The factory that manufactures Rolleiflex cameras is being liquidated in a bankruptcy auction, so there’s a chance we may never see new Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex cameras produced ever again. As the fate of the brand is in limbo, 21 original Rolleiflex camera prototypes have appeared in an auction on eBay. For a cool $178,000, collectors can own a unique piece of photographic history.
It’s the end of the road for the company behind Rolleiflex cameras. Just two months after Fujifilm put up one of its major film factories at auction, DHW Fototechnik is doing a liquidation auction of its own, selling off the massive amounts of equipment used in manufacturing twin-lens reflex cameras.
The auction gives us an unprecedented glimpse into the tools and spaces that were once used to great cameras with the iconic Rollei brand.
Camera collectors, unfold your wallets… it’s time for another installment of “cool rare things currently on eBay.” Except in this case ‘rare’ can be replaced with ‘unique,’ as in these cameras are supposedly one-of-a-kind.
What you see above is a prototype, one-or-a-kind transparent Rollei Rolleiflex 6008 AF. Even the serial number is ‘PROTOTYP.’ And the same store is also selling a 6001, 6003, 6008 Integral, and 6008 Integral 2. Read more…
Did you know that Rolleiflex is still producing its high-end analog twin-lens reflex cameras? Apparently there’s enough photographers out there buying them for there to be a small, niche market, because Rollei is planning to show off a new model at Photokina 2012 next week.
The FX-N is a 6×6 medium format TLR camera that is an updated version of the Rolleiflex FX, a camera that costs over $5,000. The only difference it has with its predecessor (or sibling) is that it features a new Heidosmat 80mm f/2.8 viewfinder lens and a Rollei S-Apogon 80mm f/2.8 main lens that offer a shorter minimum focusing distance of 55 centimeters.
Hong Kong photographer Lok Cheung found that manual focusing his Olympus E-P1 Micro Four Thirds camera was a pain because it lacked an electronic viewfinder (EVF). He then discovered that attaching a Rollei TLR viewfinder to the camera provided a makeshift EVF:
The result is really good. Although the LCD on E-P1 is not in very high resolution and you can see every single pixels with the Rollei viewfinder, manual focus is almost as fast as you can get on a true manual camera, and the viewfinder is almost directly behind the lens which even closer to SLRs and rangefinder.
LCD viewfinder attachments already exist for DSLR systems, and help make focusing easier and more precise by magnifying the LCD screen and blocking out sunlight. Using a film viewfinder to do this for an Olympus E-P1 is pretty clever.
Image credits: Photographs by lok cheung