Rolleiflex Exposure Chart on Back of Camera

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Commonman, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    I've got a Rolleiflex E2. On the back of the camera is a chart that has a column showing F-stops. The column is on the left edge of the table and from the top to bottom shows 22, 16, 11, 8 etc.
    Across the top of the table are the numbers 1 through 8.
    In the body of the chart or table are time values given in seconds.

    The numbers 1-8 (light value numbers?) have a small graphic of a knob pointing to them, which looks to be a knob that should be on the camera.
    But I cannot find any knob that has the values 1-8.

    I would guess that the whole idea is to obtain a light value of 1 - 8 and then find the corresponding time for whatever f-stop you want to use.

    Is this correct?

    And where do you obtain these values? are they EV units and if so, why only 1-8?

    The only knob that has any such values has (to my understanding) EV values from 4-18 and turning this knob will change the "Sec" value and changing the F-stop on the camera will change the indicator on the EV wheel.

    I'm just wondering why one would need the chart on the back when one could measure the Exposure Value of the subject using a light meter, turn the f-stop wheel and the time wheel to the various combinations that will give you that EV on the little wheel.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's not EV because EV 1 would be less light than EV 8, and the chart says f/22 @ 1/250 for 1 (that's the exposure for ISO 100 on a sunny day) and f/22 @ 1/2 for 8. It must be Rollei's method for translating the meter into an exposure. According to the shutter speeds on the chart the numbers are in 1 stop increments so it should be easy enough to extend the chart mentally.

    My Rollei has 2 windows on the light meter dial on the outside edge of the focusing knob, and then up on top of the camera a small switch. I think it affects the meter sensitivity, and which window to look at depends on the switch. The numbers are in the windows. The ISO setting is controlled by the silver, textured focusing knob rim.

    I don't even know if my meter works (the needle moves around, but I've never tested the accuracy). I've used the camera for years, but always with a hand held meter or sunny 16.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  3. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    Yes, that sounds logical. This Rollei most certainly does not have any sort of light meter. So, I'm still wondering where I'm supposed to get the numbers 1-8.
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    HERE you can find a manual which explains everything about the Rollei. It's in pdf format.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    If you had a built in light meter it would display the numbers as you turned the dial to align the needle with the pointer. It would look exactly like the little graphic that's on the chart.
     
  6. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    So, are you saying that the chart is only useful if the particular model of Rolex has the built in meter? Why would they put a chart on cameras that don't have a built in meter that uses the 1-8 light value meter system?
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know. Possibly the door is not the original. If the door is the original that came on your camera maybe it was just cheaper to make one door for all models at that time? I have 2 Rolleiflexes. The one with a meter (3.5E Planar) has the chart you are describing. The one without a meter (3.5 Xenar, I don't know the model letter) has a chart with described scenes, subjects, and lighting and the suggested exposure based on sunny 16.
     
  8. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    OK, yeah, it's probably a case where the meter can be added if desired.
    Or, as you say, it was cheaper to just go ahead and manufacture it with the table engraved on the door.

    When closely examining the camera again, I noticed something that I've never seen before. There is an inner ring on the focus knob that has a window and something white inside. There is a little arrow pointing into the center of the window. I imagine that if a meter was installed in this camera, this is where one would see the light value numbers. However, after reading in the manual, I think this has something to do with Depth of Field (DOF). Having used the camera for over 2 years (off and on) I can't believe I've never noticed this little window. But, no numbers are visible in said window.

    Oh, and Matika, I don't mean to ignore you. I have been reading the terrific Rolleiflex guide (the manual) to which you referred me and there is a wealth of information in it. And yes, they mention that with my particular model the E2 with the Xenotar f3.5, it did not come with a built in meter. I suppose the meter would be somewhat obvious since there would be exposure meter glass cells where the name plate is located, no?

    I further examined the camera and found another thing I had never noticed: the plate on the inside of the door is adjustable.
    I've been using it in the position that indicates 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 (6 x 6).
    Moving the plate indicates some other dimension. Never noticed this feature and I was wondering how it could change the exposure of the film with the 6 x 6 fixed body style. I will research this in the manual when time permits. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008

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