Frank & Heidecke
1934 Art-Deco Nickel-plated rolleicord CLA's, Freshly Serviced!
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is aa nickel plated Art-Deco Rolleicord which was built in limited numbers for only three years between 1933-36. The serial number, 1488673 on the Zeiss lens indicates this camera was produced in early 1934.
It uses normal 120 film.
This 83 years old camera is in exceptionally fine condition and it’s very obvious that it was someone’s pride and joy. As you probably know, the original lenses on these camera were uncoated. However a previous owner went to the trouble and expense to have this lens coated. If you look at the photos it will be obvious that the bottom lens (which records the image) has a blue coating. Post-factory lens coating was a popular though somewhat expensive way to upgrade camera lenses in Europe during the post-war years from the late 1940’s to late 1950’s. There were a number of firms specialized in this service however because of the labor costs, not many enthusiasts could afford the service. I’ve been collecting and using vintage cameras for some 40 years and this is the first Art Deco Rolleicord I’ve come across with a coated lens.
The nice thing about all of this is that the coating doesn’t change the optical signature of the lens, so you end up with a lens with produces an attractive vintage look but is easier to use and less likely to flare. This makes it an ideal lens for a photographer (such as a WWII reenactor) who want to work and shoot with a vintage lens regularly. In keeping with performance mod’s, I should also mention that this camera was also fitted with a later style mat glass that is somewhat brighter than the original. (However we can replace it with an original if you prefer that.)
In addition to its attractive Art Deco styling this camera is fully functional. It’s been cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The shutter works well and all speeds (T,B & 1 Sec-1/300th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along nicely and the faster ones are clean and snappy. The Zeiss 4.5/75mm Triotar lens (a classic Cooke design with three elements in three groups), is well known for the attractive rendition and lovely bokeh it produces. The lens is clean and clear. No scratches, just a few light cleaning wisps (but you’ll need a magnifier to see them) and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color & B&W films.
All in all, a very attractive and enjoyable vintage camera.