I Knew I should Not Have Cleaned Up the Cabinet.
I've been going through some storage areas over the last few days and happened upon a somewhat forgotten item. A Rolleiflex MX-EVS, I think the last version. It has been shelved for probably 10 years because the shutter is slow and the linkage is stiff. Physical condition is between excellent and mint- as it has lived in its leather case for decades and the prior owner almost never used it, if at all. I bought it from his estate. It has the Tesser 3.5 lens. I had an Automat that when I sold it, I kept the hood, Yashica wide angle attachment, filters and filter adaptor and they fit the EVS. I went searching and so far have located the hood and Yashica adaptor. I think I know where the filters are but it is quite a dig.
I ran my hads over the camera, dusted off the little dust that had accumulated and opened it up. I'd almost forgotten just what a piece f art and workanship the Rolleiflex is. There are cameras and there are cameras but I can not think of another as beautiful on the inside as the outside that even comes close, and that includes Leica. By comparison my Bronica is a cheesey cold war era USSR made piece. For you USSR period collectors please, do not feel offended but I could not think of any other comparison.
I opened up the hood and viewed through it. I'd all but forgotten just how wonderful a 6x6 looks, making the 645 look small though in reality unless printing in full frame, the rectangle crop of a 6x6 is 645 generally.
AS I sat carressing the camera I had that horrible feeling come over me. I have to put it into service. I have to take it out and take the fall foliage. I have no will power. Oh my, and I just went through the Bronica and Leica getting the ready for the fall. I've sent off an e-mail to Kindermann to get it serviced.
When I used the Automat, the Bronica gathered dust. The resulting 6x6 transparencies whether color of black & white were amazing and using Tech Pan was jaw dropping. sadly, Tech Pan is no longer available. However, I do know where my 6x6 projector is so I'll need to pull it out.
I am at an age where I'm starting to go through things knowing it is time to get rid of stuff. I suspect the Bronica may be the loser as it is getting heavy for me to carry. The Rolleiflex and Leica may become my final keepers and users. However ....
I looking for the accessories I fell upon another camera that I used for some years before the shutter froze. A 35mm that has a lens that really sings with color. Construction is like a brick and could be used to happer nails. Small, not much larger than my Leica CL and it feels just so right in my hands. The little Voigtlander Vito B with a Protor SVS shutter and 50mm 3.5 Color-Skopar lens. For some years it and my Leica were my only 35mm cameras and I put a lot of film through it before the shutter problem. More so than the Leica that feels more fragile though unless abused is every bit as rugged. Yes, as you've guessed, the e-mail to Kindermann also asks about serviceing the Vito.
Worse than all that, I've started to cruise the net thinking about a nice non-EV shutter version. I think I finally may have the itch to change cameras and get rid of the Bronica.
May be I can spare you troubles. Just send me the MX-EVS, and you won't doubt anymore.
More seriously, I understand what you feel. My first MF was a Yashica Mat 124, which I liked a lot, but when I had issues with it I had a chance to get a Rolleiflex MX-EVS, and this has become my favourite by far. I even (stupidly) sold the Yashica after having it CLA'ed, because it didn't have the same "feel" as the Rollei. It also comes to the point that I'm worrying in advance becaus eof my camera's age and the number of films I put through it, and I'm thinking about getting another one !
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)
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A Rollei TLR in good working condition is a wonderful camera, I am waiting for my own Automat (MX-EVS) to return from the Kuschnik Spa in Frankfurt. Hopefully next week ... Aah, some nice Plus-X and a stroll around the town - heaven!
Prints reveals truths that negative scans obscures.
After posting, I did some reading on the web and found a listing of models by s/n. It turns out I have a T, 1st version. No automat mechanism but not an issue. I have to think about the film to pass through it. I have in the freezer some XP2 and Tech Pan. I do think I'll more likely than not use transparency film once all is settled as to the servicing. Foma has a b&w reversal film that also seems promising.
A Yashicamat tlr was one of my 1st mf cameras and though it did not have the same feeling, it was a very good shooter. The lens was sharp but not too contrasty and it seemed built for abuse. I traded it as part of the trade-in for the Bronica system but over the years have recommended it to others who wanted to test the water. It is one of those cameras that has more bang for the buck than it should have when new. Even now they are bargains. If I did not have the Rollei as I have an inventory of Bayonet I accessories, it would be on my to get list.
You never have to regret using a Rolleiflex. Or a Voigtlander Vito B, for that matter.
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