August 23, 2020
Rolleiflex Automat 6x6 - Model K4B. Made in Germany by Franke & Heidecke. Introduced 1954 - Discontinued 1956.
I could write about the brilliance of the Rolleiflex but there is an excellently written history on the Rollei Club Website so I suggest you read about it there.
I bought this camera at King's Parade Photographic in Cambridge. As a young photographer the fact that it was affordable but had been known to be used by photographic icons Walter Evans, Bert Hardy and Cecil Beaton, to name a few, drew me to it. It's a great camera to use out and about because it's so lightweight. I took it with me on a college field trip to the Isle of Skye where I walked for miles and used it for the later additions to my series 'Ordinary Places.' I also took it on my first long haul flight on a jet plane to Hong Kong.
It was the first medium format camera that that I owned, it's beautifully sharp allowing you to make big enlargements. I just made a print of 'Daisy's Kitchen' in my darkroom this weekend and the print reminded me of just how excellent quality the Zeiss Tessa 3,5/75 Lens are.
In all honesty for all it's for excellent qualities there are some limitations to the using the Rolleiflex which I have noted below.
1. You can't change the lens so to use in a variety of situations you need a variety of cameras.
2. With the Rolleiflex twin lens camera the top lens is for viewing and the bottom lens is for taking. In close up situations the height difference between the two lenses means you must consider certain factors and apply them to compensate for this when you take a shot, it's really not just a point and shoot. The consequence of this is they don't work great close up.
3. No depth of field preview through the lens, so you would have to use experience to imagine the outcome.
I have a huge emotional attachment to this camera, whereas I see my other cameras as pieces of equipment, this was my main camera for a while and the relationship I have with it, connects to a certain period of life makes me feel differently about it.
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