Gear Talk // The Rolleiflex

I believe if the rolleiflex had been around in Shakespearean times, he would have written a sonnet about it. 

my boyfriend and me, shot by Sandra Coan

my boyfriend and me, shot by Sandra Coan

Maybe that's a tad overkill, but I guess we'll never know. 

The rollei is, however, MY favorite camera. Hands down. Gun to my head could only chose one camera to shoot with forever and ever amen? My rollei. What is it about this little box that I love so much? In a nutshell? Everything.

SIZE: It's small and lightweight, which is hard to find in a medium format camera. Most medium format cameras are big, bulky, and require a little extra time at the gym to shoot regularly. (Yes, I'm exaggerating, kind of).

FORMAT: It shoots square, which at first I found challenging and now am in love with. And no, Instagram didn't make square format cool, Vivian Maier did in the 1950's (or rather in the last few years since her work was found. Seriously look her up if you don't know who I'm talking about. Incredible!) 

VIEWFINDER: It has a waist level finder, which takes a minute to get used to, but when you do it gives you the freedom to shoot incognito. It's an incredible tool for street photography. It's also great for kids. I look down and focus, and then lift my head up to interact with them while shooting. And when you have a kid, or adult, with any kind of discomfort or disorder where they get nervous when a camera is pointed at them, this camera especially is a nice tool for taking their photograph. With some models you can have a prism, just not mine (a 2.8e zeiss).

THE COOL FACTOR: Yes. I feel cool when I shoot it. It's dorky, and annoying, and probably not something I should admit to, but let's just get real. It's a cool freaking camera! I get comments all the time from people when they see it asking if it's a real camera, if it's film, how old it is (mine's from around 1956). 

THAT ZEISS THOUGH: Carl Zeiss. My man. He has his name on some of my favorite pieces of glass and the lens in my rollei happens to be one of them. Although because of age and a little haze, I can't shoot into the sun with mine (sunflare only accentuates the age and haze on the lens), I don't care. I can shoot in any other lighting scenario, and it's pretty rare for me to try to get sunflare with my film cameras anyway. 

DID YOU HEAR THAT? This thing is so quiet. It's one of the reasons I LOVE using it at newborn sessions. It's not going to wake up any sleeping baby I don't care how noise sensitive they are.

EASY PEASY: It's so simple. It's almost refreshing. If I pick up my digital camera after shooting this I get overwhelmed by all the fancy buttons I once drooled over. You load the film. You wind the film. You focus and push a button. Them wind it again. Repeat. 12 times. Easy. Peasy.

See it in action!

Don't believe me when I say how easy it is? Friday morning at 10:30AM (EST) join me on Periscope (@littlebellows) as I walk you through how to load and use the rollei! I'll show you how I take photos of my 3 year old son with it without fear of missing focus!

See you tomorrow on Periscope!!