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Re: [Rollei] Original Rollei Prototype

Thanks Vick,

It was on ebay. I always look at Rollei auctions that have vague 
description titles. It means the seller is either a poor communicator, 
or does not know what they are selling - or both. So there is potential 
for a good find. 99.9% of the time, the camera auctioned is run of the 
mill. But once in a while ....

I actually wanted an early Rollei Original and emailing the seller 
revealed the camera had no serial number. The pics on the auction were 
poor and it was not really possible to discern if there was a serial 
number or not engraved under the 'Rolleiflex' script on the front 
nameplate. There should have been a body casting number stamped in the 
film supply chamber, but according to the seller, there was not. 
Curious. The lens serial number was an early one though. So at least it 
was an early Original Rollei. The Original Rollei underwent a great 
number of production changes in it's life and many of the changes are 
undocumented. So I thought it could be that it was a very, very early 
one that had features that were only on the first batch or two. The 
Rollei stuck in my mind for a few days - something was bugging me about 
it and I could not place it. Towards the end of the auction, I inquired 
to the seller about the four shiny bits in the corners of the front 
cover. The photos on the auction site were bad enough that detail only 
showed shiny dots in the front cover corners - not enough to know what 
they were. The reply was they were screws. I had a vague recollection 
of something about that and searched through my literature. I found a 
reference to the Prototype in Prochnow's 75th anniversary book having 
the four screws and the lenses moving in and out independently of the 
front cover. I asked the latter of the seller and the reply was that 
the lenses did move independently of the front cover. I wasn't 
completely convinced because the seller was not at all familiar with 
cameras. But I increased my max bid to pad it and waited. I won the 
auction. Someone sniped at the end driving the price up $200. I am in 
Canada, and the seller would only ship to the US, so I had it shipped 
to a friend in the US close by Vancouver BC. As of yet I do not have 
the camera, but am planning to pick it up this weekend. The friend took 
the pictures that I posted to the Rollei Gallery. In correspondence 
with the seller after the auction the only thing that is know about 
this camera was the father in law owned it and he had served in the 
WWII in Germany. He died in 1989.

So that's the story of how I came to own this camera.


On 8-Jan-04, at 5:48 PM, Vick Ko wrote:

> Todd,
> You have to tell us how you found this.
> Was it in a Salvation Army store for $5?
> Was it bought after searching the planet for a decade, from a private
> person in a hamlet in Salzburg?
> Congratulations on the find.
> regards,
> Vick
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-rollei  us
> [mailto:owner-rollei   On Behalf Of todd belcher
> Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:33 PM
> To: rollei  us
> Subject: Re: [Rollei] Original Rollei Prototype
> Patric,
> How is it that you know for sure that it is the Original Rolleiflex
> prototype? Do you have more info on this camera?
> todd