[rollei_list] Re: Old Rolleis

  • From: `Richard Knoppow <dickburk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2019 14:50:11 -0800

I don't remember what a 117 spool looks like. 620 and 120 are quite different, 620 has a smaller core so that the entire roll is smaller in diameter. There is often not clearance for a 120 spool in a 620 camera. Sometimes modification can be simple but other cameras can require precision machining. All Rolleis used 120 except for some very early ones. By memory these may also be shorter rolls (length of the film I mean).
I have a Rolleiflex Old Standard, its a very nice, light, camera. I also have a Rolleicord IV, which to me is an ideal camera, completely utilitarian, nothing extra on it. Light and has very good ergonomics. I find it as fast to use as a 'flex. The Old Standard is the lighter of the two but only slightly. The Rolleicord IV has the parallax corrector, which I think is useful and baffled film chamber. The Xenar is very sharp, IMO as good as the Tessar.

On 12/15/2019 3:01 AM, wayne pinney wrote:

In the past couple of months I have been unable to resist purchase - prices 
unbelievably low- of: 1) old standard; 2) Rolleicord 1a; 3) Rolleicord II. I 
have been carrying one or the other of them with me every day; because I find 
that I am having more fun with these older cameras than I have with my later 
model Rolleis…………May have something to do with size and weight.

I am balking at purchase of an original ( 1929-1932) because of the 117 film 
requirement; but, I really want to try shooting one of them. I read, on web, 
that “many” of these cameras were modified , years ago, so that they could 
accept 620 and/or 120 film. Problem is, it is impossible to determine if the 
cameras for sale in the world’s biggest garage sale (Ebay) have been modified. 
I learn from John Phillips’ The Classic Rollei that the modification had to do 
with installing a larger “key” because the original key was too small for the 
hole in the ends of the 620/120 spools. He does not provide any photos or other 
illustrations of the modification in his book, nor does he go into any further 
detail concerning the matter.

If my luck runs as it usually does, I will wind up, out of ignorance, 
purchasing one of the originals that has not been modified. Any advise on the 
practical realities of shooting modern, commonly available film in these 
classic cameras will be great appreciated. If I do wind up with an unmodified 
original, is it the end of the world?, or is it still possible to perform the 
modifications necessary to use 120 or 620 spools?


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Richard Knoppow
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