Rolleiflex film handling

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mjs, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I have a 1939 Rolleiflex New Standard; on the bottom of the camera is a red window which one is supposed to use to advance the film for the first exposure, then the winding mechanism automatically advances to the next frame.

    When looking at the bottom of the camera with the front of the camera facing you, the red window is on the left. In this position, after you have loaded the film, the numbers appearing in the window are not the numbers for 6x6 frames; they're the numbers for a longer (6x8 or 6x9) frame and end at "10". At least on modern 120 film, the numbers for 6x6 are in the center of the paper backing.

    Since the "1" for the longer frames is further down the roll than the "1" for 6x6 frames, when I advance the film so that "1" shows in the window, I've already advanced it almost to the second frame (the "2" mark,) for 6x6 frames. Essentially, I'm losing the first frame from every roll of film!

    Did they change the placement of frame numbers at some point, or what?

    Thanks!

    Mike
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    By the looks of it: the red window should show the arrow and then the film has to be advanced.
    After that you can use the build-in frame counter.

    Later models had a film feeler I believe, my 2.8F has for shure: 2 rolers at the bottom. You have to feed the film inbetween those rolers.

    Give it a try !
     
  3. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I hope you can understand my limited english:

    You load the film as usual.

    Close the back and lock it in place with the hinged lever (Verschlussriegel) ONLY. Then turn the winding crank until (1) shows up in the red window, and then turn the crank backwards until it stops. THEN lock the back with the locking device (Riegel-Sicherung) at the tripod socket. Now the camera is ready for the first exposure. After that the counter is automatic.

    (Source "Das Rolleiflex Buch", W. Heering 1941).
     
  4. JPD

    JPD Member

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    No, the red window is for the 6x9 numbers.

    120-film (or B2) was called "6x9-film" in the beginning. They only had markings for 6x9 on the back.

    117-film (or B1) was "6x6-film" and had markings for 6x6. You got six 6x6 exposures on a roll.

    The original Rolleiflex was made for 117-film, didn't have a counter, so it had a red window on the back for the 6x6 numbers.

    The early Rolleiflex Standard came in 1932, and they could use both 117- and 120-film and had a mechanical counter. These early Standard-models had two red windows. One at the back for 6x6-numbers (117-film) and one at the bottom on the side for 6x9-numbers (120-film). Either way, you winded to the first exposure and then engaged the counter, and got six or twelve shots depending on which film you used.

    The later Standards (and the rest of the 6x6 Rolleiflexes/cords) used 120-film only.

    For a long time 6x4,5 (half frame 6x9) cameras used two red windows. (Number 1 in the first window and take a picture, wind the number 1 to the second window and take the next picture. Then number 2 in the first window and so on...).
     
  5. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I'm not sure when the film makers started to print the 6x6 and 6x4,5 numbers on the back paper for 120-film. I think it must have been in the mid or late 1930's.

    In the tens and twenties you used 117-film in your 6x6 cameras and got six exposures on a roll. You needed a 6x6 camera with a mechanical counter to use 120-film in them. Some Original Rolleiflexes were rebuilt (Film cambers enlarged and mechanical counter added). That's why F&H came up with the Rolleiflex Standard so soon after the introduction of the Original. That's also why Zeiss Ikon made a Super Ikonta 6x6 with mechanical counter, even though it only gave you eleven exposures for some reason. :D
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I have similar Rolleicord with the window on the bottom on the camera (1938 or '39 Rolleicord IIb). If you take that paper from a roll of film, and on the outside of the camera, line up the #1 for 6x9 with the window, the #1 for 6x6 will be centered right in the middle of the taking lens. Seems to be nothing to worry about.

    Vaughn
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2009