Is the Rolleicord Va focus knob hard to get used to?

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Hello all,
Am thinking about switching to a Rolleicord Va but things are flipped (focus knob on the left not right).

I’m used to it on the right. Is it that difficult to switch and retrain the muscle memory?

Friend is also selling a Vb but asking about $150 more so I’m not sure if it’s worth it just to keep the focus on the right.

Any thoughts appreciated!
 

Dan Daniel

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Va and Vb have the focus on the same side, left.

What are you switching from? 'Cords up to V have focus on right. Va and Vb have it on left. Rolleiflexes all have it on left.

No one can say how well you deal with changes like this.

Try this- imagine the knob is on the other side and see how you would trigger the shutter and use it in the field. It's the change in shutter operation- either different finger or hand, or the need to switch before firing- that tends to throw people off.
 
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Va and Vb have the focus on the same side, left.

What are you switching from? 'Cords up to V have focus on right. Va and Vb have it on left. Rolleiflexes all have it on left.

No one can say how well you deal with changes like this.

Try this- imagine the knob is on the other side and see how you would trigger the shutter and use it in the field. It's the change in shutter operation- either different finger or hand, or the need to switch before firing- that tends to throw people off.

That’s what I’m concerned about. I usually have the camera resting in my left hand and use my right to focus and trigger the shutter.

I guess I’m wondering if people who have switched found their muscle memory adapted easily.

Oh for some reason I thought the Vb went back to using the focus knob on the right. Didn’t realize it was both Va and Vb.

I’m used to rolleicord III & IV so the focus knob is on the right.

Thanks for your input-I’ll try to see if I can switch how I cock the shutter, etc.
 

ic-racer

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Yes, the shutter is odd. Slide one way to cock and the other to fire. No big deal after a while. I was just using mine a while back. One big improvement I made was to fit a fresnel over the ground glass.
 
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Yes, the shutter is odd. Slide one way to cock and the other to fire. No big deal after a while. I was just using mine a while back. One big improvement I made was to fit a fresnel over the ground glass.

Cool thanks for your thoughts.

So the fresnel helped brighten the image? How much did it cost?
 

btaylor

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My first Rollei was the Rolleicord V, focus knob on the right. Great TLR, still have it. Later I got a Rolleiflex, focus on the left. I don’t recall having much trouble switching from one to the other.
A couple of downsides to the V are the Rolleifix and pistol grip won’t work with it, the separate shutter cocking proceedure slows things down a bit. But it weighs less than the ‘flex and is less complex mechanically. The lens on mine is superb.
I did clean the reflex mirror (which was in good condition) and replace the focus screen with the Rick Oleson screen- quite a nice improvement in lower light situations.
 
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Va and Vb have the focus on the same side, left.

What are you switching from? 'Cords up to V have focus on right. Va and Vb have it on left. Rolleiflexes all have it on left.

No one can say how well you deal with changes like this.

Try this- imagine the knob is on the other side and see how you would trigger the shutter and use it in the field. It's the change in shutter operation- either different finger or hand, or the need to switch before firing- that tends to throw people off.

Hi Dan,
Forgot to ask. I know you're really well-versed in the Cords...the one my mate has for sale is a Va Type 1. Can you confirm that I can use the 16 exposure accessory with it? I know for certain the Va Type 2 and the Vb take it; I just want to make sure the Type 1 does. The exposure wheel counter looks the same for Type 1 & 2 so I would think it shouldn't be a problem?

Thanks in advance I really appreciate it.
 

Dan Daniel

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Yes, same 16 exposure counter wheel.

Be sure to have the back open when you change them.... don't ask, but it isn't pretty.
 
OP
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Yes, same 16 exposure counter wheel.

Be sure to have the back open when you change them.... don't ask, but it isn't pretty.

Great thank you. And sorry for bothering you but I read a lot of the threads and you always seem to know everything.

Well that seals it I’m getting the Va!
 

BrianShaw

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A couple of downsides to the V are the Rolleifix and pistol grip won’t work with it, the separate shutter cocking procedure slows things down a bit. But it weighs less than the ‘flex and is less complex mechanically. The lens on mine is superb.
Hi there... my Vb has been packed away for a couple of years but the Rolleifix worked just fine on it. In fact, I would not mount my Rolleicord to a mono- or tripod without it. The downside to using the Rolleifix is when also using a cable release as the camera cannot be removed if the cable release is in place. One more thing to fiddle with. Other than that, I feel the same way as you about the Rolleicord; I never really craved a Rolleiflex since the 'cord always met my needs.

To allmotionisrelative... an analogy to consider is when driving a car that's either new to you or not yours, like a rental. There is always a bit of learning to figure out (most often) the windshield wiper or lighting switches and radio or air conditioning controls... it takes a little more thinking but the additional workload and brainload generally is rather inconsequential. Cameras are the same... even Nikon V Canon where Canon focuses in the wrong direction. :smile:
 
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Hi there... my Vb has been packed away for a couple of years but the Rolleifix worked just fine on it. In fact, I would not mount my Rolleicord to a mono- or tripod without it. The downside to using the Rolleifix is when also using a cable release as the camera cannot be removed if the cable release is in place. One more thing to fiddle with. Other than that, I feel the same way as you about the Rolleicord; I never really craved a Rolleiflex since the 'cord always met my needs.

To allmotionisrelative... an analogy to consider is when driving a car that's either new to you or not yours, like a rental. There is always a bit of learning to figure out (most often) the windshield wiper or lighting switches and radio or air conditioning controls... it takes a little more thinking but the additional workload and brainload generally is rather inconsequential. Cameras are the same... even Nikon V Canon where Canon focuses in the wrong direction. :smile:

Thanks that's a good way to look at it. I went from driving in the UK to driving here in the US so I guess if I can manage that without too many ding ups, I can do this switch.
 

MattKing

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Switching cameras is fairly straightforward for most people.
Switching back and forth frequently between two very similar cameras with switched controls is more of a challenge.
I regularly drive cars two different cars - one with automatic transmission, one with a manual transmission.
I usually don't have to think about using the clutch on the manual transmission car, when I'm driving it and coming to a stop .....
 

Bob Eskridge

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I miss my Rolleicord V with the focus on the right. I have a Rolleiflex now and have to switch hands when advancing film and then focusing.
 

ic-racer

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Cool thanks for your thoughts.

So the fresnel helped brighten the image? How much did it cost?

I found some 'bright' screens hard to focus. I left the original ground glass and make a copy of the Rolleiflex accessory fresnel by taking a fresnel from another camera. There is a clip that holds the accessory fresnel in place above the ground glass.
 
OP
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I miss my Rolleicord V with the focus on the right. I have a Rolleiflex now and have to switch hands when advancing film and then focusing.

Yes I could see how that becomes fumbly when you’re used to it the other way. Thanks for the perspective. I’m still going to buy the Va but I probably will have some growing pains.
 
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You can do it!

Ah cheers! I told myself that every day as I tried to stay on the bloody right side of the road and not careen into oncoming traffic.
I found some 'bright' screens hard to focus. I left the original ground glass and make a copy of the Rolleiflex accessory fresnel by taking a fresnel from another camera.

Sorry I’m a little confused by what you mean about making a copy of the fresnel accessory?
 

ic-racer

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I had a fresnel from another camera and trimmed and beveled slightly to fit into the Rolleicord like this, on top of the existing ground glass. Nothing to take apart or replace.
rollei fresnel.jpeg
 
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I had a fresnel from another camera and trimmed and beveled slightly to fit into the Rolleicord like this, on top of the existing ground glass. Nothing to take apart or replace.
View attachment 315323

Ah okay I understand thanks for the clarification. Interesting I’ll see how I feel about the brightness after I shoot a few rolls with it. Thanks.
 

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I go back and forth with a 2.8F which has the fresnel built-in already so I notice the difference. Otherwise it is reasonable without the fresnel.
 

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Ah okay I understand thanks for the clarification. Interesting I’ll see how I feel about the brightness after I shoot a few rolls with it. Thanks.

Good idea. Bright screens are often overrated. The Rolleicord Vx screens are pretty good. If the mirror is bad, that is more of a problem.
 

btaylor

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Hi there... my Vb has been packed away for a couple of years but the Rolleifix worked just fine on it. In fact, I would not mount my Rolleicord to a mono- or tripod without it.
Aha- it gets tricky here. The V (which I have) has the focus knob on the right side of the body and the base lacks the grooves that the Rolleifix (which is a part of the pistol grip) uses to secure the camera base to the Rolleifix. The Va and Vb have the focus knob on the left side, like a Rolleiflex, and apparently also the proper base to affix the Rolleifix.

I agree with your assessment of not bothering to get a ‘flex because the ‘cord is entirely adequate as a picture taking machine. I have a small collection- the ‘cord and a few ‘flexes. The pictures that come out of my ‘cord V are a match for any of the others for my eyes.

The OP has mentioned he is looking at a Va, so there is no issue with the knob being on a different side.
 
OP
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Not sure if I should start a whole new thread as it relates to the Va. Has anyone had any luck finding the exposure counter knob for the Rolleicord? It was the replaceable dial that goes up to 36 that was made for when you're shooting 35mm?

I've had a bear of a time searching and the only one I could find was on the 'bay for $70 which seems a wee bit steep.

From what I understand, many people just kept them on their cameras so when someone buys a rolleikin adapter, the knob usually isn't there.

If anyone has info on where to get one with the 3 screws, I'd be appreciative.
 
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