Rolleicord (III) Screen advice

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ste_S, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    Thinking of picking up a Rolleicord III, but I'm wary of having to also budget to replace the screen. What’s Phototrio’s thoughts on this one below ? It looks reasonable enough but I guess can never tell properly without trying it in the flesh

    IMG_0807.PNG
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member
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    I, personally, have never felt the need to replace screens on old cameras. A brighter screen may help in dim lighting situations but other than that I find not much value for the money.
     
  3. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

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    Please do not buy any cheap screen and compare to them the ground glass that come with camera is far better. I bought one screen from ebay and it is absolute garbage.

    * You can invest in a nice hat when shooting outside under the sun and ground glass is super sharp and snaps very nice into the focus.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    A few years ago I re-ground a screen for my Microcord TLR, it was then much brighter than the original. Later I fitted a Chinese screen which was slightly brighter and has a centre focus spot, it's excellent. I'd bought it for my Yashicamat 124 but the screen sat in a drawer in the UK, and the camera is only used when I'm in Turkey.

    My experience is that most older screens are quite dim Graflex screens even on the Super Graphics and MPPs all benefit on having their screens replaced or reground it's an improvement of a bout 2 stops apparent brightness, that was certainly the case with my Microcord. Some companies screens were much brighter by the mid 1950's but not all.

    I probably have glass already cut for a Microcord/Rolleicord screen so could help you out if needs be, I'm only 20 mins from Birmingham.

    Ian
     
  5. jimjm

    jimjm Subscriber
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    I upgraded the screen in my Rolleicord III a few years ago, as I also found the original screen too dim for interior shots, or if I needed to focus on an object in the corners. Didn't want to spend the $$ on a Maxwell or Beattie screen, especially as they would probably cost more than the camera was worth. I bought a Rick Oleson "splitscreen as I found it a big improvement in brightness, along with the addition of gridlines and a split-image focusing spot. One downside is that the fresnel pattern does not "snap" into focus as easily as the stock screen. I see he now has an improved Britescreen with a finer fresnel, which could make focusing a lot easier.
     
  6. 4season

    4season Member
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    Before you spend money on a new screen, make sure the mirror hasn't lost a lot of it's silvering. It's a pretty inexpensive and easy fix.
     
  7. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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  8. macfred

    macfred Subscriber
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    I bought a cheap chinese split-image screen and a Oleson Brightscreen (Microprism center spot / no split-image) for my Rolleiflex 3.5F - like them both. The Oleson Brightscreen is great for portrait and close-up photography (with the Rolleinars); the chinese split-image for other uses.
    I tried a Maxwell from a friend and though it was very bright, I had problems to find propper focus. Maybe a mistake owed to my old eyes ...
     
  9. macfred

    macfred Subscriber
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    Dan, before I misunderstand ... You use this glass as a focus screen really? I would like to try this out.
     
  10. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    No, you use it in addition to the ground glass. Keep the ground glass just as it is. Then drop the fresnel on top. You still focus on the ground glass.

    Common technique. Yashica and Minolta added plastic fresnels on the bottom of their ground glass screens. Rollei made a plastic fresnel to go in on the top of later models, Rolleigrid. Using the cheap plastic is just a, well, cheap way to do it, especially as a test before making the investment in a real screen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  11. macfred

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    Thank you for the response, Dan - makes sense for me. I think I will give it a try with the original groundglass I've got with the camera.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I suspect the screen is glass, unless it has been replaced. I put a fresnel over my glass to make it brighter. My camera has a clip to hold the fresnel in place. Fresnel like this with fine elements can be hard to find as most manufacturers incorporate the fresnel to the focus screen. I made my Rolleigrid from a cut down Horseman fresnel. Horseman is one of a few medium format manufacturers that used glass screens and plastic fresnel in their latest models.
    Rolleigrid.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  13. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber
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    FYI, I replaced the original screen on my Rolleicord IV with an inexpensive modern screen from an RB67 (RB67 screen trimmed with a razor blade). It is much brighter and works reasonably well, but since the thickness is different than the original, the camera focus required adjustment.
     
  14. OP
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    Ste_S

    Ste_S Member

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    Thanks for all the replies folks. I'll take the plunge with the camera, I've communicated with the seller and the mirror is good. If i find the mirror is too dim to use I'll be back !
     
  15. JimCee

    JimCee Member

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    Just to affirm this procedure, I purchased a very inexpensive fresnel plastic at the Barnes & Noble bookstore yesterday here in Tucson. It was a bookmark magnifier that cost a mere $2.95. I cut it down to fit the size of my Rolleicord IV focusing screen and just dropped it down on top of the ground glass focusing screen. The difference in the amount of brightness to the screen was quite amazing! The camera focuses very easily, with the image "snapping" into view.

    I'm personally happy to use this little plastic fresnel for the foreseeable future, until I may decide to purchase one of the replacement focusing screens from Rick Oleson.
     
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