. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    Just order a new leatherette from cameraleather.com , he has the greatest kits and your camera is certainly supported. It will give a whole new life to your camera.


    The fact that the body may be a prewar model could be correct. When WWII broke out all German companies that where producing items that could be used in military vehicles or for other military purposes had to stop all non-essential civil production and had to start making stuff for the military. Zeiss-Ikon for instance had to make things like Periscopes for the U-boats. I guess that Rollei had to make similar devices. So the bodies that not had been assembled yet were probably just stocked and re-used when the war was over. The funny thing is, while they didn't make any camera's during the war they still advertised the Rolleicord and Flex in propaganda magazines, I got a bunch of Signal magazines lying around with a lot of advertising in it for Rollei.

    The same thing applies for companies in German occupied territory, Meopta for instance (then still called Optikotechna) had to halt production too and while Optikotechna changed it name to Meopta in 1946 (some say even 1945) many camera's still had parts with the Optikotechna name and label on it, those were just old stocks lying around from before the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  13. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    I had thought about the kits from cameraleather.com, but as it happens there's an excellent tannery here in Windhoek, from which I obtained a number of good goatskin hides last month -- originally intended for 4x5 film holder bags and so on -- as well as a bunch of ostrich leg off-cuts; chances are, if I do re-skin the camera, I'll do it myself...

    Quite aside from the camera's optical performance (I'll let the Tessar speak for itself once the shutter's operational and everything's been adjusted to something resembling spec), I'm fascinated by this camera's chequered past: its relative obscurity, the recall story, the pre-war body, the US-model camera in southern Africa, the unbelievable amount of wear and tear.

    What this camera must have seen, what it must have photographed!
     
  14. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    If you can do it yourself it's OK too but I prefer those kits because they are precut, have an adhesive back and fit perfectly so no hassle with it. But I assume that you could do it if you are a little handy ( I did an Agfa IsolaII with sheets, a little bit of a PITA to cut it to fit but still nice).

    And I too ask myself the question what some old camera's have seen in their lifetime, if only we could revive the images that once were passing trough it's lens. Sometimes you have luck and find an old roll of film inside that has been exposed and shows at least some images of it's past.
     
  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You have posted square pictures of it!!! Excellent!:D
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If it were mine I would try soaking the shutter mechanism (removed from camera, of course) in naptha.

    If I understand, you have two of these? If you are going to be opening it up there is a PDF file of the shop manual for the later cameras that I can send you if you are interested. (its 60mb)
     
  17. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    @ ic-racer: Of course the pictures are square. I took them with my other Rolleiflex! :smile:

    I do indeed have two Rolleiflexen; the 2.8A, and an Automat -- both from 1951. At this stage, the Automat is the user, and the 2.8A is the 'problem child', but eventually I hope to be able to use both, as the situation demands. At this stage I prefer to leave the mechanical overhaul to someone likely to have the necessary parts, expertise and experience not to trash it. My current shutter explorations are amateurish and clumsy, and I'd rather not risk damaging a mechanism I would prefer to have as a 'keeper'!

    A 60mb file is, alas, too big for my puny network connection, unless you can host the file somewhere I can download it from overnight...
     
  18. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    God bless you, Sir. Surely your place in Rollei heaven is now assured. A crown awaits you, as it should. keep us posted. Many of us would kill for an old 2.8A!! Bill Logan
     
  19. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    God bless you, Sir. Surely your place in Rollei heaven is now assured. A crown awaits you, as it should. keep us posted. Many of us would kill for an old 2.8A!! Bill Logan
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  21. monemmer

    monemmer Member

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    Hey kvandje, good to see you on apug, I know your stuff from flickr...

    As to CLA on a compur shutter, it is actually not all that hard. Soaking the whole shutter in naphta is usually not what I do. Often there is some grease on the shutter blades that prevents them from moving. Simply removing the front plate of the camera (you will put new leather on it anyway so there is no problem taking the old leatherette off) and then unscrewing the front element of the lens will give you access to the shutter blades. Then use a q-tip dipped in naphta (cigarette lighter fluid) and carefully swipe the shutter blades. Then dry them with a dry q-tip and perhaps a few soft blows of compressed air. Then repeat this process a few dozen times and your shutter will probably come to life again.

    What a great find! Good luck, I'm looking forward to seeing some photos taken with it in your photo stream.

    ...Markus
     
  22. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Hi Markus!

    Thanks for the welcome!

    It's not just the shutter, otherwise I'd have a go at taking it apart. The focusing screen has come loose, and I want to make sure that things like the film-beginning-sensor-rollers (I prefer the German Tastwerk...) are within spec. I just don't know enough about Rolleiflexes to want to risk it. I'll try taking it with me to London (flying there on the way to Vancouver coming Tuesday) to see if Sendean can do anything. Failing that, I'll try in Vancouver, and if that doesn't work, I'll take it home again and pull it apart on the dining room table...

    But yeah: I'm really looking forward to having this camera come to life again!
     
  23. monemmer

    monemmer Member

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    Good luck with the camera in London or Vancouver. My experience with repairs and in particular parts for Rollei gear is that it tends to be outrageously expensive. A reputable Rollei repairman in California once quoted me $50 for a Rolleicord door hinge! I waited instead and found the same part months later on ebay for $10.

    Viel Glueck und viel Spass auf der Reise!

    - Markus
     
  24. kavandje

    kavandje Member

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    Well, I have it back now, and it feels great!

    Of course in order to tell for sure whether my good feelings are premature, I should probably process some of the steady stream of Tri-X I've been feeding through it...

    I have named it 'Beaterflex'.