Hello from Minnesota, long intro!
Hello all. In June of 2010 this happened.
My great Uncle was a photographer in Hollywood from the late
50's to the early 80's. He was more of a production photographer, like
documenting the making of a film. Some films include Some Like it Hot,
The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape, and many others.
Last summer (2010) my mom was going through a box of his cameras that
she received after his death in 1985. At the time i had a little point
and shoot Canon and really didnt know anything about cameras. Inside
were Two Rolleiflexes, three Nikon F's, a Fujica 35 Auto-M, and a Argus
slide projector. There was also a Pentax Spotmatic, which was not my
great Uncle's, but rather my Grandpa's.
So i pulled everything out and i kinda knew how to work the Nikon
cameras, because they are rather simple. I had never seen or even heard
of a "TLR," or even "Rolleiflex," before then. At first i thought the
glass was broken on the Rollei's because of the leaf shutter, for some
reason it looked broken, since id never seen one and didn't know a thing
So on to the internet to do some research and find out i did. In a
matter of a week i went from not even know where the shutter button was
on the Rollei's, to knowing almost everything about them. I found out
that one of them is a 1959 Tele-Rolleiflex 135mm F/4 Carl Zeiss Sonnar,
with a pretty low serial number for its batch. The second one is a 1962
2.8E3 80mm Xenotar, again with a pretty low serial number for its batch.
I mean the serial for the Tele starts at 2,300,000 and mine is around 2,300,020-030. So i don't know if that means anything, but i find it pretty
cool that they are pretty low.
So i got some film, which was $10 for two rolls! Loaded a roll into each
camera and starting snapping away. Firstly i was amazed at the picture
quality, being that these cameras are right around 50 years old. Another
reason i was because my Uncle died in 1985 so that could have been the
last time they were used. Fast forward 25 years later and sitting in a
box all that time could be bad for cameras, but i guess
not. They could use some TLC, but they are fully functional.
I also found out how much they could be worth in good condition and i
was surprised, though i have no intention of selling them. I am going to
use them for what they were made for... if i can continue to afford the
film for them and developing, etc. I currently have about 8 rolls of 120 to use up.
So i just wanted to share my story about my two cameras. Now i have 11 film cameras to my one digital (Nikon D5000).
I have pictures of the cameras and many of my other cameras on my Flickr:
and my Zenfolio:
Thanks for looking,
Last edited by andys93integra; 02-03-2011 at 10:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Editing of post text
I am pleased that old gear drew you in. Some people are so caught up in the advertising hype of 'new' they can't see value in things of the past.
my real name, imagine that.
Welcome to APUG. I have a Rolleiflex myself, a great camera.
Welcome to APUG. It sounds as if you have some great cameras. Have fun!
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Great story. I hope film still will be around for, at least, o couple of centuries
Welcome! I love stories of cameras being passed down!! And those old cameras work great after decades of use (or sometimes, lack of use!!) Processing your own film is a considerable cost savings, so I hope you'll keep at it.
Welcome to APUG, there's quite a few of us Minnesota members here.
That's quite a collection. Knowing the history of those Rolleis and the Nikons make them quite special.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
I am pleased that the gear found its way to you. Have fun with it. And Welcome to APUG.
Welcome to APUG.
You have a lot of film friends in Minnesota, me included. The story you told is great, and you have some fabulous cameras.
If you want to insure that those Rolleiflexes continue to serve you well, you should probably have them serviced.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh