Reminiscing with the Rolleiflex

I have been slowly sorting out the spare bedroom at home. It was my B&W darkroom for a while until I got the digital photography bug, I’m now finding myself drifting enjoyably back to film photography. I keep getting dreadfully waylaid when sifting through the stuff that I’ve put away in that spare room.  One of the items that caught my attention was an old negative file of 6x6cm negs from my Rolleiflex 3.5, that then got me to thinking of how I came to be the owner of the Rollei.

My Printroom (mid 1980’s)
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I worked at a large electrical engineering company as Reprographics Manager during the best part of the 1980’s. I can see in the photograph above a Xerox 9400 copier (state of the art at that time) a Victory Kidder guillotine and Kodak Verilith platemaker, both quite old hat but they did the job. The Rolleiflex was the go to camera for staff leaving do’s, presentations, and passport photo’s. It had had a hard life, so the decision was made to replace all of the camera equipment in the photographic department with new state of the art gear. From memory that included a Mamiya RB67, Mamiya c330 (Rollei replacement) ToyoView 5″x 4″ camera and a DeVere 504 enlarger. So the Rollei came up for grabs, and my senior manager asked me if I would like to buy it for £5, well I bit his hand off, and thats how I got my lovely Rolleiflex.

Some of the bits that came with the Rollei
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I was (very much so in the 1980’s) and still am learning about photography. I couldn’t wait to try the camera out, it was a totally different experience from the Zenith E that I had at the time !!!!

Sir Nigel Gresley (1985) Stratford upon Avon
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I only know what date this was by looking up the information on the web. It was January 1985. But I can remember that the weather was cold, dull, and misty.

North Devon (1985)
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Leicestershire nr Whitwick (1989)
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The Cosmos Fisheye attachment (1990)
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I think thats the top of my head in upper part of the frame !

My Meopta Enlarger
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The Meopta enlarger is still set up in the spare room gathering dust and cobwebs, I plan on starting to print some of my images later this year.

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I will have to read this excellent book by the late Gene Nocon again before I start dunking paper into chemicals.

About 5 years ago I had the Rollei CLA’d as the slow shutter speeds were sticky, so I think it’s time to start using it once more.

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2 thoughts on “Reminiscing with the Rolleiflex

  1. Jim Grey

    I went to work at the end of the 80s for a company that had a Xerox 9400. I worked in tech pubs and used to submit work to the operator for reproduction for our customers. Giant beast of a machine, it was. Haven’t seen one since.

    A Rolleiflex for 5 pounds? Holy cow, you realize you used up 80% of your lifetime of luck in that one transaction, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. conspicari Post author

      Hello Jim, used to do lots of work for tech pubs and the tendering dept, yes they were a beast of a machine but really churned the work out. Lol yes very lucky to have picked that Rollei up for £5, counting my blessings still.

      Like

      Reply

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