Just got a Rolleiflex 2.8

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by aroth87, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    Around January I was installing a security system in an older gentleman's house. My parents knew him but I'd never met him before. In a downstairs room he had a shelf the length of an entire wall that was filled with cameras. There were all kinds, an old Minox, a Zeiss folder, a couple of Nikons, some old 70's rangefinders, a Weston Master III, a 2x3 Crown Graphic, a Rolleiflex, and a whole bunch of other things. I ended up talking to him for a while after I explained that I had picked up film photography the previous year and he told me how he used to help shooting weddings in high school and that he and his girlfriend (who later became his wife) had helped pay for college by doing table shots at fraternity/sorority formals with the Crown Graphic and selling the prints. He said that he had used all the cameras at one point or another, he even still had his very first camera, a Baby Brownie.

    Fast forward to yesterday. In the middle of January my wife and I took new jobs and moved away from my home town and had come back to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. There is a message on the answering machine from the gentleman asking for me to call him if I'm in town that he remembers I was interested in B&W photography and he has something to give me. When I arrived at his house he presented me with his Rolleiflex 2.8. I tried to explain to him that the camera was still worth quite a lot of money but he insisted that I take it and he'd rather give it to someone who would use it than sell it to a stranger. He also asked if there was anything else I might use but I couldn't bring myself to ask for anything more than he already given me. I thanked him profusely and told him I'd send him prints if I took any good pictures.

    I'm still a little shocked by what just happened and thought I'd share the story. Definitely a Thanksgiving to remember.

    Adam
     
  2. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Congratulations on your Rollei. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the generosity of strangers. In my opinion, (which usually doesn't count for much) you have one of the finest cameras ever made. Used well, it will probably still be around for you to hand off to some other young photographer in 40 or 50 years.
     
  3. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Adam - What a spectacular story! Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    That's awesome! :smile: Very kind of him, especially seeing how attached photographers get to their Rolleis.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk
     
  5. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

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    In 1995 a good friend loaned me her father's Rolleiflex 3.5F Planar. I had never used one before and was (and still am) amazed at its build quality and the simple pleasure of shooting with it.

    I am still in possession of the camera, although I do not in any way consider it mine. Her father passed away a few years ago and I offered to return it if she wanted, but she said no. It is likely I will be able to use the camera until film is no longer made for it, at which time I will return it to its rightful owner.

    I hope to return the generosity I have been shown in my life when I am too old to use the equipment I have acquired. I can totally understand wanting to give a camera away to an eager and respectful user rather than sell it for a profit to a stranger.

    A happy Thanksgiving indeed.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What can I say but ...
    E*N*J*O*Y*!*!*!


    Steve
     
  7. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Cool beans! Have fun with that Rollei!!! :D
     
  8. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    I like your story, he sounds a lot like me. I recently started letting my cameras go to good friends and relatives because I hope they will use them again. I am sure he feels the same. Enjoy your new Rollei, it is a great camera.
     
  9. GregY

    GregY Member

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    They're very special cameras, and the more you work with them the more amazing things you can do with them
     
  10. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    May The Photographic Force Be With You !

    Ron
    .
     
  11. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    +1
     
  12. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Awesome story!!! Those are expensive cameras - enjoy it and think of/thank him often.

    When i was in grad school, i took a short "J-Term" (January only) course which had a brief section on photography. Long story short, the Prof. (the Dean of that particular part of the school) invited to teach me photography (w/a Pentax K1000) for the semester - sort of as an independant study. He/his department supplied the film and pre-paid developer envelopes (so free developing!!!!). We met weekly to examine photo's and new lessons.

    At the end of the semester, (i was also *finally* graduating), he stopped by my wifes office (she worked on campus) and dropped off a grey bag, asking my wife to not open it, but "he (meaning me) will know what to do with 'it'". The "it" was a Minolta X-700, a Minolta MD W. Rokkor-X 24mm f2.8 lens, a Minolta MD 50mm f2 lens and a Minolta MD Tele 70-210mm f4 lens - all in LIKE NEW condition.

    The X-700 had a circuit/capacitor failure so i had it repaired, but after some other malfunctions, i sold it and the 50mm f2 to fund a SRT202. The other lenses i have to this day!!!
     
  13. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    I'm still humbled by my good fortune. I'm always on the look out for the $10 garage sale Leica but this Rolleiflex has much more meaning than a cheap score from an unwitting seller. I plan on using the camera until I can't anymore and then passing it (and its story) along to its next lucky user.

    The camera is in great condition, you can tell he liked it a lot. The leather has some pretty wear on the sides where your hands contact it but other than that it looks great for a 55 year old camera, no dings or scratches. The lenses are in great shape and the speeds all sound about right when I compare them to my FE. The only thing a little off is that the shutter release is a little slow to return to the "out" position, but its usually back by the time I've finished winding the film. I've already shot most of a roll of Tri-X in it so we'll see how the Xenotar performs compared to my wife's Yashica Mat when we get back home.

    Adam
     
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  15. rknewcomb

    rknewcomb Member

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    That was really nice of him and good of you to appreciate it and share the story. Thanks!
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Rolleiflex 2.8, excellent camera. I hope you enjoy it for a long time.

    Jeff
     
  17. peter_n

    peter_n Member

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    Great story Adam and it sounds like he gave the camera to the right person. :smile: Use it in good health!
     
  18. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I have a Rollei 2.8C of about the same vintage. You may find the sticky shutter button loosens up a bit with use. If not, a CLA by a Rollei specialist might be in order. Mine has never been in the shop for a clean/lube/adjust and it seems to work perfectly, but I'd like to send it in for a lube job before all the Rollei techs disappear. Enjoy that camera, I know I will never part with mine unless I give it to someone who will appreciate it.

    Peter Gomena
     
  19. roboflick

    roboflick Member

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    I agree sounds like it needs a trip to Harry Fleenor, He overhauled my 2.8d and installed a maxwell screen. The schneider lens is incredibly sharp.

    Nik
     
  20. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    now, lets see some images :smile:
     
  21. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    What a remarkable story! Very kind and generous of the man indeed...
     
  22. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    The first roll of Tri-X is drying as we speak and the negatives look pretty good to me, though I'm still not very good at judging negatives. Its about time I found a way to set up my enlarger (that I also got for free :D) and see how I do printing. Apartment living isn't conducive to having a permanent darkroom unfortunately. If any of the photos turn out ok I'll scan and share them.

    I think I might look into sending it off for a tune up after the first of the year, I'd really like to have it with me when we go visit my wife's family in Philly and DC at Christmas. For the price I paid for it there's no excuse not to spend a little money and getting running like new!

    Adam
     
  23. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Maybe next time you're home you can stop by and take a portrait of the gentleman with that camera, and a picture of his collection. Then you'll have a nice memento to keep with the camera and you could present him with a nice print.

    Most photographers never get to have their own portrait made.
     
  24. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    That's a great idea, I think I'll try to work that out next time I'm back.

    I scanned the first roll of film and learned that I need to work on focusing accuracy, I pretty consistently focused behind the subject. Other than user error, it works pretty well and the parts of the photos that are in focus look stellar. :laugh: Here's one of the few images I made that wasn't completely out of focus.

    Adam
     

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  25. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Be aware that the viewing lens and taking lens can get out of sync. You may be focusing perfectly fine on the viewing ground glass. But if the taking lens isn't perfectly aligned to the viewing lens, you'll always be a bit off. At longer distances, depth of field will cover this, but for closer distances it can become painfully obvious.

    Just thought I'd mention this as something to pay attention to as you shake out the camera. This will be tested and adjusted as part of any good overhaul. And if you have an extra $200 around, think about getting a Maxwell screen installed when you get the overhaul.
     
  26. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    yeah I miss-focus sometimes still, stop-r-down :smile:

    Nice start though, keep it up, a rollei is a great way to see the world...