It’s Sunday, I’ve just finished dinner, and the kids are out in the back yard fighting. I suppose now is as good a time as any to write. I haven’t written in a while. There are so many fantastic blogs out there for Photography that I don’t often find myself with anything new to say. To shoot myself in the foot here, I’ll name a couple of my favorites: IStillShootFilm and ZorkiPhoto. I have recently become a big fan of Adore Noir Magazine, too. But I digress.This past weekend a good friend of mine came over and had never seen a medium format camera before. I took the opportunity to introduce him to one of the oldest cameras in my collection, the Rolleicord II Type 3. This camera hails from 1938 prewar Germany. It was built as a more affordable version of the Rollieflex cameras of the time. It has a 3 element lens, a crank knob, and a slower lens (f/3.5). However, it has a really nifty feature that, when it works, is a freaking lifesaver for shooting film on a budget: it counts your frames for you. There is a spindle inside, spring loaded, that rests against your 120 roll and turns as you wind the film. Once you set the first frame it automatically counts (and I think _locks_) on each additional frame. I say *think* because I am getting information from the Innerwebs and opinions are sometimes more true than the facts. It also has a nifty feature (broken on mine) of an eye-level viewer built into the VF hood. When you open the VF hood, there is a secondary mirror that flips down and on the back facing the photographer is a magnifying lens — sortof like a periscope! It’s pretty nifty for a “cheaper” version of the ‘Flex.img_20160907_152227Potato pic, but you imagine my Rollei has seen some sh** in 60 years. Up until my friend came over I had never even thought about loading film into it. I was hesitant to test it with expensive film; it wasn’t in the best of shape. The hood was bent, the vulcanite was haphazardly re-glued to it where possible, the glass eye-level finder was shattered, and it appeared the film advance was stuck. Oh yeah, and the shutter speed stopped at 1/100 even though it was 1/300 when manufactured. This, I found out later, was a product of 60 years of gunk and a good CLA will eventually make this camera fancy-pantsy new.So we loaded a roll of my favorite color film, Kodak Ektar 100, and proceeded to take it out back for a couple shots. Well, f/3.5 at dusk doesn’t make for the greatest of pictures, and it’s also not the sharpest aperture to use on a camera that old. There isn’t any really noticeable vignetting, but there is some distortion in the corners, and south of f/8 the lens is super-soft. I wish I could say I had shots to prove this, but they’re 99% crap. The 1% that turned out worth scanning was this goofy shot I took in Tamp & Tap of the beverage cooler. It does kinda show the f/3.5 softness, but a lot of that is the fact that 1/25 second hand held isn’t my friend…at least not after a jolt of coffee.<note – the shot was so bad I am not even attempting to search for it>But get this: It’s 2016 and I shot film out of a camera that very well could have taken photos of pre-war Germany, Occupied France, Bombed Britain, or even the return of American soldiers! Pretty cool stuff. I like nostalgia. The camera will get a CLA. I will eventually replace the mirror that got crushed, and I will repair the stuck film counter, but until then I thought it would be fun to share this with you, and get back on track writing about camera stuff.