still life on glass...

It is always a great thrill to debut a new old camera here at chéz incidence, and this one is especially exciting. We recently acquired a Rolleiflex 2.8A with a lovely 80mm f/2.8 Opton Tessar lens, in beautiful working condition.

The camera dates from about 1951 and is quite rare, only about 2,000 of them were made. The 2.8A has garnered a reputation for poor optical quality, as many cameras in the first production run were fitted with mismatched lenses. So now all 2.8A's tend to be disparaged and -- lucky for us -- most people prefer to look for other Rolleiflex models.

By the time the second version of this camera came off the assembly line, though, the lens problems were sorted. As you can see, it's all here: classic Tessar character in a fast lens, with sharp focus and smooth gradient transitions, combined with the beautifully rounded specular highlights of a 10-bladed aperture. Don't tell anyone. It is fantastic glass.

Yes, we are still going on the road for a couple weeks; I just couldn't resist sharing the joy of this new arrival!

Handheld in Lomé, Togo, November 2007.

Rolleiflex 2.8A (type 2), Rolleinar 2, Fomapan 400.