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Ulrich Drolshagen
06-28-2010, 10:25 AM
You can use a Rolleinar I to get closer if you need to.

Ulrich

Q.G.
06-28-2010, 10:26 AM
Or a Mutar to keep your distance and yet get a narrower angle of view.


You could also get a more versatile camera...

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 10:41 AM
Very nice work mudman!

Jeff L
06-28-2010, 09:49 PM
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.

Tom Nutter
06-28-2010, 10:14 PM
....as a matter of fact, Helmut Newton and Diane Arbus ALSO made their live's work with Rolleiflex cameras.

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 10:25 PM
Thank's for all of these refrerences! They are all great inspiration!

Chris Lange
06-28-2010, 11:12 PM
avedon used to use the rollei extensively, too.

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 11:22 PM
Does anyone have any personal examples that they would like to share?

2F/2F
06-28-2010, 11:23 PM
avedon used to use the rollei extensively, too.

Indeed (and much sheet film as well).

...but Avedon was an exceptionally skilled portraitist. (Never mind the photography part.)

It's [almost] all about YOU, not the camera. Do what you can with what you have. Working on your skills as a portraitist is immeasurably more important than hemming and hawing over what camera is suitable for your work. This means thinking conceptually and visually as one unit, and being able to work with subjects. It is YOU, not the camera.

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 11:28 PM
I guess I just need to get my ass out of the computer and off into the field :)

MattKing
06-28-2010, 11:35 PM
The are only two things special about using a Rolleiflex for portraiture

The first isn't actually particular to the Rolleiflex - it is related to using the waist level finder.

Using a waist level finder when you shoot portraits does require that you learn a slightly different approach, because the process of viewing, composing and focusing has a bit of a different flow to it as compared to the same process using an eye level finder.

Now before anyone points this out, I'll do it first - there are lots of other cameras that you can use a waist level finder with, and you can get a prism finder for the Rolleiflex.

The second thing special about using a Rollieflex for portraiture?

It is a Rollieflex :)

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 11:37 PM
I have become somewhat accustomed to working with the waist level viewfinder and it has become easy for me know so I don't think that it will present much of a problem and I think I prefer it to an eye lever finder usually......I do have the flip up magnifier to be able to look close to check focus and such....:D

MattKing
06-28-2010, 11:48 PM
I have become somewhat accustomed to working with the waist level viewfinder and it has become easy for me know so I don't think that it will present much of a problem and I think I prefer it to an eye lever finder usually......I do have the flip up magnifier to be able to look close to check focus and such....:D

Has your experience with the waist level format included portraiture?

I ask that mostly as a rhetorical question, because IMHO the most important attribute of a good portraitist is their ability to make a connection with the subject, and to have that connection show itself in the resulting photographs.

Working with a waist level finder affects how we make eye contact, so if that connection with your subject is to be established and maintained, it does require a specialized approach.

After all, the top of the photographer's head communicates very little to the subject of a portrait.

Hopefully this won't discourage you, but will instead give you food for thought, because I think that if you are interested in portraiture, and are willing to work on it, you and your Rollieflex can create wonderful work, that you will enjoy and be proud of.

Ektagraphic
06-28-2010, 11:50 PM
I actually haven't really done much formal portrature with a waist level finder so you bring a very valid point :) I will be doing some experimentation very shortly when my Rollei gets back from repair.

MattKing
06-28-2010, 11:56 PM
Be sure to note my last edit to my previous post - and have fun with your experiments!

Q.G.
06-29-2010, 12:41 AM
Has your experience with the waist level format included portraiture?

I ask that mostly as a rhetorical question, because IMHO the most important attribute of a good portraitist is their ability to make a connection with the subject, and to have that connection show itself in the resulting photographs.

Working with a waist level finder affects how we make eye contact, so if that connection with your subject is to be established and maintained, it does require a specialized approach.

After all, the top of the photographer's head communicates very little to the subject of a portrait.

Using a waist level finder, you look up at the subject. All it takes is a flex of the neck.
Something people hiding behind a piece of metal with a peep hole to peep through usually do far, far less.

So if anyone of these two types of finders is more likely to get you connecting with the sitter, i's the waist level finder.

WRSchmalfuss
06-29-2010, 03:37 AM
A Rolleiflex is a great portrait camera.
So is a Tele Rolleiflex. I use both and
love both.

The twin lens Rolleiflex'es are getting still produced in Braunschweig/Germany, and the new firm selling them still excellent in Russia, Japan, and in the Asian theater. My favourite for portraits would be the (new) Tele-Rolleiflex! Unfortunately, an expensive dream! :D

Trask
06-29-2010, 03:57 AM
I saw a film of avedon shooting portraits -- he'd put his Rollei on a tripod, positioned in front of the subject who was in front of the backdrop. Avedon would focus, then stand to the side or behind the camera with a long cable release and interact with the subject. He'd fire the camera when he wished, advance the film, maybe check focus or framing, but in general once he'd set the camera he'd spend most time talking to the subject.

df cardwell
06-29-2010, 05:29 AM
I guess I just need to get my ass out of the computer and off into the field :)

Something like that, but so do we all.

Rolleiflexible
06-29-2010, 05:40 AM
It's [almost] all about YOU, not the camera. Do what you can with what you have. Working on your skills as a portraitist is immeasurably more important than hemming and hawing over what camera is suitable for your work. This means thinking conceptually and visually as one unit, and being able to work with subjects. It is YOU, not the camera.

Of course this is right. But the final image is in part
a function of the camera, and its characteristics and
its limitations.

I prefer the Rolleiflex for a lot of reasons, some just
because I feel connected to it emotionally -- I find it
a beautiful work of industrial design. But there are
functional preferences as well. When I want superior
optics and biting clarity, the Rolleiflex is the obvious
choice. And the Rolleiflex offers other advantages.
For example, the leaf shutter is quiet; there is no
mirror slap; the design of the camera permits hand-
held exposures at quite low shutter speeds. And
the finder permits photos at angles that would be
difficult to shoot with a direct finder. As an example,
I am attaching a photo I took of my wife and son as
they lay on the bed -- I held the camera over them
from the side, I believe the exposure was around
1/15 @ f/4 or thereabouts. I could not have gotten
this angle or this exposure with many other cameras.