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Nick's Classic Corner - No 32 - Rolleimagic

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by Benchista, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    In 1960, Rollei had most possible options covered with their TLR range, but decided (for some reason!) to launch a fully automatic TLR - the Rolleimagic.

    It's a very odd camera. It offers fully programmed exposure only (shutter speeds 1/30 to 1/300, apertures f3.5 - f22), but isn't electronic - no battery anywhere near it. It's probably based more on the T than any other model, and indeed the right hand (winder) side is very similar. The other side is very different - where the focus knob should be is a flash shoe, with PC socket in the middle. There are also two odd plastic rectangles, which are the film spool retaining knob replacements.

    On top is a film speed dial and meter window to show when exposure is out of range.

    In most other Rollei TLRs, focusing is by means of extension of the entire lens panel. However, the Magic is different - it uses front cell focusing of the 75mm f3.5 Xenar (and the associated viewing lens, of course). Focusing is by means of a wheel on the left of the lens panel; distance readout is on the right. The wheel on the right changes from A (autoexposure) mode to choose a fixed shutter speed and an aperture for flash (red range), or B and aperture (green range). A small button on the left has to be pressed to unlock the dial. The shutter release lever is at the lower end of this side of the panel.

    The front has the meter cell, and a small window for the filter factor.

    Both hood and screen are replaceable - the hood is the T and Rolleicord simpler type. Screen is gridded, and not particularly bright. There is no parralax correction in the viewfinder.

    The camera comes with a solid leather case, with removable front. It's a fair bit more awkward than the excellent cases used on the better Rolleiflexes, but still very good. Lenscap is plastic.

    So, in summary, it's a camera that can produces really good results, but what's the point of a programmed-only TLR? Rollei did replace it with the Rolleimagic II, which a
    lso alowed manual exposure, but still, I can't see the point, and neither could the market.

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