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Rollei Magic

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Jonathon, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Jonathon

    Jonathon Well-Known Member

    I've seen a couple of these on ebay, and I have to say I'd love to nab myself a Rollei sometime. These seem to be going for a fair-ish price.

    Does anyone have any experience with this camera (I'm guessing a certain Rollei fan may ;)). If so, what do you think I should pay at most? And is it worth the hassle?

    I'm mainly looking at day to day street type photography, however I might use it in the studio sometime (not it's natural environment I know).
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The original Magic isn't highly recommended - it's aperture-priority only (and no batteries!) but many have metering problems now that make them pretty useless - FWIW, mine works fine, though. The Magic II has manual control as well, and is much more sought after - and thus expensive. It shares many of the features of the T - if you can get a 100% working one, they're rather fun. But it's perhaps near the bottom of the list of most sensible Rollei options - hence the prices.
  3. Jonathon

    Jonathon Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I was thinking that those kind of factors would be directly preportional to price :p Cheers for the advice!
  4. Ambler

    Ambler Active Member

    I bought a Rollei-Magic II secondhand about 30 years ago and still have it. Interesting to know they're getting good prices on ebay - maybe now's the timer to sell it!

    I did use it a lot for many years and found it very useful, particularly the built-in selenium cell metering. There are no slow speeds but as I was using it mainly for photographing canals & work parties this didn't matter. In those days black & white enlargements were needed for displays and the Schneider lens gave excellent negatives.

    Today I think these cameras are more collectors' items than working cameras, certainly the Model I with its limited facilities is. The bodies are very different to the Rolleiflex's & 'cords, so I suspect finding some spare parts would be extremely difficult. Also they had Prontor shutters not Synchro-Compurs. I don't think the cameras are quite as robust as the flexes and cords. Judging by the serial numbers only 12,000 or so of the model II were made but a lot more of the first model. I suspect a lot have been scrapped over the years as they were never professional models.
  5. Ploy

    Ploy Well-Known Member

    According to "Rollei Report 2" by Claus Prochnow (the Rollei Report books are the authoritative guide to Rollei), they made 25,000 Rollei Magics amd 12,600 Magic II's. However, if I didn't have this information, I would guess that they made 10x more Magic's than Magic II's, judging by the number of each I've bought and sold. Perhaps there is a mistake in the figures.

    Neither camera is the best choice for the user. A Rolleiflex T or late Automat would be a better bet if you're on a budget

    Peter Loy

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