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Thursday, September 15

Recommissioned Rolleiflex


I've had my 1963 Rollei 2.8F for about 28 years having swapped a Nikon MD2/MB1 motor drive for it when I was in my early twenties. I've written before that it would be my choice if I could only use one camera for the rest of my days. It's in pretty good condition considering its age and the amount of use it's had but it had a few "issues" that needed to be sorted out.

These included sticky slow shutter speeds, a loose screw rattling around in the lens panel, missing leather on the front of the lens panel and a broken depth of field indicator, a narrow, white band that sits atop the focusing knob and contracts and expands to show how much is in focus. In short, it wasn't really usable.

Now, my 2.8F's been restored to full working order courtesy of Rollei repair expert Brian Mickelboro. I plan to make a lot of use of the camera as I'd like to concentrate on 120 for my film work. I've got a Rolleiflex SL66E outfit that will be the mainstay but it's too heavy to lug around and will probably remain car-bound when I'm out and about. The TLR will be the one I sling over a shoulder when going for a walk.

I've shot my first roll of 120 film with the TLR and the results are up the usual high standard I've come to expect from the 80mm Planar lens. I managed to over-expose a few frames though so that's something I'll be keeping a close eye on in future. They're not disastrous but they would have been worse if I hadn't been using Barry Thornton's two-bath developer which has helped to restrict the highlights to something quite manageable.



Having described in the first post the problem I've had getting my scanner to work, I decided to hook it up to my laptop rather than my desktop computer and it's working - sort of - again. I hate scanning negs and never seem to get very good quality from them even though I know they're sharp and fine-grained. Anyway, I've included one in this post just to let you see the sort of stuff I'm doing at the moment. It was shot on Adox 50CHS Art and developed in the two-bath.

Extended depth of field is greatly over-rated in my opinion so I'm concentrating on shallow depth, shooting wide open or just a stop or two down. I think this is the way the human eye sees: when you look at something you're not really conscious of all the stuff in the background. I'm also looking out for wee vignettes rather than sweeping landscapes and have a definite idea in my mind's eye of the type of subjects I'm after. Of course, it's the translation of that image onto a 6x6cm piece of film that's the hard bit and what makes photography so fascinating.

2 comments :

pentapete said...

I got a 1962 2.8 F Planar from a Camera Club member some yeard ago for £250-00 with leathercase and the Incident light attachment -- I found it was not sharp -- teh focus screeen was in upside down !! Then the shutter stuck - so I told him -- I took it to LONDON to the actual ROLLEI centre which was open then and it cost £50-00 for CLA then -- he let me off the £50-00 so it cost me £200-00 -- I did a lot of weddings with it and got my money back !
I have picked up several more ROLLEIS since -- two given FREE a 1959 2.8 E2 Xenotar and a 3.5 F E Planar ! I noticed in some of my wedding groups at f5.6 the 2.8F Planar was not sharp all across of the people -- a fellow Pro friend from my latest Club told me the 2.8F Planar suffers from 'Curvature of Field' -- I must admit the 3.5F is easier to get all sharp - do you find this ?

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