The Rolleiflex 2,8 FX

 
Rolleiflex 2,8 FX Rollei’s legendary twin-lens single-lens reflex camera with an 80mm Planar f/2.8 HFT lens, protective lens cap, carrying strap and size III filter bayonet.

The leather parts are of brown cowhide with a crocodile-like pattern. The back has chromium-plated edges that give the camera a sophisticated elegance. The logo on the front of the camera corresponds exactly to the one that adorned the Rolleiflex cameras of the thirties. The well-proven carrying strap eyelets of the earlier models have also been taken over.

 

The Rolleiflex Standard, built from 1932 to 1935, was the mother of all Rolleiflex cameras. The Rolleiflex is part of a family of cameras called Twin Lens Reflex, or TLR in short. Simply means the camera has two lenses: the upper lens is used to frame the image, the lower lens is actually a shuttered lens and takes the picture.

The design proved very successful and as a result, many other brands also built TLR cameras. TLR cameras were built in Germany, Czecho-Slovakia, The USA, France, and of course a lot were built in Japan! But, the Chinese also built a pretty good Rolleiflex copy! I will shortly be adding information on the one copy with a 2.8 lens that was ever built, the Beautyflex 2.8. Look for the article in the TLR section of this site.

Below is my former copy of the 1960s series flagship, the 2.8F Planar version. I consider it the medium-format equivalent of a Rolex watch: beautifully made and a precision picture-taking machine! Many of those type-F cameras nowadays have a dead meter and parts are getting hard to come by, but this one had a meter that was checked for accuracy by mr. Hans Klinkhamer in the Netherlands and it was spot-on when compared to three other exposure meters I own, including one in a Nikon DSLR.

 

 

The Beautyflex 2.8 was the only TLR (twin Lens Reflex) camera ever to compete with the high-end Rolleiflex models of the 1950s and 1960s, the only non-Rolleiflex ever built that had a 2.8 lens. The Cantor lens on the Beautyflex 2.8 resembles the image quality of the Xenotar lenses on the Rolleiflex 2.8C.

This is a rarely seen camera. I was lucky to purchase it online a while ago and was totally amazed when I finally found one in good working condition after looking for it for over a year.

There's a few differences between the Pacemaker Speed Graphic and the Anniversary Speed Graphic. I wasn't aware of those (quite essential) differences and bought the 'wrong' camera for a lens on lens board that I own, thus ending up with both models.

Which is your benefit, since it allowed me to do a side-by-side comparison!

 

The Pacemaker camera looks like this:

 

It has a smaller lens board (made from metal) than the Anniversary. It also has a shutter release on the body (the ribbed button on the edge) and a metal ground glass hood that pops open with a 'kaz-zing!' 

The Super Ikonta series from Zeiss Ikon started their life in 1934. In that year, Zeiss Ikon released three Super Ikonta cameras for the 120 format. They were remarkable cameras and continue to be so until present day. A good Super Ikonta has unprecedented image quality, they are the Rolls Royces in build quality when it comes to medium format folder cameras. 
 
The three cameras that were launched in 1934 very nicely had their own strengths and there was a model for every wallet.
 
 
Read on to see if the Super Ikontas fit your bill!

The Horseman Convertible 842 camera was made in the early 1970s. This Medium Format camera with a 62mm wide angle lens was a novelty. It equals a 32mm or even a 25mm wide angle in the 135 format! The camera remains a rarity to this day, sometimes these cameras surface on eBay or on camera shows. Judging from serial numbers on the lenses, there were less than 5,000 cameras made.

Mirrorless camera adapters article

With the modern day new mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X-T2 and the Sony A7-II, there's great fun in finding less-than-usual lenses in abandoned lens mounts, and adapt them to fit the camera of your choice.

There's a lot of adapters available for peanut prices if you want to try something exotic and this article lists a lot of options to get your lens and camera connected.

Don't forget to get a bunch of macro rings to add between camera and lens if that is your thing!

In this article I try to compile a comprehensive guide to adapting lenses to various types and brands of cameras and lens mounts. As you will have found out by now (or you wouldn't be reading this article), most camera manufacturers used their own, proprietary lens mounts to make sure that once a customer (that means you) bought into a system, they'd be hooked forever.