In spring 2007 I got my Rolleiflex 3.5 B. I actually got it from an antique store when I was living in the Kootenays. They let me test it first, because they were not asking a small sum for it, and to my surprise it worked perfectly. I did a bit of searching online, came up with a price I was slightly more comfortable with, and talked them down a bit. Even at that price, however, I still couldn’t afford it all in one go at the time, so they let me put it on layway.
I paid for what I recall was about 4-6 weeks, and then my mother in law surprised me with purchasing the rest for my birthday, which damn near made me cry.
I have a lot of cameras, many of which are cheap toy cameras or box cameras. I also have a healthy selection of slightly more expensive cameras. I know you’re not really supposed to pick favourites, so as not to hurt the other camera’s feelings. But I can’t lie – I have two favourites. One is my Pentax K1000, which is my workhorse beast and my first “real” camera when I was 16. The second is my Rolleiflex 3.5 B.
Much like the Pentax it is hefty – this isn’t a camera you forget that you’re carrying, despite it’s relatively compact size (for a TLR, anyway). This camera was built sometime within 1954-1956, and it is in amazing condition. Some speckling in the viewfinder, but the lens itself is perfect, and the images this camera produces are some of my favourites. I almost feel like it’s cheating to take photos with this camera; like it has a life of its own and takes good photos for me.
On a lark I just checked to see what the going rate is for this camera now (in working order with a case and manual). I know film photography and cameras are going through a bit of resurgence right now so prices are on the higher end, but even so I can comfortably say I’m pleased with the price I originally paid.