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1938 Frank & Heidecke Rolleiflex “Automat”


This is the Rolleiflex “Automat” a 6x6 TLR. This camera was first introduced in Germany by Frank & Heidecke in 1937.  In 1939 a bayonet mount for accessory filters & close up lenses was added to the top viewing lens. The camera remained  in production until it was updated in 1949. Although similar in layout to the “Old Standard” Rolleiflex which had preceded it, the automat was a radically improved camera. Overall it was stronger, more reliable and easier to use. An absolutely superb camera, it laid the foundation for all  Rolleiflexes TLR’s that followed it over the course of 50 years.

These photos were taken with the Rolleiflex Automat which we had the pleasure of having in our shop. It’s fitted with a 3.5/7,5cm (75mm) Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. The owner hails from New York and as is often the case, he was kind enough to share his photos with us.  Copyright 2016 Ray Vickers. All rights reserved.

The first three photos were taken with Fuji Velvia. Ray actually aquired two Rolleiflex Automats from us. He keeps one in New York and the other one in France, which makes traveling easier and lighter. He wrote…

“Here are three shots made with the prewar Automat using Fuji Velvia 50, developed by me using Tetenal E-6 chemicals that I bought from MacoDirect in Germany.  If anyone wants proof of the wonderful lenses in these early Rolleiflex cameras, it seems to me that these photos offer that proof. “


Photos taken with Fuji Velvia 50, developed by the owner using Tetenal E-6.

Photos taken on 120 Kodak Portra 400 color print film.