Rolleiflex - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Rolleiflex

1928

Original model

Franke & Heidecke

Braunschweig

Germany

Image of Rolleiflex

Lens:
f3.8, 7.5 cm Tessar. Iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 998564 (1929).

Viewing lens: f3.1, 7.5cm Heidoscop Anastigmat. Serial no. 38292 .

Shutter:
Rim-set Compur, speeds 1 - 1/300, B, T.

Construction:
Leather covered metal body.

Format:
6, 6 x 6 cm exposures on B1 (117) roll-film.

Focusing:
To 4 feet.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen without condenser or cross hairs. Focusing magnifier. Mirror in hood for eye-level viewing. Spirit level in lower right corner of screen.
Film advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Identification:
Removable back without hinge. Index line in red window. Leather wind-on knob. No cable release holder on camera front. Attached plate strap retainers. High/low strap retainers. Metal rim to back. Aluminium pressure plate. No calibration to focusing knob.

Serial Number:
37745 , Internal body number: 7027.

With:
Lens caps. Case, upright box type, marked Rolleiflex.

Rolleiflex

1928

Original model

Franke & Heidecke

Braunschweig

Germany

Image of Rolleiflex

Lens:
f3.8, 7.5 cm Tessar. Iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 1103331 (1930).

Viewing lens: f3.1, 7.5 cm Heidoscop Anastigmat. Internal viewing lens number: 16339. Serial no. 61732 .

Shutter:
Rim-set Compur, speeds 1 - 1/300, B, T. Serial no. 2135342.

Construction:
Leather covered metal body.

Format:
6, 6 x 6 cm exposures on B1 (117) roll-film.

Focusing:
To 4 feet.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen without condenser or cross hairs. Focusing magnifier. Mirror in hood for eye-level viewing. Spirit level in lower right corner of screen.
Film advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Identification:
Removable back without hinge. Index line in red window. Leather wind-on knob. Cable release holder on camera front. Attached plate strap retainers. High/low strap retainers.

Serial Number:
61757 , Internal body number: 016534.

Notes:
Date on mirror 22/7/30.

With:
Lens caps on cord. Lens hood, version without catches, in leather pouch. Cable release. Case, upright box type marked Rolleiflex, Neck strap.

Rolleiflex

1928

Original model

Franke & Heidecke

Braunschweig

Germany

Lens:
f4.5, 7.5 cm Tessar. Iris diaphragm to f32. Serial no. 1208062 (c. 1931).

Viewing lens: f3.1, 7.5 cm Heidoscop Anastigmat. Serial no. 73868 .

Shutter:
Rim-set Compur, speeds 1 - 1/300, B, T. Serial no. 2223251.

Construction:
Leather covered metal body.

Format:
6, 6 x 6 cm exposures on B1 (117) roll-film.

Focusing:
To 4 feet.

Attributes:
Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen without condenser or cross hairs. Focusing magnifier. Mirror in hood for eye-level viewing. Spirit level in lower right corner of screen.
Film advance indicated by red window, not coupled to shutter.

Identification:
Removable back with hinge. Index line in red window. Metal wind-on knob. Cable release holder on camera front. High strap retainers.

Serial Number:
76179 , Internal body number 020485.

Notes:
Date on mirror 22.10.30.

With:
Lens caps on string.

The Rolleiflex is the first of the modern twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras. Several large wooden TLRs were produced in the 1890s and continued to be sold until the late 1910s. In contrast the Rolleiflex was a small metal camera which proved very popular with many similar cameras being produced by Franke & Heidecke and other makers. The general construction and many parts of the camera are similar to the earlier Rolleidoscop stereoscopic camera by F&H.

The Original model was produced in two versions, having either an f4.5 or f3.8 lens. The price with an f3.8 lens was 18.15.0.

Variations

There are several minor variations of the original model:

  • Hinged back (late).
  • Cast strap retainers (very early), or an attached plate, or incorporated into back retaining spring (very late).
  • With or without index line across red window.
  • Leather insert in focusing knob (early), metal insert (late).
  • Cable release holder on front panel (late).
  • 'High and Low' positions for strap lugs (early). Both high (late).
  • Film roller guide near film spool (late).
  • Focusing knob without calibration (early).
  • Black pressure plate (very early), later aluminium finish.
  • Leather carried around edge of the camera back (very early) later backs have a painted metal rim.

The Original was designed to take 117 film, when this became obsolete and many cameras were converted to take 620 spools.

References & Notes:
BJA 1930. pp. 338, 666. BJA 1931, p. 621. AP 21/8/1929, pp. 23, xi. Lothrop, Century, p. 139. Pearlman, Rollei Manual, 3rd ed. p. 16.

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