My new Rolleicord

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by Griemersma, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Griemersma

    Griemersma One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Covington, GA
    After reading the thread a few days ago about the Rollei MiniDigi, I started to do some research about the "old school" medium format cameras. I previously considered getting an old Zeiss Ikonata or something similar but finally narrowed my search down to either a Rolleicord or a Yashica Mat. Anyhow, as luck would have it, I won this auction:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...70008950681&rd=1&sspagename=STRK:MEWN:IT&rd=1

    So now I have my first vintage camera, and for only about $50. Does anyone here have any experience with these? Any pointers for getting started? I know a little bit about shooting and processing B & W, but that was almost 10 years ago and I was using my school's equipment and chemistry. I would like to at least process my own film, but is it really expensive to do on your own?

    --G.R.
     
  2. skillbilly

    skillbilly One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Alameda, CA (The Isle of Style)
    Nice camera

    You got that for a good price. I used to have one of those. Still have the yashica mat. It's far cheaper in the long run to process your own black & white film. You can always find enlargers cheap nowadays and if your good to your chemicals, you can get a lot of use out of them. First thing is to shoot a test roll to make sure the camera is working as it should and has no light leaks. Then just practice your developing. It's all tempurature and timing. Don't practice with photos you want to keep.

    It's a world of difference shooting with bigger negatives and old cameras.

    Have fun and let us see the results!
     
  3. RedShoesGirl

    RedShoesGirl One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    mojave desert california
    make sure you find out what the law is regarding the disposal of photo chemicals, in particular the "fixer". it is full of silver by the time it is exhausted and i am not sure you can just dump it down the sewer any more. there are places that specialize in recovering the silver from the fixer. those chemicals might be considered hazardous waste now.

    it is not expensive to process your own film but there is a learning curve to it and to making quality images. it is all very time consuming. creating a working darkroom is not cheap either if you decide to make your own prints. not sure what paper costs anymore as i went digital a long time ago! or i have a pro lab process my slide film.

    if you go ahead have fun and be sure to share the results.

    rsg
     
  4. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,834
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I have heard of no restrictions on dumping fixer into the sewers - in New York State, anyway. The amounts of silver we're talking here are miniscule unless you do huge amounts of printing, or super-large prints. (Back when silver became valuable in the 70s, my pro-photog parents put a silver reclamation device into their huge - 3x4 foot, 8-inch deep - fixer tray. But it took *months* of making scores, and often hundreds, of prints of each weekday for a visible amount of silver to be extracted.)

    And I beg to disagree about equipment costs. In the mad rush to digital, people are *giving away* enlargers, safelights, trays, timers, etc., all over the place. Even the average costs of most old-school photo equipment on eBay or from the big used-equipment dealers (KEH, etc.) have dropped in the last couple of years. If you're lucky, you can get started very cheaply. Material costs are a separate issue: as the market shrinks, film, paper, and chemistry will continue to become more expensive.

    Learning basic b/w processing and printing is very easy, especially if you start with the older materials with greater latitude (e.g., Tri-X film and D-76 developer). It's not rocket science! But I agree that becoming *really good* at it takes a lot of practice...

    You should definitely give it a shot: you can produce stunning results from that Rolleicord!
     
  5. Burma Shave

    Burma Shave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Columbia SC
    It isn't illegal

    ...to dump chemicals down the sink (at least, not yet) but it may be a bad idea, depending on what kind of disposal you have. Some darkroom chemicals, especially the highly acidic stop bath typically used, are incompatible with septic tanks. Essentially, they kill the organisms that aid in the decomposition process. After a while, given the continued presence of the chemistry, the septic tank can become a mere holding tank for, um, refuse, rather than a waystation as it filters into the ground. Not a good thing. Make sure you're on sewer system before spending the money.

    As for the money, I just set up a darkroom (again) and was able to get everything from film processing tank to enlarger for less than $300 -- and I got a good Beseler 4x5 enlarger with color head. That figure includes my first batch of chemistry, with which I've developed more than 40 rolls of film in the past 2-3 months. I have not yet printed anything on this setup.

    My local darkroom charges about $6.00 for developing a roll of black and white film. $6x40 rolls is $240, plus tax. The money I've saved already has almost paid for my equipment. Add the fact that most darkrooms develop all films together (not taking time/temp/etc. into consideration) and I'm also confident that my negs are more appropriately developed than those at the lab.

    I'd encourage anyone interested in photo work to put in some time with a darkroom. Not only is it a historically interesting pastime (which will appeal to folks on this forum) but it also is a good way to learn to respect photography. You'll pay more attention to how photos are created when you are an integral part in the creation process.

    Oh, and Nice Rollei. I've had a couple of those, as well as a Rolleiflex. Good stuff, all around -- though usually a bit soft focus when opened up past f/8 or so. If you stay with the smaller apertures (f/11 and above) you'll probably enjoy much better results, assuming detail is what you're going for.
     
  6. airfrogusmc

    airfrogusmc Suspended

    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    Oak Park Illinois
    "...to dump chemicals down the sink (at least, not yet) but it may be a bad idea, depending on what kind of disposal you have. Some darkroom chemicals, especially the highly acidic stop bath typically used, are incompatible with septic tanks. Essentially, they kill the organisms that aid in the decomposition process. After a while, given the continued presence of the chemistry, the septic tank can become a mere holding tank for, um, refuse, rather than a waystation as it filters into the ground. Not a good thing. Make sure you're on sewer system before spending the money."

    An orange has more acid than Kodak indictor stop bath in its duluted form....
     
  7. airfrogusmc

    airfrogusmc Suspended

    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    Oak Park Illinois
    Oh great camera by the way. Actually it was allot of the color process that were very harmful to the environment. Cibachrome(prints from transparencies) was really BAD!!!! The great thing about the new technology is you have way more control with color(photoshop)than you ever had with old color processes. I still have yet to see anything that comes close (in the ink jet world) to a palladium or a beautiful silver gelatin print.
     
  8. Quigley Brown

    Quigley Brown Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,745
    Location:
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Yeah, but a Nikon Coolscan for medium format film costs around $2000.
     
  9. airfrogusmc

    airfrogusmc Suspended

    Messages:
    752
    Location:
    Oak Park Illinois
    Still kick'n myself for getting rid of all my 500 C/Ms. Do really like the Canon EOS 5D though. 9.7 X 14.56 images at 300 dpi......
     
  10. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,500
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Pre-war Rollieflex

    I thought you may be interested in my 1931 Rollieflex. It has a story behind it as it started WW2 on the Axis side and ended on the Allied side.

    Here it is, with its case, still in good condition. It takes great B&W photos!
    And below it is Uncle's Kodak Brownie Hawkeye No. 2.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Alan
     
  11. Brevet

    Brevet New in Town

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Bath, England
    I've a Yashicamat I bought a few years ago. It doesn't get used loads, but I put a roll through it fairly regulalry and the images it produces are just superb. Obviously the large negatives help, but I find the clarity of the lens and tonality it can produce with good filmstock constantly amases me.

    Funnily, I used to work in photo retail, and having gone toward digital, I got rid of all the 'modern' technology and now have the Yashicamat and a Nikon FM3a (manual 35mm) with prime Nikon lenses. I have to say, I have not looked back at those technologically amazing trinkets since!
     

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