Rolleiflex 3.5F with Rolleinar Close-up and Color Filters

Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR Camera and Accessories (Podcast 687)

In this post, I share some of the main features of my new Rolleiflex 3.5F TLR camera, and some of the accessories I've been able to source so far.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
8 Comments
  • David Jenkins
    Posted at 18:25h, 06 December Reply

    Ha,
    Couldn’t let this go by without a comment.
    Thanks for sharing the memory. The first working studio job I had used the 3.5 Rollies. Shot them till my fingers went numb. 🙂

    Often thought of looking for one just to relive those wonderful learning days, when I was niave enough to think I knew everything about the medium

    Hope you enjoy your time with the precious piece of history.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 18:27h, 06 December Reply

      Wow! What a wonderful story about your experience David. Thank you for sharing that!

      I already am enjoying this, but I will continue to, thanks!

      Regards,
      Martin.

  • Rich Ball
    Posted at 03:29h, 07 December Reply

    Martin – I think you found a real gem. It looks near mint for a camera that old. Congratulations!

    A suggestion for another podcast… How are you archiving your negatives and keeping a record of subjects shot and where the photos you feel are keepers are logged and identified.

    It will be fun to follow your re-evolution as a film photographer.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:06h, 07 December Reply

      Hi Rich,

      It was rated as in good condition by Map Camera, but there are two grades above that, so it could have been better, but then the price goes up considerably, so I figured this level was plenty for my needs. I also heard that the shutter action is heavier on f/2.8 versions, which means it’s going to shake more when you release the shutter hand-held, so all in all the camera I got seems to be a good match for my needs.

      That’s exactly what I intend to talk about next. I am using a binder with sleeves for the 120 film, and just bought ten additional sleaves for it as it’s almost full now. I intended to also go through my scanning process again, as I’m now working with a newer scanner and getting higher resolution scans than before that are actually cleaner, but that’s also partly due to the better quality film I’m using.

      I will also be trying some Perceptol developer in a few weeks, as that’s said to be better for the ISO 25 film that I’m hoping to shoot next week. I’ll keep providing updates as time allows and as topics come up. I also want to talk about my thoughts on film in general. I’m really happy that I’m getting back into it at this point in time having seen how digital has completely transformed photography, but now looking at the details and the analog beauty of these large negatives is giving me a new perspective that I honestly didn’t expect to have at this point in time, although I am pleased this is happening.

      BTW, I’m using an iOS app called Analog to record notes as I shoot. I’m not sure it’s the best option, but it does what I need at this point. The other thing I would like to do if this can be at least semi-automated is to figure out how to get the shooting information into the EXIF data of the digitized files.

      Regarding the keepers, I’m actually at this point following my digital shooting process of saving all negatives in my Photo Originals folders, and then copying the ones that I feel are keepers to my Finals archive. Each scanned file is around 280 megabytes, so it’s a bit wasteful to keep all of them, but if they are not technically flawed I might as well, as the negatives are quite possibly going to degrade over time. I’m keeping them in a humidity-controlled cabinet, but the heat here in the summer is also a problem.

      As you can see, I’m working on lots of little tasks here, and that also is part of the attraction. I like having something to study, so this little excursion is a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy the future episodes I create on this too Rich. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Regards,
      Martin.

      • Rich Bahl
        Posted at 02:29h, 08 December Reply

        Martin – Do you have a more complete name for the “Analog” IOS app? I’m having trouble finding it in the App Store. I need to start keeping a little better track of what I am doing. I’m dabbling with too many formats and cameras right now. To no useful result as of yet.

        With respect to shutter shake – It should be virtually non-existent with a leaf shutter. Also in the end the extra two thirds of a stop one gains with a f 2.8 lens is probably not worth the expense.

        With respect to developers I have been using Adox Rodinal. I find it to be economical and easy to mix as needed. A 500 ml bottle costs around $16 and with only 20ml required for a 1:25 dilution for a roll of 120 it is inexpensive. If I want to be really frugal I could go to 1:50 or 1:100 dilutions.

        It seems like one could do lower resolution scans and create a digital proof sheet of a roll to pick out the photos that further effort is desired.

        • Martin Bailey
          Posted at 09:50h, 08 December Reply

          Hi Rich,

          Search for Analog – Film Roll Notebook. That should do it.

          The point about shake wasn’t related to the shutter action. It’s more about the pressue required to press the shutter button. The harder you have to press the more you move the camera. At least that was the point the reviewer was making in the post I read. Either way though, my decision was more related to the fact that f/3.5 was still plenty wide enough for what I want to do with this camera.

          They don’t stock Rodinal at the store I usually buy my chemicals, but I just did a search and there is a store here in Japan that stocks it, so I’ll probably give it a try when my other Ilford chemicals have run down a little. For now, I’m going to stick with DD-X and Perceptol as it’s a better match for my Stop and Fixer, which are both Ilford.

          The DD-X I have has enough for around three rolls left, and the sachets of Perceptol I have are good for three to four rolls, and I have three packets. I like the idea of mixing the Perceptol from powder only when it’s required. The DD-X that I have now contains a few clumps of crystals as it’s way past it’s shelf-life. The Perceptol packaging doesn’t even have a best-by date on it, so I’m assuming it’s nothing to worry about until I actually mix it with water.

          The other thing about Perceptol is it’s supposed to be very fine grain, and that matches the Rollei RPX 25 pretty well, but I see that Rodinal is also compatible, so I will keep it in mind. I seem to remember Brooks Jensen (of the Lens Work Magazine/Podcast) talking about Rodinal almost synonymously with developing chemicals many years ago. Something like when he was getting nostalgic, reminiscing about “the smell of Rodinal”. 🙂

          The film holder for 120 film on my scanner only holds three frames at a time, and I cannot scan film by simply laying it on the flatbed, so a contact sheet wouldn’t be easy. But, the software actually shows me a very large preview of each frame before I commit to the scan, so when there is something wrong, I can opt out after just a few seconds, rather than waiting the three minutes for the actual scan to complete. This process is really not tedious, so not something that I’m looking to optimize any further. Plus, I want a high quality digitized copy just for my archives, even if I never use it.

          Regards,
          Martin.

  • Avi
    Posted at 22:22h, 14 October Reply

    have the same camera, so it was a fun read. Thanks for it, Martin.

    I would love to see your blog or podcast on using Capture One Pro for scanned images. I have the software, Sony version, but only use on digital captures. Didn’t think it is good for scans. Would love to see your take on it. Have you done the podcast yet?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:08h, 21 October Reply

      Hi Avi,

      I have been using Capture One Pro for my scanned images too. It works fine for me. Can you be more specific about what you think it was not good for with relation to scanned images?

      Regards,
      Martin.

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