Rolleicord Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera.

by John Waco Jr September. 29, 2019 143 views

This was my father’s camera he worked with it for over 20 years. How does this camera with a design dating back to 1928 and a lens dating back to 1902 compare to a modern DSLR? I recently had a chance to find out. While I was taking my Golden Gate picture with the Rolle. I was taking a very similar shot with a 10D and 24-85 zoom. EXIF data shows 24mm, 1/60 sec, f16 and ISO 100. A nice clear and sharp picture as you’d expect from that combination. I scanned my neg as a 6000x6000 pixel greyscale image. Although the Rollei scan is very grainy - grain like golf balls - there’s much more detail in the 6x6 neg than Linda’s 6.3Mpx file. Remember this isn’t technically a good neg, the grain is limiting the resolution.

My later scans from correctly exposed and processed FP4 show minimal grain. If the current 6-8 mega pixel digital cameras are close to or equal to film quality, we’re only talking about 35mm film. This old classic puts the $1500 DSLR in the shade. That’s the medium format advantage. The 16 megapixel EOS 1DSmk2 might be a closer match, that’ll cost you $5,500 with a 50mm f1.4 lens. That’s approx. 36x the price of a 40+ year old Rolleicord VA for sale at Ffordes at the moment. Want 1DSmk2 quality for just $150? Get a Rolleicord, or for a bit more a how about a Rolleiflex 3.5F? But hold on, is a 40 or 50-year camera up to regular use? Certainly - they were built to last and many are still in use. If you can live with just one focal length, and don’t mind taking a little more time over your photography, there’s nothing for the money that’ll beat it. Not as quick or as versatile as a DSLR, but we’re talking about quality.

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Berckmans Peter 6 months ago

Always keeping my eye open for one, but they get high prices here. Great blog

6 months ago Edited