Rolleiflex Old Standard 622

Well, I certainly didn’t need another 6×6 camera but here we are 🙂

I was reading a book about Robert Doisneau and it mentioned he used a Rolleiflex. The portrait of him showed him holding the Old Standard. As I was a bit bored and web-surfing, checking Facebook…sliding over to the marketplace…and there was this camera. Not only was it located very close to my home, but it was fairly reasonably priced…though not what I had available. So I messaged the seller and asked if they would accept a lower amount. Of course, they said yes or we wouldn’t be here.

Off I popped to check it out. It was a bit rough, covered in green stuff, and very stiff. It clearly hadn’t been used for a while. The seller said it was her grandad’s and didn’t know when it was last used. I fiddled with it a bit and managed to get it to fire. The focus wheel was very stiff, but it had fired. With that information, I paid my money and took it home.

At home, I kept turning the focusing knob and it became easier to move, never smooth, but easier. The viewfinder was very dim, I could barely see anything in it. I looked online for mirror replacements and ordered one. I also saw some brighter focusing screens with split centres and ordered one of those as well.

While waiting for those to arrive, I thought I would try the camera as best I could to see if the focus was aligned and what else needed to be fixed. I loaded a roll of the new 120 Kentmere 400 and went for a short walk.

Here are a few from that roll.

Well, that was quite successful eh?

With those results, I put the camera down and waited for the parts to arrive.

The first part to arrive was the new mirror. Here is the old one and the new one, side by side.

Just look at the difference. That immediately made things easier to see, so then I waited for the new focusing screen. When that arrived, I had an issue, it was the wrong size 😦 too small by millimetres. I could still install it, but I would have to be very precise.

Inside the chamber, supporting the screen were two metal brackets. All I had to do was bend them slightly and the new screen would still fit.

So carefully, I bent the brackets. The first one did exactly as I hoped, but the second one snapped, bugger. What to do now? I could get a new bracket? I doubt it. The camera is nearly 100 years old, and spare parts are not easy to find or even exist. That meant I had to fix it somehow.

As I can’t weld or solder I decided on super glue, but it would be tricky. Then I remembered a hack I had seen on TikTok…Super glue and baking soda. The baking soda slows down the drying process and makes for a firmer bond, more like a paste. It worked like a charm. After it had dried, I sanded it to make it smoother and used a permanent pen to make it black. It didn’t look beautiful, but it was effective.

Next, I carefully placed the new screen in position and put the hood back on. I still had to change its position a few times so it didn’t slip through the hole. Once it was all set and steady, the viewfinder looked so bright and the split screen made focusing so much easier.

And now to use it again. I loaded another roll of Kentmere 400 and took the train into Leeds. The camera got a few compliments as I walked around. One couple asked many questions, I answered them by taking their photo.

Here are all of the results, a full roll.

Well, this might just be my new favourite camera. I will definitely have to add it to my favourite camera list.

If you would like to know more about the history of this camera or technical details, check the links below.


18 thoughts on “Rolleiflex Old Standard 622

  1. brineb58 says:

    You can never have too many 6×6 cameras!!! 😊 I have at least a dozen!!! Each one has their own character and based on the results of your latest, it’s full of great character!!! As usual, I am amazed at your ability to repair!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kurt Ingham says:

    I LOVE Rolleis of all vintages, and your results show amazing capability for something that old (and the skill of the operator) My favorite Old Standard also has a bright screen- dim focus image being to one big weakness of these guys. That made it cheaper to buy, since it had altered ‘originality’ Win/Win for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      As this is a camera I intend to use, not sell…I don’t care 😀 I have kept the original view screen though. It turned out the mirror was the main issue.


  3. Kurt Ingham says:

    it isn’t just lenses- many aspects of he Rollei design and construction contribute to the image quality. Lack of internal vibration is one- no mirror flapping up and down..and a fixed lens can be much more precisely fitted than one that interchanges…and..well they are just superb instruments for dozens of reasons

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Roger B. says:

    Outstanding photos … you might show these to the folks who mock old equipment. And to the folks who mock the geezers who restore and use that old equipment!
    Thank you for the baking soda / super glue tip. That may come in very handy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kurt Ingham says:

    One last might be surprised at how many top level photographers used Rolleis in the 50’s and 60’s. Studio photographers frequently had multiple units with assistants keeping them loaded. Lots of travel photographers, journalists. well ,just about any field, used them, too when book publication would be the end use. Penn, Maier. Schwazenbach, Brandt,
    Avedon …

    Liked by 1 person

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