Frank & Heidecke
Superb! 1938 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 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 and it is unique in that there is no bayonet mount on the top f2.8/ Heidoscop-Anastigmat focus lens. Only the bottom 3.5/75mm Tessar has a bayonet mount for lens shades and accessory filters. This model was introduced and produced in Germany by Frank & Heidecke in 1937 starting with serial number 568516 and ended in 1939 with serial number 805,000. And in case you’re wondering, it uses 120 roll film which is still available.
The serial number of this camera is 797033 . The lens serial number is 2267280. This indicates that it was produced in Germany in 1938 as Europe slid ever closer to the dark years of WWII. Understandably 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…
81 years after it left the factory, this Rolleiflex is still in exceptionally fine condition and thanks to the careful attention we’ve given it, everything works as it should.
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 excellent condition. This lens is very clean and clear. There are no scratches, just a few, light cleaning wisps (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 black & white films.
It comes complete with an original brown leather case and leather strap.
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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