Rolleiflex and Portraits

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by Ektagraphic, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Hi Guys- I am wondering if anyone out there uses the Rolleiflex often for portraits. It seems to me like it would be great but the lens could be longer? Any thought? I will be doing outdoor and possibly some studio.

    Patrick
     
  2. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    A properly exposed image on medium speed 120 film gives you lots of scope to crop your portrait shot into any shape you like. Or you could find yourself a Tele Rollei with its 135 mm (I think) taking lens, use a Mamiya TLR with a 150 mm lens (or thereabouts) or find a Rollei SL66 and 150 mm lens. The first option is the most practical. Many great portraits have been done on Rollei TLR's.
    Have fun.

    Morry Katz, Lethbridge, Canada
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    My current Rollei is the standard lens....
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Portraits can be shot with a lens of any focal length. It is up to you to decide what tools work best to achieve the desired image to express your concept. If the lens is too short for what you want, then the lens is too short. I would not say that it is too short in general, however. Most of my favorite portraiture was shot with normal to medium-wide lenses. If you want to do commercial head shots or glamor photography specifically, the normal lens might give you effects that you are not looking for with many models in tight compositions...but for general-purpose portraiture it is just fine.

    FWIW, most of my favorite landscape shots are also either shot with normal lenses, or short or long lenses that are just a moderate distance from a normal lens. Perhaps 35 - 70, speaking in 35mm terms.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2010
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    If your taking portraits from the waste up, you probably will be OK. Any closer, may notice distortions, like the nose being out of proportions.

    And, you have enough negative that shooting from a little bit farther, then cropping, will work fine.
     
  6. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    A Rolleiflex is a great portrait camera.
    So is a Tele Rolleiflex. I use both and
    love both.
     
  7. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    Go to williamcoupon.com....he has made a career out of shooting portraits with a Rolleiflex.
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have done a few portraits with my Rolleiflex and the shots came out excellent.

    Jeff
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    YES!
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I would love to do this....I would attempt to be a photographer professionally if I knew I would be able to do it on film and develop it myself.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Just Do It. Forget about whether it is film or digital and start worrying about the "professional" aspect of it. Photography itself is perhaps 15 - 20 percent of what is involved with being a professional photographer. If you really are a "professional," who people come to because they like your style and work ethic, the medium will not matter to them. Just use the best tools you have at your disposal to do the best that you can.
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement :smile: I'll give these portraits a try and see where it goes :smile:
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Go back to post 6 on this thread.

    Click on Rolleiflexible's (Sanders McNews') flickr link, which is full of Rollieflex images, and review same.

    You will be able to answer this question for yourself!
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    This is an opportunity not a problem.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi patrick

    there will for a long time be film and paper to make black and white images.
    maybe in a few years it will be more expensive, but it will still be around.

    john
     
  17. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I know. I guess I should really think about making this a career. I just enjoy photography so much in its purist form with Rolleiflex, 4X5, and my darkroom and I have explored the other side and have no interest at all.....
     
  18. eddym

    eddym Member

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    A TLR, especially a Rolleiflex, is a great portrait camera, especially for environmental portraits. Its only shortcoming is tight head shots, and Sanders can show you how to overcome that, as well. Look at his work!
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Some of the Worlds best portraits ever have been shot with Rolleiflex cameras with standard lenses, and you don't have to be a "professional" to have a professional approach to your work,. there are many pro. portrait photographers "I wouldn't pay in spring washers" for their work, there's only good photographers and bad photographers and mediocre ones.
     
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The secret feature of every good 120 TLR !

    Hidden inside every 6x6 negative,
    is a 35mm headshot made by a perfect portrait lens.

    With a cheap old Durst enlarger from the '50s or '60s,
    and a Rolleiflex/Minolta/Mamiya/WhatHaveYou,
    you can do world class work.

    All that has changed since the heyday of the TLR is that films are so, so, so much better today.

    .
     
  21. mudman

    mudman Member

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    [​IMG]

    What do you think? I love the Rollei for portrait work. It's perfect.
     
  22. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    You can use a Rolleinar I to get closer if you need to.

    Ulrich
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Or a Mutar to keep your distance and yet get a narrower angle of view.


    You could also get a more versatile camera...
     
  24. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Very nice work mudman!
     
  25. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    Sanders work is beautiful. I check to see his new photos often.
    Another great Rollei TLR portrait photographer on Flickr is byfer . There is a Rolleiflex set. Great stuff.
     
  26. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    ....as a matter of fact, Helmut Newton and Diane Arbus ALSO made their live's work with Rolleiflex cameras.