Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rolleinar Close up Lenses

When I sent in my Rolleiflex for its service to Brian Mickleboro, I had a chat to him about my use of the camera. I said my only criticism is that I'd like it to focus a little closer, Brian suggested I try a Rolleinar close up lens.
Brian explained-Rolleinars come in three versions 1 for head and shoulders, 2 for close crop of head shots and 3 which is for very close up subjects like flowers etc.
Here's what they look like on the camera:

Rolleinars normally come as a set of two the thinner being the taking lens, i say normally because earlier versions are 'three piece' with two identical diopters that are interchangeable and a wider parallax lens that can be paired with either of the thinner lenses.
The wider of the two lenses goes on the top (viewing) lens and it is important that the red spot faces upright for parallax correction:

I know what you're thinking, putting extra glass in front of the lens is a bad idea for the quality minded photographer right?
Not with these little wonders it isn't.
So what of the performance? Well to sum it up these close up lenses work very well, surprisingly well would be an understatement.
Here is a close up of my daughter shot at 1/60 F5,6 on Adox CHS 50 ART (EFKE KB17) with a Rolleinar 1

The 100% crop

I'd say that for the money (I paid £10 for the Rolleinar 1) that every Rolleiflex/Cord owner should have one in their camera bag, the performance of the lenses is very good indeed and makes them a 'must have' accessory.

© All text and images Mark Antony Smith 2008