Rolleiflex 2.8 E3

The first Rolleiflex was produced in 1928 with a 75mm f4.5 Zeiss Tessar lens according to “Rollei Photography c1952” by Jacob Deschin. My version however is a 2.8 E3 that was likely produced between 1962 and 1965. My E3 has the Schneider Kreuznach Xenotar 1:2.8/80 taking lens. When handled correctly, as in supported stably and exposed well, the images produced have an amazing amount of detail and depth to them.

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Most of these pictures were taken under pretty adverse conditions with high winds and pelting rain forcing me to use a golf umbrella that was eventually turned inside out by a gust. Never the less the camera did not let me down.

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A TLR (twin-lens reflex) is in essence two camera together one for viewing the image and one for taking the picture. The image from the viewing lens is formed on the ground glass after bouncing off the internal fixed mirror. This results in an image that is right side up but reversed from left to right. This takes some getting used to because turning the camera one way or the other has the opposite effect on the screen. Because the mirror is fixed, unlike an SLR, there is negligible camera shake as the leaf shutter is tripped. The captured image is recorded on 120 film as 6cm by 6cm, this square format also takes some getting used to for composition but is a nice break from the traditional rectangular formats of most other cameras. Every aspect of this camera exudes quality it is the standard by which I judge other cameras.

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