Looking for some assistance with my new Rolfix


TPF Noob!
Jan 30, 2010
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Fogo Island, Newfoundland
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I just purchased an absolutely mint Franka Rolfix, (stamped on its leatherette is "Simpson's", plus "Made in Germany US-Zone") and am anxiously awaiting its arrival in my mailbox. It has a Schneider-Kreuznack Radionar f/4.5 lens, an 8-speed (plus "B") Prontor-S shutter, and simple pop-up viewfinder. I have been assured that this camera is in perfect working order, and I can easily glean from the seller's many detailed photos that its appearance is completely flawless. I can hardly wait to add this beautiful camera to my collection, and to start using it for capturing my Newfoundland landscapes.

I have owner's manuals for each and every vintage camera I own... except for this one! I have already spent hours searching online for a copy, to no avail. Yes, a few enterprising people out there are asking princely sums for an original manual, but I'd be quite content with a photocopy of one. So, first and foremost, I am interested in hearing from any of you who may own or be intimately familiar with this model, as before I start shooting I would like to learn of any tips/suggestions you may have. And secondly, I would be eternally grateful to anyone who may be kind enough to scan their owner's manual and email it to me. (I will happily pay you for your time)

This is my fifth medium format folder. I also own a Franka Solida 1, Voigtlander Perkeo 1, Ensign Ranger, and a 1917 Kodak Autographic 1A that I recently adapted to accommodate 120 film. (all are in pristine condition)

I am looking forward to connecting with my fellow Rolfix owners! (I posted this message elsewhere and received no replies, so here's hoping all the Rolfix owners/users are frequenting this fine forum!)

I don't have a Rolfix but have other folders and vintage cameras by Kamerawerk, Franke Heidecke, etc. Are you familiar with the Mike Butkus site of camera manuals? - he doesn't charge for his copies but you can make a small contribution. I don't know if this is the same model as yours but seems like it would at least be similar - I like how the manual says to 'Spread out this double page and have the controls of your Rolfix visible while you read this book.' Yeah, I guess that would be an idea! LOL

Rolfix - Montgomery Ward
And Schneider Kreuznach has made some nice lenses. Hope you like the camera, sounds like a nice one.
My first camera was a Rolfix. I got it at Montgomery Wards as the distributor in those days. (May 1952). The Prontor shutter goes from 1-1/250 sec, had a self timer and bulb. Mine has 2 red windows on the back for 8 or 12 exposures. There is a mask that fits inside to give the square or rectangle pictures. There is also a little mask in the viewfinder that pops up showing the square or rectangle format. My only problem is that the tripod socket on the side fell out of place and I lost it. The one on the fold down is still there. The 4.5 lens is pretty good also. I used it taking a lot of pictues during high school and then selling pictures at school. In mCanada they were sold by Simpsons.
Hi Bsinmich, and thank-you for taking the time to reply. I posted this message in two other forums as well, but it seems this is not too well-known of a camera, as the responses have been sparse.

It is wonderful that you still have your very first camera, as do I! I am still awaiting the Rolfix's arrival by mail, but have seen many detailed photos of it, and it appears to be in absolutely perfect condition; certainly the very best that I have seen for a folder of that vintage. And I have been assured by the seller that it indeed functions just as if brand new. The only downside is that the mask is not included, which is perfectly fine with me, as I am only interested in shooting 6X9 with it anyhow. (I have other folders for square format) I can hardly wait to start shooting some Newfoundland landscapes with this lovely old camera. Once it arrives, I will take a few pics of it and post them here.

Thanks again,
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There were 3 models made at the time I got mine. The lowest cost one had shutter speeds of 25-200 with a lower cost lens and no self timer. You know the one we have and then the top one had a f3.5 lens and a Compur shutter going to 1/500 sec. The mask was only on the top 2. I amm just a sucker for those bellows. I have a couple of Retinas, Balda, Baldinette, and Agfa. Some of mine are pre flash synch. One Retina 1 is so quiet and small I can sneak it in where I shouldn't.
Just a follow-up to say that my Franka Rolfix folder arrived in yesterday's mail, and what a beauty it is!

It's always fun and exciting whenever one gets a camera, but wow, when I opened the parcel I was amazed at just how pristine this one is... in fact it truly looks as though it has never been handled... as if it has never seen a roll of film! I cannot for the life of me understand how a camera from the 1940's could be unused, but it certainly appears that way. The flawless chrome glistens, the leatherette is perfect, as is the lens. After my preliminary inspection everything is functioning precisely as it should.

I think I just may have a new favorite camera! I have some lovely condition vintage folders in my collection but, cosmetically at least, this one is by far the best of the lot. If my ailing spine allows, I plan to thoroughly test my Rolfix over the next several days. I will report back with my findings, and hopefully some photos.

Very cool!
If you have the chance, it would be fantastic to see a photo of the camera itself, too.
I've been bedridden these past few weeks, but I got outside today for a bit and took this photo of my lovely "new" Franka Rolfix. It is in perfect working order, and cosmetically is every bit as immaculate as the day it was made, some 66 years ago. This is the 30th camera in my ever-growing collection, and my fifth medium format folder.
(taken at the shoreline in front of my Fogo Island (Newfoundland) home using a Sony SLT-A57 and Sony 35mm f/1.8 prime @ 1/2000th sec, f/2.8, ISO 100)


My 1947 Franka Rolfix Medium Format Folder par Focus On Newfoundland, on ipernity
Nice camera. Do you intend on using it in "action" ? It will be nice...
That's a beauty, and a great photo of some nice looking scenery. Hope your back is better and you can get out and use your Rolfix soon.

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