I’m totally new to TLRs but I can already say that I really enjoy the shooting experience with them! So I’m happy to show you now five frames I took at the Hannover city park (“Stadtpark”), some of the first frames taken with my Rolleiflex 2.8E ever.
Since the outbreak of Covid, I have been avoiding travelling as much as I can. Apart from some rare and short family visits, my whole life has been taking place at home – and within a radius I’m fit enough to reach by bike. Well inside this circle sits our city park, less than four kilometers away from my house. I still try to see the situation as a challenge and a chance: revisiting places I’ve been many times before, peeling the onion and taking home some new impressions – even if they are relatively insignificant.
The Hannover City Park in Autumn
I chose the Hannover city park as I wanted to see a less common flora in its autumn costumes. And yeah, the park wouldn’t disappoint me. At the end of October, the colorfulness had reached its peak. As phases of transition, I find both spring and autumn exiting. Autumn, however, carries this sweet melancholy in it. Whereas spring bursts with life and light, autumn is a pompous farewell, to be followed by months of cold, grey and short days.
Around four o’clock, the sun was pretty low. At least I could see the sun at all – already a rather special occasion these days. Thus, quite a few people were resting on garden chairs, scattered on the park’s central lawn. But not me; I swirled around, examining trees and shrubs to see if they would provide a nice photograph.
Because I didn’t want to include people in my frames, I focused on narrow sceneries and details. A nasty thing are these info panels at the bottom, providing the plants’ botanical names: they disturb the photograph and steal the attention. So compose your frames carefully!
Rolleiflex in Action
The Rolleiflex appears like a point-and-shoot camera to me – though an old-fashioned and big one. Compared to other medium format cameras, it is not bulky or heavy at all. As you can’t change neither the lens nor the film back (looking at you, Hasselblads!), there are not that many variables to think about – easy to concentrate on your subject. Most Rolleiflex users will also tell you how much they love viewing the world through this magical square inside their waist-level finders. Holy cow, they are absolutely right! But not only the viewfinder convinced me: the whole user experience seems pleasant and unique, like Phil already pointed out on this site.
I deliberately chose a model equipped with the Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar lens, which seems less appreciated by us analog connoisseurs than its Carl Zeiss counterpart. (Head over to Casualphotophile to read Josh’s opinion on the Zeiss.) In my perception, Rolleiflexes are considered as the gold standard among mechanical medium format cameras. So at least I had opted for the odd lens option on the rather popular instrument.
I hope you enjoyed my souvenirs from the Hannover city park. Thanks for stopping by!