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Monday, November 19

TLR Versatility



The abilities of the Rolleiflex TLR never cease to amaze me. It's only rarely, if I'm out with just the Rollei, that I ever feel the need for anything else. This is surprising when you consider it has a fixed, standard lens.

The two pics in this post, taken a couple of weeks ago, show how it can give the appearance of a wide angle lens - or at least a lens wider than it's 80mm Planar. It's this versatility that marks it out, as I've written in the past, as a great walkabout camera. In fairness, these pics rely on the effects of linear perspective for the wide angle look and the square format helps as well. But the TLR is capable of more than just capturing converging parallel lines.

Both of these photographs were taken on what has now become my standard film, Fomapan 100, and developed in D76 1+1.


15 comments :

Dave Green said...

Hi Bruce. Lovely images, especially like the first one...love those converging lines. I keep looking out for a Rolleiflex but there are so many types out there. Any recommendations for a TLR virgin :-)

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Thanks, Dave. This might sound an odd suggestion but you might want to try a Mamiya C330 and 80mm lens. Rolleis are lovely but they're really expensive and, being mostly very old, there's no guarantee they'll be working properly. Mamiyas are a bit younger and having interchangeable lenses you can always pick up a cheap lens should the original malfunction. If you get right into it, you can always buy other lenses. A C330 with 55mm, 80mm and 180mm lenses is quite an outfit.

steve said...

"really expensive and, being mostly very old"
You can get a 'cord for $250~ish and "mostly very old"? my 2012 2.8FX is only 6 months old?

I have a C330 and it's a great camera, but really heavy to carry around. Another good option is Yashicamat 124G.

Great shots in this post I was very interested to see you are using Fomapan, I just bought some in 400iso. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this film? I've never used it before.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Hi Steve,

I always loved the gutsy tones of Plus X but, sadly, it disappeared during my digital phase. When I started using film again I wanted to find the Plus X look and Fomapan 100 in Rodinal was quite similar. It's a combination that gives rich tones with good contrast. I do most of my shooting on dreich, cloudy and rainy days so I need something that's quite contrasty otherwise all my negs would be flat.

I haven't tried Fomapan 400 but I'd imagine it will be similar. Might be worthwhile trying it with D76 for finer grain unless you're using medium format or larger.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

As for the TLR issue, I said "mostly" old for exactly the reason that there are some newer Rolleiflex cameras available. :-)

The Rolleicord and 124G are alternatives but I'd rather have a C330 than either of those. Yes, the Rolleicord and 124G are lighter but sometimes you have to suffer for your art. You're right, though, that they're quite reasonably priced. I haven't done any checking but I'd imagine they would be on a par with the C330?

Dave Green said...

Thanks Bruce and Steve. I have looked at the C220/C330 range, heard they are comparatively heavy too. I think I've caught the lure of Rollei tho :-) but I will read up on alternatives. Thanks for the tip.

Re Fomapan 100... I tested a roll the other week and was very pleased by the result. I dev'd in Rodinal 1:100 stand. First time I'd tried that too!

Neal said...

Cool stuff.

If you are after a Rolleiflex some of the 3.5 models can be had cheaply. I see some Rolleiflex T's on ebay from time to time under $400.

I still haven't opened a pack of Fomapan 100 4x5 that I bought a little while back, so slack. I better get into it I keep seeing lovely results from Foma films.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

I've got a different problem with 5x4 Foma, Neal. I ordered some from AG Photographic about two months ago but they don't have it in stock yet!

Jon H said...

I really miss my Rolleiflex. It's been interesting seeing the excellent work of Vivian Maier http://www.vivianmaier.com all on a Rolleiflex

I've just started my own blog which you asked about in a previous post. If you are interested it's at http://someoldnegs.blogspot.co.uk

I'm very new to this so please be patient!

Omar Özenir hakkında said...

http://someoldnegs.blogspot.co.uk/...now *that* is very interesting, and it's just started. Looking forward to much more! Thanks for this Jon.

"That will be £3.50 please."...great :)

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Jon,

Loved your first post! Would it be OK if I wrote a post about it? There are some people who don't read the comments and I wouldn't like them to miss out.

Your journey from rock star photographer to Anglican vicar sounds like it should be a cracker!

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Jon,

Loved your first post! Would it be OK if I wrote a post about it? There are some people who don't read the comments and I wouldn't like them to miss out.

Your journey from rock star photographer to Anglican vicar sounds like it should be a cracker!

Jon Hoffmann said...

Thank you Omar. You have made me really smile. Read your post about Istanbul with Bruce with interest as I was there not all that long ago. Absolutely loved the place, although little time to take photographs, hopefully will return

Jon Hoffmann said...

Bruce, I really appreciate your generous comment. Very happy for you to do a post. No idea where my blog is going, but for some reason need to do it

Gracjan said...

Totally agreed. For me, my Rolleicord is a point&shoot camera, used even for family snapshots. :) I carry it with me from time to time instead of digital compact. You can see some pictures on my website at http://photoblog.gracjan.art.pl/