Frank & Heidecke
SUPERB! 1939 Rolleiflex Automat, Freshly Serviced, CLA’d
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
If you’re familiar with the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord cameras you’ll know that they’re considered a cult classic by many fans. It’s a 6x6 TLR camera that uses 120 roll film. It was the camera of choice by pros until the middle of the 1960’s. And even today it’s still a camera that’s often mentioned by websites as an excellent way to get into medium format photography. It’s a very famous design that just like Leica, inspired countless copies over the decades.
This is an exceptionally fine, early example of the camera that started it all. This is the first version of the Rolleiflex Automat with a bayonet mount on the top and bottom lenses. The bayonet mounts enabled the camera to easily accept various accessories such as filters, close up lenses and hoods. This model was introduced and produced in Germany by Frank & Heidecke in 1939 starting with serial number 805,000 and ended in 1949 with serial number 109,9999.
The serial number of this camera (927752) and the lens serial number (2498467) indicates that it was produced in Germany in circa 1939 as Europe slid into the dark years of WWII. Understandably such an early Rolleiflex is a desirable and significant camera. It can be difficult to find early examples in good working condition. Many were used by war correspondents and photographers during WWII and subsequently damaged, worn out or lost in action…
80 years after it left the factory, this Rolleiflex is still in exceptionally fine condition and one of the finest examples we’ve seen in recent years. Thanks to the careful attention we’ve given it, everything works as it should and it will give you years of enjoyment.
This Rolleiflex has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. Focusing is accurate. The film advance and film counter works correctly. The Compur-Rapid shutter works well and all speeds (T,B, 1 Sec-1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy.
The sharp Zeiss 3.5/75mm Tessar lens (four elements in three groups) is in exceptionally fine condition. The lens is clean and clear. There are no scratches, just a few light cleaning wisps and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and black & white films.
It comes complete with a very lovely brown leather case. (It’s the later postwar case and it fits the camera perfectly.)
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 classic vintage camera with you…
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