Rolleflex 2.8A K7A – 1950

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I finally succumbed to getting a Rolleflex!

These normally go for silly amounts of money and I was lucky enough to spot this 2.8A at 60% of its market value.

It arrived looking a little shabby. The viewing lens is fogged and the exterior is (ahem) well used. One consolation, the taking lens is pretty clean and scratch free.

The shutter works but is a little slow at all speeds. Internally its clean and the mechanics work as intended, although the shutter button is slow to return. This is due to a slight ding to the corner of the camera and no doubt some bent internals. I suspect the damage may also affect lens board alignment.

I haven’t pulled it apart yet, but have given it a thorough clean.

The Rolleiflex 2.8 K7A (actual designation) dates between Dec 1949 and Feb 1951. The serial no. on this camera puts it at around 1950.

According to the Rollieclub web site, only 7870 were made for the US market over a 15 month period, all sporting the Zeiss Tessar 80mm f/2.8 lens. So with such provenance, this may be considered quite rare.

The early variants (version 1) with Compur Rapid shutters were recalled and the Zeiss Jena Tessar replaced with a Zeiss Opton Tessar. This was due to mismatched lens elements being used in the Jena Tessars.

I did read somewhere that Rollei sent a batch of pre-war Jena Tessar lenses back to Zeiss for coating and matched elements got mixed up in the process causing optical issues.

This version 1 has a Zeiss Opton Tessar, so it may have been recalled.

Some say that Zeiss pushed the Tessar design too far at f/2.8, although its the same lens as used on the Zeiss Super Ikonta B.

Unfortunately it didn’t come with a case or strap, so I’ll have to be inventive and make a case and a strap, as the lugs are too small to take the traditional Rollei scissor strap.

This is my second foray into the Rollei camp (the first being a Rollei 35) and I must confess, I actually prefer Zeiss Ikon and Hasselblad cameras – purely on build quality, that’s not to say Rollei are bad (far from it), just that IMO the other two have a slight edge.

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4 thoughts on “Rolleflex 2.8A K7A – 1950”

  1. I’ve got the same camera and am wondering what to do about getting a camera strap, did you find anyone selling a strap for this model.
    I guess I could trim down a strap to fit the thing slit on the strap lugs.
    When I got it serviced by a Rolleiflex specialist I was informed the 2.8a with the 80mm lens of very rare and worth allot because so few were made.

    1. Hi Steve, I bought some leather strap from a saddlery on eBay, cut it length and punched hole and slit at each end, worked a treat and only cost a few pounds.

  2. John,
    A modified leather dog lead made a nice strap for my K7A. After cutting the ends off I had to thin the thickness a little to get it through the strap lugs. I used a fresh ‘Stanley’ knife blade and took my time. I then stitched the loops closed with polyester upholstery thread. It is a strong job in which I have the comfort of complete confidence.

    I am having difficulty finding a lens hood and a bay 2 yellow filter – any advice/thoughts? There is a company in the UK which make a bay 2 – 43mm adapter which would work well but would not be as pleasing to the eye as the real thing.

    1. Conor, bay 2 filters / hoods are rare, only advice is keep an eye on eBay as they do surface from time to time.

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