For the last year or so I’ve been thinking of getting a medium format film camera, specifically a vintage Rolleicord. The reason for this is that I have strong memories of my Grandfather carrying around his Rolleicord wherever he went. I figured it would be a neat way to improve my skill as a photographer as well as a way to honor his memory.
Well,the other day, after several weeks of watching various Rolleicord auctions on eBay (and bidding on several cameras without winning) I made a last second bid on a vintage Rolleicord TLR camera…and won!
Here’s an image of the camera that I won, as taken from the auction’s listing:
The serial number is 1922015, which according to RolleiClub, means it is a Rolleicord Va Model 2, which means it was manufactured sometime between March, 1958 and January,1961. That makes the camera a few years older than me, which is definitely vintage!
My winning bid was $157.50, which is on the lower end of the range for this particular camera. The camera is coming from a shop in the Netherlands which specializes in Rollei cameras. I have every reason to believe that the camera is as advertised (good condition and fully-functional), but with everything purchased on eBay, it is a bit of “buyer beware”. I have been using eBay since 1999 and have yet to have an issue with anything I’ve purchased or sold. I’m hoping this purchase is the same.
The camera should arrive in the next 10 days or so. Between now and then I have some work to do as far as learning how to operate the camera, getting some 120 film to use in it, as well as brush up on using a pretty much completely manual camera.
There is no light meter on the camera so I will be trying my best to get the exposure set properly using the “Sunny 16 Rule” to start off with. My desire is to NOT use a light meter, but rather to improve my skill at setting the correct exposure using my own eyes. It expect it to be a challenge at first but hopefully I can improve fairly quickly.
The camera has a shutter-speed range of 1-second to 1/500 second as well as a bulb setting. The lens is a f/3.5 75mm. I plan on starting out with B&W film and sending the film to a lab for processing. If I really enjoy using the camera I may consider developing my own film but that’s a ways off. I will be purchasing a scanner so I can digitize the negatives and share/print them out.
That’s about it for now. I’ll definitely post an update (with photos) when I get the camera up and working. Until then, if any of you have any tips or suggestions for me, I’m all ears. Just let me know in the comments.