|Rolleiflex New Standard - Tim Irving|
I've used an old standard (that's it above, in my hand and on my tee shirt), for over twenty years and wouldn't be without it. This particular Rolleiflex is nothing special, it's very basic, but the photographs from it do have a unique look, one that I love and I believe that's the reason why these and a few other camera and lens combinations are still sought after, it's a certain look. At exhibitions and in print, this qualitydraws me in and I find it very appealing.
The look is most striking with medium format cameras. Certain lenses on 35mm cameras can be unique, but in my experience I've found a larger negative in itself has a distinct quality, that's the reason Rolleiflex, Hasselblad and even the toy medium formats, Holga and Diana have a loyal following.
You can try and emulate a photographic look with software, in fact that's a current trend with phone camera apps, to create a lo-fi look. But if you compare the digital effort with the original, side by side, you'll generally find you can spot the fake.
This mysterious look I'm talking about is personal, not everyone will appreciate it. It's very subtle and is best judged in the form of a print, but I can still spot it on a screen. In my case I only became aware of the look after many years, it's one of the advantages of using a wide variety of cameras.