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Detail of my 1956 Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) medium format camera.

The Rolleiflex was continuously manufactured in Braunschweig, West Germany, by Franke and Heidecke from 1928 to 1981, and was, for decades, the standard against which all other medium format cameras were measured. Some designs came close to the Rolleiflex for quality. But nothing surpassed it.

This particular model is fitted with the top flight Schneider Xenotar 80 millimetre f/2.8 taking lens, and is capable of producing (nominal) 6cm x 6cm negatives on 120 format roll film of phenomenal quality.

Even today the reborn Rollei company will sell you a modern Rolleiflex, Rollei Wide or Tele Rollei—if you can afford the purchase price. But they were always expensive, befitting their position in the marketplace as the finest cameras money could buy.

It is probably easier to try to list the all-time greats who didn’t use a Rolleiflex, than those who did—it dominated the industry for over thirty years, like no other camera before or since.

Tasmanian Brett Rogers captures landscape, cityscape, and architectural photographs in and around his home town of Hobart. He also provides quality black and white film processing services and tuition in traditional film photography.

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  • Odille Esmonde-Morgan
    Odille Esmonde...over 2 years ago

    Hey! Looks great as an iPhone case. Well done.

  • Thanks Odille,

    – Brett Rogers

  • Lissie E J
    Lissie E Jover 2 years ago

    Love it!

  • Thanks Lissie! You’re so very kind.
    I haven’t run any film through this particular camera yet, because it has some problems I have to fix, but I keep the previous model, a Rolleiflex 2.8C loaded with film at all times, and have posted many shots taken with it or other Rollei TLRs onto Red Bubble (see this collection for photos made with them). The wonderful thing about the Rolleis is that, quite apart from being the most beautifully made cameras ever produced, they still produce results that are absolutely phenomenal even by todays standards.

    I’ve noticed you incorporating a few old cameras into your images lately, to very good effect. Because you have been doing some fashion and modelling type work recently, I would actually quite like to see what you could do with a Rollei or a Mamiya TLR and some black and white.
    They were used by Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Imogen Cunningham, Diane Arbus, Robert Doisneau, Irving Penn, and Max Dupain—just to name a few famous names off the top of my head. I’m very passionate about film photography in general, and medium format in particular, so I am always ready to share the experience with others. In February I had Kylie Sheahan down here for a day, running some film through a Mamiya C220.
    So if you are planning any trips to Hobart in the near future, let me know, and I will put you behind the controls of one of these magnificent TLRs for a day. I have to warn you, though—it’s dangerous…if the TLR way doesn’t work for you I have a Hasselblad you can use. Have a think about it, please, because I love your creative vision, and I would be really interested to see how you express that through the medium format.


    – Brett Rogers

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