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The Classic Rollei: A Definitive Guide Hardcover – 7 Oct 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ammonite Press (7 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906672938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906672935
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Phillips was born and lived most of the first nine years of his life in Shanghai. After spells in Britain, Ireland and Hong Kong he emigrated, with his family, to New Zealand where, for most of his adult life, he practised as a lawyer. Keenly interested in photography since his twenties, John Phillips acquired his first Rollei twin-lens reflex in 1982. This book is a result of his deepening interest in the cameras over the following two decades. John has contributed articles to newspapers and magazines, including Photograhica World, the journal of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent. It's a Goldmine of Information. If you're a collector of classic Rolleis it's a must have. It contains lots of specific information on serial numbers, production years, how one camera differs from another, and so on.
It's also useful if you're a user of Rolleis rather than a collector. You'll find a lot of good info about how every camera works, what to look out for, which accessories you can get, maintenance etc.

It is NOT a coffe table book. It's a bit dry, but I like that. There are no flashy color photographs, only black and white pictures for identification purposes, plus a short section with a few examples of pictures made by some of the famous Rollei photographers. There's no nonsense here - it's strictly business. But I didn't buy it for the entertainment - I wanted specific information, and that's what I got.
It struck me that this book is made in the spirit of the classic Rollei: With care and extreme precision. And it's highly functional.

It says on the cover that it's "A definitive guide". Well, that's true. It may very well be THE definitive guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one to keep. Having just bought a Rolleiflex and being impressed with the quality, I wanted to know more about this great line of cameras. I was not disappointed. Lots of technical detail for every model from the first and even test charts. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb book and one of the best I have read on this subject, it is concise clear and very informative. The detail and description accuracy is a boon to anyone wishing to buy or to know about the various models and the book covers almost every aspect of these fine cameras in great detail, including the many accessories and which models they can be used on. There have been many books written over the years about The Rolleiflex and Rolleicords and for me this one is up there with the very best. It is not just a read once type of book, but a continuing reference for future use and will give much enjoyment to anyone interested in the models and history of the Rollei and of the Franke and Heidecke company. This book is both a good read and a valuable reference resource.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just wanted to add my recommendation for this book.

I am interested in buying a Rolleiflex and this book was very helpful in explaining which models were which and what the differences are between them. The book is meticulously written by an obvious expert. For each camera model there is naming information, production dates, identification information, a profile, a list of features, information on model varieties and serial numbers, accessory information and more - much better information than anything I have found online. The book is structured as a chronological history of Franke & Heidecke and Rollei production, and the individual camera profiles appear in the book in the context of when they were introduced.

The book covers Rollei cameras from the beginning up to the Rolleiflex 2.8F and Rolleicord Vb. The author argues (validly) against including later models as they were produced after the liquidation in 1981 of the original Franke & Heidecke firm.
There are also chapters covering lenses and shutters, accessories and "a guide for the user", as well as detailed appendices covering loading and winding instructions, camera condition, helpful lens focus test charts, camera care and identification charts.

My only gripes:
I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but there's no denying they could have come up with a better design.
As the other reviewer has stated, this is not a coffee table book. There is only a short section showing 14 photographs taken with Rollei cameras. (There are of course adequate images of the camera models themselves.) It would have been nice to have more sample photos interspersed throughout, though maybe image licensing fees would have excessively increased the book's retail price.
Still, neither of these are enough to take anything from the 5-star rating.

Highly recommended for researching Rollei cameras.
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