It’s a kinda magic

Or a Rollei Magic to be accurate.

The Magic, as I shall hereafter call it, is a medium format, twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera manufactured by German company Franke & Heidecke. It was Rollei’s answer to the demand for a TLR with an automated exposure control. The camera uses 120 roll film so there are no issues finding film. As is to be expected, twelve 6x6cm square images can be captured for each roll of film. By using a special mask set the camera can be adapted to produce 16 images of 4×4 or 4×5.5cm on a roll however that’s not something I have in my kit bag.

The Magic’s successor, the Rollei Magic II, has full manual controls whereas the Magic has very limited capability in this respect; it was designed to be quick and easy to use. Load, compose, click! A true point and shoot really even if it’s in a TLR body.

Automatic Perfect Pictures!

Rollei Magic brochure

I’d seen the camera several weeks ago in the local camera shop’s window. Compared to prices on a certain internet site it was very modestly priced so I did some further research. In a nutshell, if the meter is knackered then it’s an interesting paperweight – very nice to look at but very little practical use. So, when my wife went in to town again recently I asked her to pop in and ask about the meter, explaining it was a good buy if the meter worked. I fully expected her to return home with an answer, which she did, but wasn’t expecting her to have the camera in her bag though!

My first task was to check the meter. The needle reacted to varying light levels which was a good start. The shop, who I trust implicitly, said it worked and had even given a 3-month warranty to back up this assertion. I loaded a roll of HP5+ and headed out for a wander.

It works! Twelve evenly-spaced, properly exposed negatives. Result.

I’m looking forward to more time with this magic little camera and perhaps a few more blog posts too!

7 thoughts on “It’s a kinda magic”

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