Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rollei Circular Tripod Head 1957

In 1957 F&H Rollei developed this interesting circular tripod head for the TLR, it was made to have a level instrument high precision and was better from this point of view than others tripod heads using different means like ball heads (f.e.); it had three main functions that could be used combined or separately, one was to offer a system for a perfect parallax correction for close-ups and macro/microphotography similar regarding the Mamiya Paramender someway but more complex (the Paramender is an accesory for the tripod head, the Rollei device was a tripod head directly), the system had different plates according the taking lens-viewing lens combo, this lens plate slid within a frontal fixed lens plate to change from the viewing lens to the taking lens via a lever, in other words the taking lens was placed in the viewing lens place after it was focused (you could do fine focusing again if necessary in the lenses new position BTW, knowing the taking lens had the right framing), the camera also slid on a rail smoothly for a more precise focusing with close-ups and macro auxiliary lenses specially. Using a dedicated tripod legs, the circular tripod head could rotate very much for reproduction work and it could also be used to take up to 10 pano frames having the circular tripod head a special 6ยบ movement to help for the task. Since the TLR could be slid on a graduated rail, you could find the very exact exit pupil for each camera and lens combo.

The production prototype was excellent and some samples were made in 1957, but it was very expensive to manufacture, Rollei decided to abort the project, at the end of the day the Heidosmat Rolleinars offered a good parallax correction in general except for some slight perspective distortion perceptible for certain situations and F&H already manufactured the RPH from decades ago; this circular tripod head was a good accesory Rollei did not manufacture for the market.

Note: My blog about the Rolleiflex SL 35 System: