Rolleiflex T (Type 1)

The Rolleiflex twins lens reflex (TLR) medium format camera was first introduced in 1929. The ingenious and unique design used two lenses. A fast viewing lens projected a bright image (reversed from right to left) on a viewing screen. A tandem higher quality photographic lens and shutter with iris diaphragm was used to record the scene.

The Rolleiflex T was the sister version of the Rolleicord (consumer version of the Rolleiflex). Standard 120 size film is used and with the 6 x 6 cm ( 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 in) format and there was no need to rotate the camera sideways. There was a variant "Baby Rollei" with a 4 x 4 cm format.

The Rolleiflex was an instant success and was the most widely used professional camera for decades. Several models were made with the Rolleiflex 2.8 being the most popular with professionals (due to the fast lens). Starting with the Model D, the camera had a coupled exposure system. The Rolleiflex is still being manufactured in 2010. A low end Chinese made TLR, the Seagull is also currently in production. Used Rolleiflex cameras are plentiful although the 2.8 models command high prices they still provide a low cost entry into high quality medium format photography.

The twin lens reflex has spurned many imitations. The Mamiya C330 Professional with interchangable lenses was the strongest contender.

    • Model T circa 1962
    • Franke & Heidecke, Germany
    • Tessar, 75mm - f/3.5 (for filming)
    • Heidosmat - 75mm -f/2.8 (for viewing)
    • Size 120 roll film - 6cm x 6cm format
    • One of the top ten cameras of the century