New Rolleiflex 3.5E parts,.............?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John Wiegerink, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I just picked up another Rollei 3.5E off the big auction site and ran into a snag. It was described as being a good user and picture taker. I really didn't need it since I have two 3.5E's and one 2.8E already, but the price was right so I bought it. After the mail lady dropped it off I went over it to see what I got - good or bad. First thing was that the shutter speeds seemed to work find, aperture worked fine, self-timer actually worked too, focusing was smooth, advance was slick as a whistle and the camera actually looked a little better than the pictures. Now for the not-so-good! The meter needle responded to light fine, but the red EV setting needle would not move with the turn of the knurled knob. The lens had a slight hint of spider web fungus on the back element, but I'm positive it will not hurt a thing. Also, the magnifier for the flip down eyelevel focusing mirror is missing. I went to work repairing the meter and found that somebody had visited the internal workings before. God I hate working on things that somebody else has played with! Well, after about 1 1/2 hrs. it was fixed. The next morning I loaded some B&W film in it and shot some test for focusing and frame spacing. The spacing was right on, but focus was a mile off. I setup a tape in inches and focused on a printed box that was inline with the 36" mark and shot wide open. When I processed the film the only thing in focus was the 20" mark. I finally got that set right and then noticed my DOF indicator on the know wasn't working at al. I pulled the leather and took the focus knob side panel off. Yup, some little tinker was in there too. After about two hours of getting that straighten out and cleaned up it too now works as it should. Tomorrow morning I'll test her again, but have a feeling she'll pass with flying colors. Now what I need to know is where I can get the little round magnifier for the back panel of the waist level. It just slides in behind a couple of spring clips. Anybody know where this magnifier can be had? I'm in know hurry since the camera can be used as is just fine, but I'd like it 100% functional if I can. This will be my user camera and I'll keep my better rollei 3.5E's at home. JohnW
     
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  2. jstout

    jstout Subscriber

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    Interesting to hear your account of what it's like to pick up a used Rolleiflex TLR, how it can look so perfect and yet have these unseen problems. I've been wanting to try one. Have you called Krikor to ask him about the parts? I believe he has a big stock of parts and he is a great guy to talk to. I would be surprised if he doesn't have a box full of the parts you need. To me, his word is gospel.

    http://www.krimarphoto.com/

    He fixed my Baby Grey and was great to deal with.
     
  3. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Buying used photo equipment of this vintage will be a gamble. Sometimes an item it well maintain and taken care of and other times it's not. That means that somewhere down the line somebody has had to fix it. The question is how good was this "somebody"? I knew I was in trouble when I tried to remove the front and focus side leather covering. Yup, "Super Glued" on and nobody in their right mind would do that. I might have to contact Krikor or somebody similar, but "by phone" for me is not possible. I suffer from severe nerve deafness and am only able to make out a couple of words in a normal phone conversation. That's with somebody that has a smooth, clear voice and good phone connection, but with a person that doesn't speak clearly, has an accent or bad phone connection then those couple of words turn into zero. That's why I kind of wanted to find a place "online". JohnW
     
  4. jstout

    jstout Subscriber

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  5. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Thanks! Yes, I have the email address logged and will contact him. I'm waiting for a friend to dig through his "junk drawer" to see if he might have a finder with the magnifier.
     
  6. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Wow!! sounds like your pretty skilled on working on these gems.

    Todd
     
  7. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Hi Todd,
    Skill? Common sense? More common sense and patients than skill. Most things mechanical I'll take the challenge, but when it comes to electronics involved? That's another story. I can't tell you how many "non-working" cameras I have fixed. Just like I can't tell you how many non-working cameras I haven't been able to fix. If I stay in the mechanical realm I do pretty darn good, but when I dive into a camera that relies on electronics to run, then I'm at the mercy of luck. I have pretty much completely disassemble cameras like the Pentax Spotmatic, Kodak Medalist I and II, Signet 35, Retina's, Contaflex's, etc.. I think you see the trend - mechanical! I'm an older feller and that's what I grew up with. With the right tools, patients and common sense you can do the same thing. JohnW
     
  8. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Either way, pretty impressive. I sent mine off to Fleenor to have worked on. The idea of cracking one open to fix scares me.

    ToddB
     
  9. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Todd,
    If this one were mint and cost me an arm, leg and left testicle like some Rollei's do I would have sent it out, but this one isn't mint and didn't cost me any body parts. Plus, I've done this before. Going in my darkroom to process my test roll and will let you know how it comes out. JohnW
     
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    spectacle supplier would make you one up from a spectacle blank to your prescription if you are old and have vision problems.
     
  11. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I'm old and my vision sucks! This might be a good thing to look into. I'm going for an eye exam in a couple of weeks and it will be a top priority question. I pulled one of the elements out of a two element loupe that I had and then used a little "speaker re-foaming glue" to hold it in place and it works pretty good. Not the correct power, but not bad either.
     
  12. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    Well, I developed the test roll or what was exposed on it anyway. I knew something wasn't right when I loaded it, but shot it anyway. The test roll was that Ultrafine junk Chinese film, that I'll only use for testing, that caused the problem. It seems the Rollei's film sensor rollers on the bottom didn't like the think paper of the Chinese film and sensed what it thought was emulsion/film base just a little toooooo early. I had no problems with two dummy rolls of Ilford and Kodak in the camera and it locked onto exp. 1 no problem. Not with this stuff! I loaded a roll of T-max and will shoot again this morning. I will say that the few shots I got were very well exposed and the focus was very, very close. I feel that this camera is going to be a very good workhorse. JohnW
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I once bought a Rolleiflex 2.8C with a Planar that had mismatched elements. That is, the front group had a different serial number than the rear element/group. I was never able to achieve infinity focus.

    Of the Rolleiflex TLRs that I've owned, my favorite has been the simple post-war Automat with a Tessar. Next in line is a Standard with an uncoated Tessar.
     
  14. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I now have the focusing "spot on" and everything now works as it should. Except for the eye-level magnifier and that's not a big problem at this point. I also think the Automat was Rollei's best designed cameras as far as features and being simple to use. A few Rollei folks don't like the sensor roller setup in those later Rollei's, but I have not really had a problem. This one has it's rollers set closer together than my others and I need to adjust that, but I'll do that later if the problem comes up with the normal films I shoot. I like the looks from the uncoated Tessar also and I keep an old Ikonta around when I want that "look". I'm doing a little reseach on this Rollei since I'm not finding the serial number matching the date/model. JohnW