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Marcy's Rollei Magic TLR Review:

    New neighbors moved in up the road. We live way out in the middle of nowhere and they’re really our only neighbors. In these types of situations, you have to get along. We invited them over for dinner. They brought with them an old Rollei TLR which they presented to me with little ado. The previous occupant had left it behind. Not exactly an item to add to the menu, but it definitely brightened my day! They assumed the camera didn’t work because the shutter wouldn’t release. Well, it wouldn’t release for them anyway.

    The weather was pleasant that evening, so we ate out of doors. Being the camera fanatic that I am, I kept excusing myself. I had to "go to the kitchen" for something. I’d run inside, grab that camera off the shelf, and immediately begin poking and prodding it. I managed to get that shutter to release (after making many trips back and forth to get another bottle of wine...or a new fork for someone...or a different flavor of salad dressing..."No. Really. I’ll get it! I insist!" ) The shutter’s probably a bit sluggish and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t pass a test for accuracy at the camera clinic, but who cares? It was free! Free like the wind!

    I don’t know much about Rollei’s. When you’ve got a limit of $8 per camera, you don’t tend to own many Rollei’s. This one’s a cute, little thing with a built in meter. It says "Xenar 3.5/75 Schneider Kreuznach" on the bottom lens. The top lens says "Heidosmat".

    The next time our neighbor friends came for dinner the conversation turned to junk and how some folks are pack rats. I mentioned that we had a little bit of junk, but not too much. The neighbor man said, "Yeah! Like that broken camera we gave you!" Joke’s on you, SUCKERS.

  I posted to the medium format newsgroup to find out what Rollei I have, because the name plate had been lost.  this reply came from Bob Hickey: "What that is, is a Rollei-Magic. Type 1,  1960-63, the only automatic TLR they made. [That's why all you Rollei types kept telling me I was insane for stating that I couldn't set the shutter speeds! -MM] All I can find is that they set the shutter speed automatically if you set the aperture. The flash should work at any speed, and the pictures should be as sharp as any other Rollei."  [ I asked Bob if I could quote him on this site. I reassured him that I would keep quiet about the fact that he'd confided in me that his first camera had been an Imperial Debonair . -MM]                                                                                                                  Then, I received this reply from Karl, "The green f/stop numbers are equivalent to a bulb setting, the shutter stays open as long as it is depressed.  The red f/stop flash numbers are a fixed shutter speed of about 1/30.  The automatic mode has shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/500 in conjunction with automatically setting aperture.  A good camera for point and shoot operation, be aware that the meter should be pointed slightly down and the shutter half cocked, otherwise the film will be overexposed." [Not the first time I've delved into something "half-cocked"...just kidding.-MM]


 The camera worked on both Auto and metered flash settings:

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