See also the article Rolleiflex.
|Rolleiflex 622 image by Colin J Clarke (Image rights)|
The Rolleiflex original standard model was made by Franke & Heidecke in Braunschweig, Germany from 1932 to 1938. This camera is also referred to as the "Old Standard". Obviously, this was not the name at the introduction, it became known by this name after the introduction of the New Standard in 1939. These names are not to be found anywhere on the camera; Rolleiflexes are generally dated and identified by serial numbers. War photographer and Magnum co-founder Robert Capa used a Rolleiflex Old Standard and a Contax during WW II.
Franke & Heidecke had introduced the TLR design in 1929 with their Original Rolleiflex 6x6. The Old Standard had several improvements over the original model, like lever film transport, an amazing sportsfinder and improved shutter speeds.
|Rolleiflex 621 image by Malte Grimm (Image rights)|
- 620 (1932-34) with shutter Compur 1-1/300 +T & B and Tessar 75mm f/4.5 lens
- 621 (1932-35) with shutter Compur 1-1/300 +T & B and Tessar 75mm f/3.8 lens
- 622 (1932-38) with shutter Compur-Rapid 1-1/500 +T & B and Tessar 75mm f/3.5 lens
This is the best part about this Rolleiflex. When looking into the waist level finder, you find a relatively clear ground glass screen. To help prevent falling buildings in your pictures, this Rolleiflex has a built-in spirit-level, visible in the finder. In German it's called a Libelle. The sportsfinder is an advanced design. When looking through the opening, you see a cross with a little concave mirror in the middle. There's a small hole in this mirror. The iris of your eye is reflected in the mirror and the small hole helps you center your object in the frame.
The shutter is a Compur-Rapid B, 1-500. The international shutter speed series is displayed, with the exception of 1/250s which is shown as 1/300s. Reportedly versions with a B, T, 1-300 Compur shutter also exist. Shutter speed and aperture are visible in a window on top of the camera. On later Rolleiflexes they're set by two wheels on either side. On this model they're set by two levers around the taking lens. The shutter is operated by a sort of pendulum below this lens. It is set by a right-to-left swing and fired by a left-to-right movement.
Lens and focus
The Old Standard has a Heidoscop-Anastigmat 75/3.1 viewing lens and an uncoated Carl Zeiss Tessar 75 with maximum apertures of 3.5, 3.8 of 4.5. Focusing knob is engraved with distances from 1.7m to infinity. Its is surrounded by a depth of field scale. It is however possible to turn the knob a second turn for closer focusing. The distances below 1.7m are not marked on the scale, but you still can focus on them. This is not a malfunction; its operation is described in the manual. Lenses do not yet have a bayonet mount, they accept push-on filters and hoods.
Film formats, backs and transport
The manual states that it takes 2 1/4 ×2 1/4 inch pictures on B II film. The camera accepts 120 film. The hinged back could be replaced by plate-adapters. The Rolleiflex Old Standard introduced lever advance of the film. The earlier model, the Rolleiflex Original had had a knob. Along with the lever came a framecounter that blocks after 12 shots. It then has to be reset to completely wind the film. There's no red window in the back to check how many shots you've taken. Transporting the film does not cock the shutter. Some of the earliest cameras had the red window on & under the back.
- Produced between May 1939 - July 1941
- Serials: 805.000 - 927.999http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/images/Rollei-Rolleiflex-New-Standard-(prototype).jpg
- Taking Lens: Zeiss Tessar 3,5/75 filter Bayonet I
- Finder lens: Heidoscop Anastigmat 3,1/75mm filter Bayonet I
- Shutter: Compur-Rapid, 1 - 1/500 + T & B.
- Film: 6x6: B II 8 (120) & 35mm with Rolleikin I adapter set.
- Film Transportation: winding lever, film counter; red window for spooling to first frame on bottom of back, film pressure plate without color coating. Lever also cocks the shutter. Double exposure prevention.
- Weight: 876g
This model has a hinged back with exposure guide. The camera could be used with Rolleikin I to use 35mm film & with the special glass plate film adapter.
- Indentifying your Rolleiflex by serial number