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


tuscland said...

the 100% crop is very impressive, indeed!
thanks for your blog, as always it is very instructive.


Photo–Smith said...

Hi There
Thanks for you kind words!
How's life treating you?

I see some of your images on Facebook sometimes, still enjoying B&W photography I see.

Peter Smythe said...

Mind saying where you found Rolleinars at that price?

Photo–Smith said...

Sure Peter
I got one from and the other from Phillips cameras on Fye bridge in Norwich.

Every so often one turns up especially in bay 1 for £10-20.

Dave said...

The rolleinars are optically excellent. My only quibble is with DOF. There's not much difference between 2.8 and 22.

Photo–Smith said...

Hi Dave
Yes optically they are top notch, DOF is pretty restricted and for most subjects I like that, I've not done many macro images but this one is a stacked 1&2 Rolleinars

Just copy and paste into your browser

Anonymous said...

How did you stack them – especially the prismas? There is no bayonett mount on the parkeil / rolleinar for the top lens.
Or did you just took the stronger prisma?
regards for the interesting article anyway, it was very inspiring to me.

Photo–Smith said...

Hi Kristian
I just stacked the two bayonets and placing the Rolleiparkeil on top. Sure the parallax won't be perfect but its good enough as long as you don't crop too close.

Anonymous said...

thank you for your reply. I will try this.

Bruce Robbins said...

Hi Mark,

If you're using your Rollei on a tripod, you can get by quite easily with one close-up lens of any make. I've made a line on the centre column of mine 4cm up from it's lowest position. After composing the pic with the close-up lens on the viewing lens, I crank the camera up to the 4cm mark, swap the close-up lens onto the taking lens and fire away.

I've recently picked up a 1932 Rolleiflex Standard and the viewing screen is quite dim making it very difficult to accurately frame a scene unless the camera is on a tripod. For handheld close-ups, I've got an Automat with the Rolleipar. The shots lose a little sharpness in the corners but, like you, I think Rolleinars, Proxars or whatever are brilliant.

Unknown said...

I bought my first Rolleicord Vb a month ago and I'm having a lot of of pleasure with film. Over the past weeks I added to my bag the Rolleinar 1 and 2 but, yesterday I got the -hard to find- Rolleinar 4 kit in mint condition.

I'll post some pics as soon as I start exploring deeper with this beauty.

Photo–Smith said...

Thanks for your comments Frederico. The bay 4 is quite a find I've never seen one!
I hope that you have fun with it!

Photo–Smith said...

Thanks for you comments Bruce, I don't use the tripod much but that seems a good idea if you only have one close-up/
Yes the Rolleinars are brilliant!