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Monday, June 6, 2022

Ever heard of a Rollop Camera ??

The time-test cliché !  - ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’ .. .. and they say you are more inclined to read a post, if it has a photo ! – are you the one wielding a Nikon / Canon / Sony / Fuji .. .. .. or clicking with your mobile be it iphone 13, Samsung, Xiaomi, 1+ or .. .. - what does it take to call yourself a photographer, of course not a mere Camera ?  Heard of a Rollop camera ?? 

Photography is the science, art and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. A negative image on film was traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.  

In the 1970s, Camera was something not within the reach of ordinary mortals – for functions, there used to be black & white photos. A decade or two later, photographers would cover important events including marriage – and take 3 or max of 4 roll of photos – remember those Kodak / Konica rolls which were capable of 36 photos or a couple more.  If you ever owned a camera, one was unsure of how many photographs would get proper exposure for printing and how many of them would have captured the event of the persons in the centre……. Photography was baffling……  …………….. – no longer – as the advent of digital cameras vastly altered the scene.  From ‘only good prints’ and ending up with a measly 10 or 12 good photos out of a roll, terms like JPEG, MP became household names; not to speak of cameras in the mobile outselling the digital cameras themselves.  

In this exponential World, things are often complicated – you have mind blowing variations and too much of information – in the end unable to comprehend some simple things …  About 2 decades ago, I was presented a Minota Dimage digital camera that came with a 3.2 MP !!  ~ it was slightly odd looking, powered by   four AA batteries and stored images on SD/MMC cards. It had a unique LCD monitor and came with a 16MB memory card !!  - it was too precious and I would take it out may be once a month or  .. .. that way digital photography changed the way, photos were taken on rolls – now there would be no caution, besides the greatest advantage of instantaneous look of the photos taken .. .. Digital photography uses cameras containing arrays of electronic photodetectors to capture images focused by a lens, as opposed to an exposure on photographic film. The captured images are digitized and stored as a computer file ready for further digital processing, viewing, electronic publishing, or digital printing. Until the advent of this  technology, photographs were made by exposing light sensitive photographic film and paper, which was processed in liquid chemical solutions to develop and stabilize the image.  

Rollop is the name of a series of TLR models made by the German company Lipca introduced in 1954. Were the former Lipca TLR's, the Flexo and Flexora, still made of sheet metal now there is a change to a body made of injection molded aluminium.  


Lipca, was started by a business agreement on October 30th 1947 in Barntrup, Germany, by the former owners of Kamera-Werk C. Richter, the married couple Fritz and Charlotte Richter together with Karl Fischer, a Master of Business Administration. Some months earlier, in June 1947, the Richter couple secretly left the Soviet zone in occupied Germany together with part of the employees and machinery of Kamera-Werk C. Richter Tharandt (near Dresden) as they feared an upcoming expropriation of that factory. They decided to settle in Barntrup, the hometown of Karl Fischer, first in a rented part of a cigarette factory but soon in a new building.  In March 1961 the company moved to another location, Bad Nauheim, and registered there under the name "Lipca GmbH". The Rollop TLR was produced there for a short while. Camera production ceased mid 1962. The Lipca GmbH was officially dissolved on 29th March 1972. 

The Rollop 35 was a last-ditch attempt of Lipca to enter the 35mm camera market after the sharp decline of medium format TLR's sales at the beginning of the 1960's. Lipca didn't produce the Rollop 35 by itself, they were relabeled cameras bought from King   and Franka. 

The photo of Rollop camera was taken at David Camera, Wallajah Road where there are many new ones for sale  and some good old ones kept as relic.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th June 2022. 

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