Suggestions for a new TLR (Rolleicord Vb) user
I have just purchased a Rolleicord Vb. Having been serviced earlier this year, it is in excellent condition, both externally and internally.
I am new to the TLR world, however, I use a Sinar system so MF/LF is not entirely new to me. The biggest problem for me is that I've had a twenty-year long pause; I started again last year with DSLR equipment, and I'm gradually moving back to film.
Me and some friends are planning a camera safari to Lapland in the spring, and I need to get in shape (at least image-wise) before that. We'll be shooting birds and landscapes; I'm taking along my DSLR and film SLR gear, plus this new toy.
I'd appreciate some advice regarding necessary TLR accessories and shooting habits.
Arto, welcome to the world of the Rolleiflex! :-)
You should consider subscribing to a Yahoo group of very knowledgeable Rolleiflex users, groups.yahoo.com/group/rolleiusers. Any question you can imagine, they can answer.
As for accessories, only two come to mind. First, a good lens hood -- not only to shade the taking lens, but also to protect it. They come in various sizes. For your Rolleicord, you need a Bay I hood.
Second, try to find a Rolleifix. It is a quick-release mount for your tripod. Not only does it make mounting your Rolleicord a lot easier, but it also gives better support. The Rolleiflex tripod mount is built into the camera back, and the back can be bent out of shape if the camera is mishandled when mounted directly into a tripod. The Rolleifix guards against that.
If the camera has its original viewscreen, it will be dark at the edges. You might consider a Rolleigrid -- a fresnel lens that drops into the viewfinder and brightens things considerably. There are also a variety of third-party screen makers who make prighter replacements. Bill Maxwell, down in Georgia, is the best of the lot in my view.
Enjoy your camera.
thank you for the suggestions. Where should one shop for Rollei paraphernalia? I find eBay not to be entirely dependable in such matters.
I've been using a Vb for a couple of years now and it's probably my favourite camera. I bought both the lens hood and Rolleifix from eBay without a problem. The beauty of the Rolleicord is that the bay 1 fitting is common amongst Yashica, Minolta and Rolleiflex/cord so you have several options available for filters and hoods. The Rolleifix is invaluable for tripod work and serves the additional function of preventing strain on the hinged panel the results of misuse which can be seen on a few older models.
A wonderful camera. Enjoy it.
So many drummers, so little time.
What has aleady been said, plus some bay 1 filters could be of use. Or get an adapter that allows you to use regular filters. A good strap. A set of close up lenses if you want to shoot that sort of stuff. One of the joys of tlr's is their inherant simplicity, you don't need a lot of stuff. Film, shade, a filter or two, a tripod and you are good to go.
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I can only echo the suggestions made above, so I'll simply say that I agree. Only difference is that I've had incredibly good luck at finding Rollei Bay1 accessories on eBay. It's best to be patient, though because sometimes the bidding frenzy takes values way above what they are really worth. Only "original" suggestion is to consider a monopod to go with the Rolleifix... tripod is very useful but for a little more mobility the monopod is quite useful.
To all that participated
Thank you kind sirs.
I contacted an old acquintance; he told me he can arrange both the Rolleifix and the hood.
I shall now embark on the journey to TLR land to acquire the necessary skills for palatable images: I also purchased five rolls of Fuji Provia 100
Second the motion on the monopod. I use one all the time with my 3.5T. Great mobility, and I find it much easier to maintain level of the camera than freehand. I use my legs as the other two, and lean into the camera.
I'm using a Vb myself, and I can second that the advice given is good - I don't have need for much more than a hood and a few filters. If you do B/W a yellow one, either an original Gelb Mittel or a new B+W 022, might be all that you need. Otherwise a skylight or UV filter might be an extra protection.
I don't have the Rolleifix myself, but I use the Manfrotto quick release plate instead. It makes it easy to get the camera on or off the tripod. I think TLRs are good for low angle shots and landscapes but birds seems a bit of a challenge unless they're very big and friendly. Or dead.
I have to try the monopod idea, though. Given that I've made successful exposures at 1/10 without one, it may be possible to get success at even lower speeds...
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu