At the beginning of this year I found myself in one of Japan’s second hand camera shops. Wherein I fell in love with a Rolleicord II. It seemed as if it was meant to be for I have never owned a medium format camera before. Being in a foreign country, this seemed like a faultless opportunity for me to try new things.
The Rolleicord IIA sports a (three element 75mm f3.5 Carl Zeiss Triotar as it’s taking lens. I found this lens to produce a more soft/dreamy like feel to the photos. However when stopped down the lens almost competes in sharpness neck to neck with its contender the (four element) 75mm 3.5 Schneider Xenar which is flaunted on the later model Rolleicords.
Being manufactured in 1937 the shutter speeds aren’t anything such as ground breaking. However, they are sufficient enough ranging from 1-1/300th sec, which also includes a bulb setting. I found shooting street photography on the Rollei TLR to be challenging but unfathomably stealthy. Shooting from near waist height with a flipped mirror image isn’t easy to get used to by any means. Although once I got the hang of it I felt almost invisible to any subject as people didn’t seem to notice me taking a shot.
Even though the Rolleicord doesn’t look and feel as aesthetically pleasing as its successor the Rolleiflex, it still holds its own and is a worthy medium format TLR. Here’s a few shots using Fuji Pro 400H.
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