The best, most useful and most beautiful cameras ever made for me are the Rollei two-eye reflex cameras. The camera is a simple box. Because it was a camera for professional photographers, it holds a 6 centimeter wide roll film. The Rollei takes 6 by 6 centimeters square photos. And with film, the bigger the better. Rollei negatives or slides are sharp and colorful. The reason that the Rollei has two lenses one above the other also has to do with quality. The top part of the camera is the viewfinder, the bottom part of the camera is the actual camera. Because the lenses for the viewfinder and the camera are almost the same and are close to each other, you can see the image through the viewfinder that matches the final photo as closely as possible.
You look through the top of the camera through the viewfinder. You see your subject on a large frosted glass (also six by six). Focusing is therefore easy, you see what you get. That was of course an advantage for the professional photographer. But it also makes the camera a friendly camera. If you want to take a portrait photo of someone, how not to hold the camera in front of your own face. You aim a normal camera with a viewfinder almost like a weapon at the person you want to put in the picture. But with a Rollei you hold the camera in front of you, focus and print when you have eye contact with the subject, and that is much friendlier.
Before and after the Second World War, the camera was a success with professionals and amateurs. Photography was popular once it was invented and many amateurs saved up for a real Rollei. And Rollei was happy to meet the need. In addition to the Rolleiflex 6 by 6 camera for the professional, they brought a cheaper version on the market under the name Rolleicord, which did use the same good lenses as the cameras for the professional photographers. And for those who found the six by six too big, there was a cute mini Rolleiflex in which roll film of four centimeters went. The Rolleis in the picture were all bought by amateur photographers in the 1950s and 1960s. The Rolleicord belonged to my father and both Rolleiflexes belonged to the fathers of friends.
It is a perfect camera to take pictures of an old cityscape. In panchromatic film (black and white) you get beautiful super sharp images with a lot of depth. I mainly use the Rolleiflex for that. I use the Rolleicord for my friends book. I really ask them to pose, which everyone likes to do in front of such a classic camera.