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© 1998-2020 Ferdi Stutterheim

Bay III filter on Planar 1:2.8, Photo Ferdi Stutterheim
Bayonet III filter on Planar 1:2.8. Filters are mounted on to the inner bayonet of the lens. The original Rollei filter shows its inner bayonet. Fiters can be stacked. When a filter is mounted the lens hood can still be mounted on to the outer bayonet.
Photo ©2014  F.W. Stutterheim

Page Index

  1. Rolleiflex Filters for monochrome photography
  2. Rolleiflex Filters for colour photography
  3. Third party filters in Rolleiflex bayonet mount
  4. Rolleipol Polarisation Filter
  5. Rolleisoft Soft Focus Lenses
  6. Notes
  7. References

Rolleiflex Filters for monochrome photography

A huge number of filters for monochrome photography were made in Bayonet sizes I (from 1938), II (from 1949) and III (from 1954). A smaller selection was made for the Wide-angle Rolleiflex in Bayonet IV from 1961 until 1967. Original filters in size IV are rare.

Some filters are labeled ‘For panchromatic emulsions’. From the early 1900s orthochromatic and panchromatic films were available. Orthochromatic films were insensitive to red rays hence could be developed under red light and were much cheaper than pan films. Panchromatic films are sensible to all visible rays so they have to be developed in total darkness. The change from ortho to pan films happened very gradually. Today all black and white film is of the panchromatic type. Caused by the difference in spectral sensitivity some filters are less suitable for orthochromatic films.

The yellow, orange and red filters are quite common in black and white photography others are unusual. The light yellow ‘Sport&risqué; filter for pan film was marketed while another light yellow filter already existed. A typical Rolleiflex filter was the ‘H1&risqué;. It corrects blue colour casts with early Tessar and Xenar lenses. It resembles a UV filter but filters out a little bit more blue I presume. Many early lenses transmitted an excess of blue light. In black and white exposures it meant a washed out sky and in colour photography a cool image. In the case Rolleiflex it means Tessars and Xenars. It made the use of a correction filter advisable. Rollei made the H1 filter. Later lenses like Planars and Xenotars had that problem solved by using a UV blocking lens cement. The Rolleiflex T of 1958 was equipped with a recomputed Tessar with the UV blocking cement.

Rolleiflex 2.8 with Plate Adaptor 1480, Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Photograph of Ferdi’s Rolleicord III with 1:3.5 Xenar lens fitted with a light yellow filter in Bayonet I. Leather case for 2 Bay I filters and the lens hood. Pre-1964 Bay 1 Medium yellow filter labeled ‘Franke & Heidecke’ and a Roleinar 3 set also in Bay I. Note the red dot on the viewing lens that should be on top when mounted.
Photo ©2020  F.W. Stutterheim
Rolleiflex Filters for monochrome photography
Filter in
leather case
Bay I Bay II Bay III Bay IV EV
Correction1
Filter
Factor
Application, effect
Light Yellow 1938‑1981 1949‑1981 1954‑1981 1961‑1967 -1 Landscapes, snow, clouds. Renders yellow and green
lighter, blue darker.
Medium Yellow 1938-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -1.5
Sport 1940-1952 1949-1952 not
available
not
available
-1 Light yellow filter for universal use with
panchromatic emulsions.
Light Green 1941-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -1 Landscapes, snow, clouds. Renders green lighter, red
(complexion) and blue darker.
For panchromatic emulsions.
Green 1938-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -1.5
Orange 1939-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -1.5 3-7× Hazy distant views. Renders yellow-red lighter,
blue darker, distant objects clearer.
Light Red 1938-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -2 4-10× Hazy distant views. Renders red lighter, blue-green
darker. Gives stronger effects than orange filter.
Light Blue 1939-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -0.5 1.5× Artificial light. Renders red darker.
For ultra-panchromatic emulsions.
Grey 2 1959-1966 1959-1966 1959-1966 1961-1967 -2 2 stops Neutral Grey filter.
Can also be used for colour exposures.
Grey 4 1959-1966 1959-1966 1959-1966 1961-1967 -4 4 stops Neutral Grey filter.
Can also be used for colour exposures.
Ultra-Violet 1938-1981 1949-1981 1954-1981 1961-1967 -0.5 1.5× Hight altitudes over 2000 m (6000 ft). Sea-scapes.
Eliminates ultra-violet rays which reduce contrast.
H12 1950-1978 1956-1972 1952-1958 not
available
-0.5 1.5× Distant landscapes. Corrects blue colour cast with
early Tessars or Xenars. Planars, Xenotars and
recomputed Tessar and Xenars have built‑in correction.
Can also be used for colour exposures.
Infrared 1951-1981 1956-1981 1952-1981 1961-1967 Exposure depends
on the type of
emulsion used and
must be determined
by tests.
Special filter for infrared emulsions. Transmits dark
red above 700 nm and infrared.

Rolleiflex Filters for colour photography

A nearly as great number of filters was made for colour photography in all bayonet sizes. They were sold as R(ed-brown) and B(lue) colour correction filters of 2, 5 and 11 decamired from 1956. The filters are meant to be stacked to reach the desired value. Higher values were used when exposing day-light film with artificial light or the other way around. The factory provide tables with the native colour temperatures (in K) of films and the expected colour temperature of some scenes so the photographer could estimate the difference and could read the needed filter for compensation. From 1958 B1 and R1 were added to the list. Production ended around 1966. From 1967 until 1981 a more common R1.5 ‘Sky-Light Filter’ was offered. The R1, R1.5, R2 and B1, B2 are now seen as colour compensating filters rather than conversion filters. With the Rolleiflex 4.0 FW a small number of new Rolleiflex flters was offered in size IV.

Filter set BIII 1480, Photo F.W. Stutterheim
Set in Bayonet III. Leather case for 2 filters and a lens hood. A pre-1964 light green filter on the front labeled ‘Franke & Heidecke’, without bayonet size indication. The second filter is a later R1.5 filter with additional front bayonet for stacking filters. The front bayonet adds to the hight of the filter, it does not fit in this case.
Photo ©2020  F.W. Stutterheim
Rolleiflex Filters for colour photography
Filter in
leather case
Bay I Bay II Bay III Bay IV EV
Correction
Filter
Factor
Application, effect
R1 1958-1969 1958-1969 1958-1969 not
available
0 Corrects blue colour cast.
R1.5 1967-1981 1967-1981 1967-1981 not
available
0
R2 1956‑1969 1956‑1969 1956‑1969 1961‑1966 -0.5 1.5×
R5 1956-1966 1956-1966 1956-1966 1961-1966 -0.5 1.5×
R11 1956-1966 1956-1966 1956-1966 1961-1966 -1
B1 1958-1969 1958-1969 1958-1969 1961-1966 0 Corrects red colour cast.
(when using Daylight film
with artificial light).
B2 1956-1969 1956-1969 1956-1969 1961-1966 -0.5 1.5×
B5 1956-1966 1956-1966 1956-1966 1961-1966 -0.5 1.5×
B11 1956-1966 1956-1966 1956-1966 1961-1966 -1

Third party filters in Rolleiflex bayonet mount

Altough lens filters seem to have regained in popularity few filters in Rolleiflex bayonets are made by third parties. Selected new bayonet I, II, III filters are available from Heliopan. The new filters have better and scratch resistant multi-coating. The warming-up filters (KR.. or 81.. series) are being phased out. Production at Heliopan stopped several years ago. Schneider has totally stopped making B+W filters in Rolleiflex bayonet mounts.

Heliopan

Heliopan glass filters are of excellent quality however the modern mounts are not as good as the classic chrome Rolleiflex filters. Classic Rolleiflex Bay I and III filters are readily available from auction sites but Bay II filters are hard to get. I understand bayonet mount filters can be made to order by SRB Photographic in the U.K. For contact details see below in the adaptor ring listings.

Using thread mount filters with an adaptor ring on a Rolleiflex is more and more becoming a viable option. Adaptor rings are still made by Heliopan and others for three bayonet sizes.

Heliopan

Camera Depot

Harrison and Harrison
1835 Thunderbolt Drive, Unit E
Porterville, CA 93257
U.S.A.
Telephone 559-782-0121
e-mail: Harrison

SRB Photographic

Rolleipol Polarisation Filter

The polarisation filter for photographic purposes was invented by Prof Ferdinand Bernauer in 1935 and marketed by Carl Zeiss Jena as Herapathit filter in 1936. It based on a crystal of a Quinine-Iodine compound. The Rolleiflex company - Franke & Heidecke - ordered the new filter right away. Their focusing screen was already fit to use the polariser. It was offered as ‘Herotar but later renamed &lsquoBernotar&risqué; in honour of its inventor. It was replaced with the more advanced polariser from Käsemann in 1952. It was sold under the name Rolleipol. In order to find the desired polarisation the filter needs te be rotatable preferably while being mounted to the lens. The first Rolleipol was a two part filter. The second model was in one part with a rotatable front ring.

Even today filters made by/after Käsemann are state of he art in polarisers. I use a Heliopan polariser in Bayonet III for by twin lens reflexes.

Rolleipol
Filter in
leather case
Bay I (28.5∅) Bay II (34∅) Bay III (38∅) Bay IV EV
Correction
Filter
Factor
Application, effect
Rolleipol 1952 not
available
not
available
not
available
-1.5 Elimination or subduing of disturbing reflections from
shiny, non-metallic objects or surfaces.
Two parts.
Rolleipol 1951-1981 1956-1981 1953-1981 1961‑1967 -1.5 Elimination or subduing of disturbing reflections from
shiny, non-metallic objects or surfaces.
One part with rotatable front ring.

Early Rolleipol filters were engraved with the diameter in mm, later ones carry the size in Roman numbers as usual.

Rolleisoft Soft Focus Lenses

The Carl Zeiss and Schneider Kreuznach lenses of the Rolleiflex and Rolleicord are high definition optics. In some circumstances a bitingly sharp image is less desirable. Anyway in the hay-days of the Rolleiflex slightly soft portraits were still fashionable. The remedy was a diffusion filter also called softening filter or a soft-focus lens like the Rodenstock Imagon. For the SL 66 with exchangeable lenses the Imagon was offered. For the TLRs it was diffusion filters, named Rolleisoft.

The basis of the Rolleisoft is the Duto-filter. It is a flat glass with a number of concentric circles etched into the glass. The flat glass parts allow the sharp image while the circles take care of diffusion. More circles means a greater effect. Two Rolleisoft filters were on offer 0 and 1. The general idea is a sharp but diffused image. The downside of Duto-filters is they work best at open aperture which means a soft and possibly unsharp image anyway. A later more sophisticated solution were the Zeiss Softars. No concentric circles but scattered circular structures on the flat glass. Carl Zeiaa Softars were available only in Bayonet VI for SL 66 and System 6000.

Rolleisoft 0 and 1
Filter in
leather case
Bay I (28.5∅) Bay II (34∅) Bay III (38∅) Bay IV EV
Correction
Filter
Factor
Application, effect
Rolleisoft 0 1951-1981 1956-1981 1953-1981 not
available
0 Soft Focus Lens. Moderate softening of super‑critical definition
producing striking fluffy halo-effects especially with
back-lighting and open aperture.
Two parts.
Rolleisoft 1 1951-1981 1956-1981 1953-1981 not
available
0 Soft Focus Lens. Stronger softening of super-critical definition
producing striking fluffy halo-effects especially with
back-lighting.
Can be stopped down to f=5.6
One part with rotatable front ring.

Rolleisoft lenses are based on the Duto-Lens with concentric circles. For the SL 66 and System 6000 Carl Zeiss Softars were available. Softars have scattered circular glass structures and can also be used with smaller apertures.

Notes

[1]
/tlr66developments.php#evs

References