So I met up with the guy today, he was very nice and brought all four Rolleis for me to check out. I played around with all of them and decided to go with a 'cord III. He gave me a fair deal (IMO) at $200 since it showed a little more wear than his other 'cord III, but it's only a little tarnishing and some scratches on the body. However, it operates wonderfully! The aperture and film advance work great, the shutter speeds all sound good (no stickiness) and the lenses are in pristine condition. The only minor thing is that the focusing knob goes a little past the infinity end, but it then goes back into position after you let go. It doesn't look like it affects the focus at all and the front "face" of the camera is perfectly solid and steady, so it's just a little peculiarity. I'm going to go shoot a test roll of Pan-F right now and I think I'll take it to a local Rollei specialist to get a CLA so that it can be in tip-top shape. I think I might even sell my Yashica Mat after I get this serviced because it feels so nice (knob wind is so much more awesome than a crank!). Here it is:
Also, I was very surprised by the focusing screen after reading all the negative comments because the screen is not at all dim. Even indoors in low light it's just a tad darker than my Yashica Mat's screen and those are supposedly some of the brightest screens you can get in a TLR. This is great news because I didn't want to have to wait for a replacement to arrive in the mail. Yay!
I'm sure you're going to love using this camera for a long time. My first "quality" 120 camera was a Vb which my father and I used in the mid 80's. Very similar to yours in condition, also with the Xenar. Some of the large b/w prints I made with it still blow my socks off with the outstanding peformance from that lens. Good luck with it, hope it gives you years of pleasure.
Thanks, Adrian, I'm sure that it will indeed! I shot a test roll with it this weekend and I absolutely loved the handling and ergonomics. The results were very nice and I was very pleased with it, especially the flare resistance compared to my Yashica (pre-flocking).
In fact, I loved it so much that I took it in for a full overhaul to a local respected Rollei-trained technician to get it back into 100% shape so that I can shoot it without any worries. Now I'm counting the days until I get it back and can take it out for some real fun!
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
I was told by the dinosaurs with whom I worked in the Jurrasic age (that is, 1950s-1960s) that the best bang for the photographic buck was a clean Rolleicord III.
I don't doubt this at all, I would actually say that most TLRs would fit this description!
Congratulations to a fine camera! The Xenar is a great lens, and I like that both knobs are on the same side. It makes it a lot easier to use a big "hammer" type flash like a Metz. http://retro.ms11.net/rolleicord.jpg
Great! Now the next step that you need to take is to handle a Hasselblad. Once you have done that you will have been screwed and GAS will take over your life.
This is formal notice that you have GAS and it will increase its hold on you. Get thee to a twelve step program today before all is lost!
Ha, I have [very briefly] shot with a Hasselblad, a 500C and a ?120mm? lens and while cool, it didn't do much for me. I don't really need the interchangeable lenses and all the other system accessories (although swapping backs would be nice) which is why I love TLRs the most. I'm sure I'll go down that road some day, but I'm set for the near future.