View Full Version : Question for Rolleiflex Buffs

05-11-2008, 07:03 AM
I really wanted an entry level medium format camera in the 6x6 or 6x4.5format, so eB*y got my attention for the last few weeks.

I came up with a Rolleiflex Standard (621, 3.8 Tessar) inexpensively (I think). I really didn't think I'd be able to afford a Rolleiflex, more like a Certo/Agfa or other folder, with my budget in mind.

I can't seem to find any 621's in the completed listings or offered by retail shops, only the 3.5 Tessars. From searching the web, I hear the 621 is much more rare than the other Standards. Is this true? Do I now have a camera that should be in the hands of a collector, or upon receipt, should I check it's functionality & perhaps head out for some pics? I'd hate to possibly bang a camera around that should be on a shelf. Thanks!


df cardwell
05-11-2008, 07:55 AM
No Rollei that can take pictures should be on a shelf.

Besides, the pictures you make with your Rollei will important to you
long after the last Rollei collector has either died
or moved on to something else.

Have fun with it, and sooner or later you'll want to re-silver the mirror, or replace it, or something,
and you can retire it to YOUR shelf, next to the cool pictures you made with it.

Have fun with it !

05-11-2008, 12:04 PM
No Rollei that can take pictures should be on a shelf...

True words! And they remind me to get mine off the shelf more!


05-18-2008, 01:02 PM
It's not rare at all. More than 38000 were made (1932-35), compared to ca 51000 of the 3,5 version.

05-18-2008, 07:27 PM
No Rollei that can take pictures should be on a shelf.

Rolleis are awesome cameras that take incredible pics. No self respecting one would be happy on a shelf...I can hear the screams "Shoooooot me.....shoot me now.......help.....I'm so empty without film......" Enjoy it!!!! You'll love your creations. :)

05-23-2008, 12:53 PM
If you are pleased with it, get a 28,5mm push-on lens shade and filters.

I have the three models, 4,5, 3,8 and 3,5 plus accessories. The 4,5 is the rarest, with "only" 4926 made. But it's still a camera, meant to be used. :)

05-23-2008, 05:32 PM
Thanks, folks! I'm pretty excited about it. I also picked up the GG back & holders, so I look forward to using some of my left over sheet film stock once I cut it down to size.

I've received the camera & the slow speeds REALLY ran slow. It was easy to disassemble, and following a good soaking in lighter fluid, the shutter performed well for a couple of days. It's started to run slowly again, so I'll have to tear it down again. Following the soak this time though, I'm planning to use some graphite lube dissolved in a final naptha bath before re-assembly.

I'd really love to be able to just send it out for a CLA/R&R, but finances force me to do it myself. I've also got two pieces of FS mirror on the way to replace the original. Why two, you ask? 'Cause I'm the worst glass cutter in history. Think I'll take them to the local glass shop that cut my beam splitters for another camera.....that cost me a couple of Crispy Creme donuts :>)


Peter Williams
05-23-2008, 05:46 PM

I just bought another Rollei TLR after having sold my previous one in a fit of stupidity. Krikor Marlain at Krimar Camera in New Jersey did the CLA and to fix the shutter lag he replaced a couple of springs. If your second soak doesn't do the trick, you may want to investigate the springs. Good luck and happy shooting!


05-23-2008, 10:04 PM
Most likely the slow shutter speeds are due to dry oil. You might try soaking the shutter in clock cleaning and rinsing fluids. It's really best to dis-assemble because you will be left with fluid traces on the leaves that will take a while to dry out. These early shutters are not as complex to take apart as the later ones. After cleaning, lightly oil the movinf areas (not shutter or diapraghm leaves) with watch or clock oil (Moebilus).

As to collectibility, yes all Rolleiflexes from the beginning to the 50's are very collectible if they are in excellent condition. But I use all mine from time to time. I have most all the pre-war models including two Original Models (1929-32). I am not sure where some have gotten production numbers, but the serial number range for the Old Standard (all three models) is from 200,000 to 567,000. Some Baby Rollei's also shared those numbers, but I would think the production was higher than the figures quoted, but I could be wrong.

If Old Standard is pretty nice, I would suggest getting another Rolleiflex for everyday use. An Automat type would be a good choice, made from about 1937-50. If you get one that is working, but not all that great cosmetically, you can probably get one for $100 or less.

Hope this is helpful.

05-24-2008, 06:38 AM
My Rolleiflex page should be of great help to anyone interested in these classic cameras