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Rollei Rolleiflex 4 x 4 (Black Baby) favori envoyer Print
Photos by JPP text by JPP. From the collection of JPP
France Version française

Chronology of the Rollei brand  New window

Manufactured in Germany from 1963 until 1968.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 8286

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Rollei Rolleiflex 4 x 4
Rolleiflex 4x4 (Black Baby) of 1963

The post-war Rolleiflex 4x4 was made in two different finishes: grey (1957-1963) and black (1963-1968). While around 67 000 cameras of the grey version were produced, only around 5 000 black cameras were delivered, making currently this version much rarer and more expensive. The camera uses film 127 for 12 exposure in 4x4 cm format.

The post-war 4x4 Rolleiflex was the first truly 4x4 Automat from Franke & Heidecke, as the camera delivered in 1938 (the Sports Rolleiflex) was mechanically similar to its predecessors, although made after the release of the Rolleiflex 6x6 Automat. The grey and black babies were the first Rolleiflex models to have the ‘concertina’ hood that would equip all succeeding Rolleiflex models. The film advance (with simultaneous shutter cocking) is made by knob instead of the usual crank.

The Synchro-Compur 00-MXV shutter delivers speeds up to 1/500 seconds plus B, and speed and aperture may be coupled using an EV scale. The release is locked by closing the viewing hood, and double exposure is prevented. A single button is used to choose between flash synchronization modes and delayed release. The lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar with 60 mm of focal length and maximum aperture of 3.5.

The Black Baby is valued camera by collectors, and a still a joy to use… while 127 film production lasts !