I am continuously amazed by my Rolleiflex Automat. Not just because it is more than 70 years old, but also because it is an under appreciated model that, despite not having the coveted f/2.8 lens, still produces consistently sharp images.
My Automat was the first film camera I purchased in recent years and it was love at first sight. I had to shoot 35mm film with it at first because I didn’t have access to any 120 at the time. You can read that story here. However, even with the smaller film format, I remember being very impressed with the sharpness of my photos.
My Aging Rolleiflex
Last Christmas, I shot our photos with this camera (you can watch that here) and noticed that my viewing screen was becoming rapidly dark around the edges. I could barely see my compositions, so I finally broke down and purchased Rick Olsen’s replacement screen. I will be posting a video soon showing how I installed it.
Before and after installing the screen, I noticed that my infinity focus is a tiny bit off. I installed the spacers Olsen supplied but it didn’t seem to help. While it doesn’t really affect my photos that I can see, I think I may have to send my baby out for a CLA soon. If anyone can recommend someone who does this, please let me know in the comments.
A Roll of Portra
After installing my new, bright, view screen, I had to shoot with my Rollei of course and what better film to shoot than Kodak Portra 400. This was actually the first 120 roll of Portra I’ve shot with the Automat.
I developed this roll myself in Cinestill C41. I’m still getting used to color correcting in post, but everyone has to start somewhere right? That being said, I really like these results.
All of these photos were shot with the beautiful natural sunlight that comes in from my front window. I always try to catch it whenever I can.
I love the sharpness of these photos as well as the warmness of Kodak Portra. Even though I am still adjusting to color correction, I did get these photos as close to what I saw that day as I could.
I don’t shoot with this camera enough. I want to make it a priority this year to use it more often. If you read my previous article about my new series One on One, you’ve gotten the idea by now that I am making it a goal to focus more time on one camera, lens, or film at a time so that I can slow down and enjoy them more. The same goes for the Rollei.
Last year I spent most of my time learning exposure, and getting to know what I love about film photography and film. I shot ALOT of film, and while I still am going to continue learning this year, I want to actually shoot LESS film. I think focusing on one thing at a time will help me do that. Stay tuned.
If you haven’t already, please sign up to get my articles in your inbox as I post them.
If you would like to help me out with the cost of film, developing chemicals, and the upkeep of this website, please consider making a small donation through the yellow contribute button above. If you make any purchases through the amazon links included, I may receive a small commission. If you would rather purchase one of my zines, that would also help. Other ways to help that are free would be liking, sharing, and subscribing. Anything you do is always very much appreciated by me.
Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.