How To: Load Film into a Rolleiflex T 3.5

Is there still a need to create review and how to content in the mix of millions of blogs?  Yes there is!  Here’s the first of many how to and review blog for specific camera, film, lens, etc.

Alright lets get started and discuss what type of camera is a Rolleiflex T and what film it accepts.  There are multiple variations of Rolleiflex.  This particular one is a gray face Rolleiflex T, a TLR Twin Lens Reflex where the top lens is the viewing/focusing lens and the bottom is the taking lens.  It has a maximum aperture of f3.5 and  made popular by Vivian Maier when one of her self portrait was shot with this camera.   It uses medium format film both 120 and 220.  I can only find 120 films nowadays so all the how to content will be about 120.  The difference between 120 and 220 is the length of the roll and since the Rolleiflex T is a 6X6 square plane it can do 12 shots using 120 film and 24 using 220.


I’m using Kodak Ektar 100 for outdoor bright sunny day shoot.




Note:  Make sure to check first that the camera has no film by looking at the counter.



Let’s prepare the camera first by looking at the bottom and turning the lever to the left as indicated by the arrow.srlk1644


Pull the tab to open the back.



Transfer the film spool that was left over from the previous roll.  If you don’t have an extra spool you can easily buy them online on amazon or eBay, or if you’re in a pinch sacrifice a roll of film to get the spool at the end of the roll (please don’t do it).

To remove the spool pull the roller and the spool will pop out.



Transfer the spool to the bottom roller of the camera.  Pull the roller tab and insert the spool.



Ok, time for the film part.  Open the wrapper and secure the film so that it doesn’t unravel.



Insert the film at the bottom roller and pull it towards the empty spool.  Make sure that the film is on the top of the roller near the red dots.  This is the way to load film on a Rolleiflex T but some Rolleiflex needs the film to go under the roller so check the manual or online which model you have and if it needs the film under or over the roller.




Insert the film tab into the slit of the spool as shown.



Cock the winder to advance the film up to where the arrows lined up with the red dots.



Close the back of the camera and make sure the pull tab of the back latches to the pin before turning the lever back to lock.



Cock the winder until the counter display 1.



Change your ISO dial to 100 matching the film ISO so that you’ll remember what the film sensitivity is.





Your Rolleiflex T is now ready to shoot some photos!



I hope you like it and please comment if I messed up somewhere.  Thanks for viewing and God Bless.



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