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photo:rolleitlr

Rollei TLR film cameras

introduction

  • the relatively compact Rolleiflex TLR designed by Reinhold Heidecke to be as compact as possible to compete with the new Leica 35mm camera
  • the first was introduced in 1928-29 and drove the popularity of 6×6 twin lens reflex film cameras in the 1930's and made his new company Rollei world famous from his factory in Brunswick, Germany
    • the 6×6 format Kodak Brownie had made “snapshots” easy from 1900 onwards and Leica had just started making 35mm cine roll film cameras popular with their 1925 camera
    • the 1st two models used 620 film and shot 6 photos per roll (12 after modification)
    • later models from the 1932 Rolleiflex Standard and onwards were designed to use the 120 film roll format which required a larger film chamber, but which was specifically designed to allow Rolleiflex's unique automatic film loading system which was introduced in the 1937 Rolleiflex Automat model
  • they were very popular for street photography, travel, and portraiture as well as for family photos
  • they were generally used hanging at waist level allowing the photographer to compose and focus by looking down and then look up to engage the subject and then capture the moment
  • a 4x4cm Rolleiflex Baby TLR using 127 film was introduced just before WWII
  • the Rolleiflex camera factory finally closed in April 2015 following insolvency auction1)

general notes on Rollei TLRs

  • Rollei bayonet lens filters
  • automatic compensation for parallax by moving frames under the ground glass
  • models from the 1960's onwards used a glass plate to help keep the film flat but these tended to attract dirt and cause image artefacts, and the design encouraged them to fall to the ground and break when being removed for cleaning, thus these are hard to find
  • optional quick-release tripod plate “ Rolleifix ” (highly recommended)

4 main model groups of the 1960's and 1970's:

  • Rolleicord Va/Vb:
  • Rolleiflex T:
    • made 1958-1976
    • Rollei bayonet I lens filters
    • f/2.8 Heidosmat viewing lens
    • 1020g
  • Rolleiflex 3.5F / 2.8F:
    • made 1958-1981
    • Rollei bayonet lens filters - II for f/3.5 & III for f/2.8
    • f/2.8 Heidosmat viewing lens
    • coupled exposure metering - 2 needles - one showing light meter EV reading, the other, the aperture/shutter speed EV setting - the use adjusted shutter speed &/or aperture so the needles matched
    • removable focus hood
    • cheaper to build 6 element lens instead of 5 element
    • 3.5F had a new differential Synchro-Compur shutter, early models had F-type 1 which linked aperture and shutter speed whereas the later type 2 allowed user to dial these independently while a later F-Type 3 removed the EVS altogether
    • the 2.8F shutter used the better Synchro-Compur MXV and the F-type 3 cone-wheel differential system
    • still had the old automatic film loading system
    • 1220g
  • Rolleiflex 2.8 GX / 2.8 FX:
    • made 1987-2002
    • Rollei bayonet III lens filters
    • no mechanical self-timer and no M synch but standard flash shoe
    • some had Metz TTL flash capability
    • LED meter readout
    • replaced the automatic film loading system with a similar transport mechanism as the 1958-1975 Rolleiflex T model and the Rolleicords - a mark on the backing paper has to be aligned with a red dot in the camera while loading the film
    • the FX model was a “retro” styled model
    • f/2.8 Heidosmat viewing lens
    • 1235g

brief timeline of models

  • 1929:
    • First and Second models Rolleiflex 6×6 TLR
      • used 620 film
  • 1932:
    • Rolleiflex Standard TLR
      • the 1st model to use 120 film
  • 1937:
    • Rolleiflex Automat TLR
      • no PC sync flash connection but world 1st and unique automatic film loading system
  • 1950:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8A TLR
      • A designates for the American market as they were the only ones who could afford the much more expensive f/2.8 Tessar Carl Zeiss Jena Opton lens version
      • added an X flash synch contact
    • Rolleicord III TLR
      • budget model
  • 1952:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8C TLR
      • it became hard to get the lenses for the 2.8A and 2.8B from Russia occupied East Germany and so they made the C version using West German Zeiss Oberkochen Planar lens and some using Schneider Xenotar lenses when there were shortages of the Zeiss lenses
  • 1953:
    • Rolleicord IV TLR
  • 1955:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8D TLR
      • added the Exposure Value System (EVS) for adjusting aperture, shutter speed using a hand held light meter
    • Rolleicord V TLR
  • 1956:
    • Rolleiflex 3.5C or E
      • built on the EVS, with an option for an uncoupled E-type selenium cell Gossen light meter
  • 1957:
    • Rolleicord Va TLR
    • Rolleiflex 4×4 TLR for 127 film
  • 1959:
    • Tele-Rolleiflex TLR
      • in response to the interchangeable lens Mamiya twin lens reflex film cameras, Rollei introduced this model with a fixed 135mm f/4 Sonnar lens and in 1961, a wide angle model
      • close focus to 2.6m - closer if use the optional Rolleinar 0.35 close-up lens
      • detachable finder hood
      • 1st version had Flat glass and a pressure plate having three positions: 35 mm film, 120 film with, and 120 film without Flat glass
      • Transition version adds 12/24 exposure capability
      • 2nd version: removes flat glass
      • did not sell well
    • Rolleiflex 3.5E-2 TLR
    • Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR
      • the F model introduced coupled exposure metering and removable focus hood
  • 1960:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8F TLR
    • Rollei Magic - battery-less automatic exposure system
  • 1961:
    • Wide-Angle Rollei TLR - fixed 55mm f/4.0 Distagon lens
  • 1962:
    • Rollei Magic II
    • Rolleicord Vb TLR
  • 1966:
    • Rolleiflex SL 66 SLR - Rollei's 1st 6×6 SLR
  • 1984:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8F Platin TLR
  • 1987:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8 GX TLR - adds TTL exposure and flash metering (SCA 300) and replaced the automatic film loading system with a similar transport mechamism as the 1958-1975 Rolleiflex T model
    • Rolleiflex 2.8 GX Edition TLR
  • 1988:
    • Rolleiflex 6008 - Rollei's 1st of the 6000 series of 6×6 SLRs
  • 1991:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8 GX H. Newton TLR
  • 2003/2004:
    • Rolleiflex 2.8FW
      • 50 mm Schneider Super-Angulon 4.0 taking lens
      • no Newton finder
      • no frame finder
    • Rolleiflex 2.8FT
      • 4/135 lens with a bayonet IV mount now close focus to 1.1m
photo/rolleitlr.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/14 06:34 by gary1