Frank & Heidecke
Superb! 1932 Rare early Old Standard Rolleiflex, Freshly Serviced, CLA’d
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
This is a 1932 “Old Standard” Rolleiflex produced by Frank & Heidecke in Braunschweig Germany. This old standard model was the very first Rolleiflex camera to use 120 roll film. It was introduced to the buying public in 1932, and its release coincided with the introduction of the 1932 Leica II rangefinder. The went on to pave the way for camera design for the next fifty years. In doing so they have ve of course become classics that are of course still loved today. And both manufacturers still owe their success to brilliant designs first introduced on a fateful day in 1932.
The Rolleiflex Old Standard model started production in 1932 with a serial number 200,000. Production ended in 1938 with serial no. 567550 in 1938.
The camera in this listing is a rare extremely early example of the Old Standard model. The camera’s serial number is 209444. The lens number is also correct, it is 1315372 which dates it to 1931 and this what you would expect because lenses were kept in stock until needed and often predate cameras by a year.
Understandably such an early Rolleiflex is a desirable and significant camera. It can be difficult to find an early example in good working condition. Many were used by war photographers during WWII and subsequently worn out or lost in action…
After 85 years, this Rolleiflex naturally has signs of use, but most collectors would agree that this is a very tidy example. It uses easily available 120 roll film, is fully functional and ready for immediate use. So if you’ve been looking for a fine prewar camera to admire and use, then this might be it. It’s honest, it’s significant and it works well.
It’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Focusing is accurate. The camera is just as it left the factory and still has its original viewfinder mirror. The mirror has a few age related marks but this has no effect on the viewfinder image which is clean and clear. The Compur 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 sharp Zeiss 3.8/75mm Tessar lens (four elements in three groups) is in fine condition. This Tessar lens is very clean and clear. There are no scratches, just some unavoidable light cleaning marks (but you’ll need a magnifier to see them). There are no separated elements, crystallization or other problems and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
Additionally the camera has a nice archaic detail that aids in the use of the so called “action finder”. In the center of the cross hair sight is a small circular mirror that reflects the eye of the photographer. When you see your own iris in this mirror, then the sight is perfectly centered for accurate framing and allows you to quickly compose shots.
All in all, a very enjoyable vintage camera. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for. You know the one... the one with the perfect Ansel Adams light breaking through the dark storm clouds that leaves you wishing that you had a vintage medium format camera with you…
Search terms: Carl Zeiss Jena, Tessar, 75mm, 7,5cm, Compur Rapid shutter, medium format, TLR, twin lens reflex, prewar, pre-war, camera, Heidoscope, Rolleidoscop 120 film, authentic, original, vintage, WWII, WW2, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, USAAF, war correspondent, war photographer, Frank & Heidecke, Germany