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mirror on lens caps
Old 01-16-2014   #1
Mike Riches
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mirror on lens caps

A friend that just got a Rollie . What are the little mirrors for on the twin lens caps ? Thanks in advance .

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Old 01-17-2014   #2
baachitraka
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:-) chic magnet.
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Old 01-17-2014   #3
Highway 61
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Self-portraits.
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Old 01-18-2014   #4
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Oooooooo, shiny!
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Old 01-18-2014   #5
randolph45
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Eye catcher or cheap no paint money saver for Rollie
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Old 01-18-2014   #6
FrankS
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Vanity mirror
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Old 01-18-2014   #7
Dan Daniel
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It's for selfies. On the viewing lens, of course.

What, you thought self-portraits were invented with the iPhone and Instagram?

(I'm pretty certain it's a 'because we can' aesthetic decision on Rollei's part. They repeatedly took excellent design and machine work and added an extra flourish. On the exterior, that is. Look at things like the strap lugs on 'Flexes and the shutter lock and self-timer knobs. The mechanics- pure business.)
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Old 01-19-2014   #8
farlymac
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Could have been a marketing gizmo. Just think, as you walk into the camera store, if the cameras have the lens caps on, which one do you think will catch your eye first?

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Old 01-19-2014   #9
hanskerensky
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Must have been fashionable at a certain time as i have seen some Japanese TLR's with the same feature.
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Old 01-22-2014   #10
hanskerensky
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Here nice shiny caps on a Japanese Prince Junior :

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Old 01-23-2014   #11
NY_Dan
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Mike, I'm so glad you asked this excellent question. Very few photographers are aware of the following bit of photographic history. On February 26, 1921 Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke (founders of Rolleiflex) were out taking photos and cross country skiing. Paul stopped to take some photos, and Reinhold unaware that his pal Paul was no longer following him continued on. Reinhold was the better skiier, and they were skiing in an area Paul was unfamiliar with. When Paul realized he was alone he started to panic. When he calmed down, he hiked to a nearby hill and used his lens cap, which was an unpainted prototype as a signal mirror to summon Reinhold to his rescue. That night while warming themselves by the fire, drinking Schnapps and eating Strudel, and with Reinhold's German Shepard, Shotzy warming his feet, Reinhold said to Paul, "Aber Gott sei Dank sind sie objektiv Deckel wurde nicht gemalt, und denke Hilda heiß ist?" ( Thank God your lens cap wasn't painted, and do think Hilda is hot?) To which Paul replied, "Wenn Sie das nächste Mal ski hinter mir, und vergessen Hilda, ihre Schwester Bertha ist ein Tor schießt!" (Next time you ski behind me, and forget Hilda, her sister Bertha is a screamer!) A few hours later, as the last embers of the fire burnt out, and Shotzy lapped up the spilled drops from the empty Schnapps bottles, Paul and Reinhold decided to offer mirrored lens caps as a safety option for those adventurous photographers wishing to TLR in the back country.

Over the decades many notable photographers used the mirrored lens caps to signal for help when their lives were imperiled. Indeed, were it not for that fateful fireside decision, the whole course of photography would have been changed for the worse. Famous photographers, HCB, Adams, Erwitt, Frank, Abbott, Lange, Penn, Avedon, Eisenstadt, Calzone, Gellings, Wagner, and many many more all owe their lives to the mirrored lens cap.

Sadly, the mirrored lens caps were not always used for good. On September 1, 1939 the German army used a mirrored lens cap to signal the invasion of Poland. And on December 7, 1941 a Japanese spy on the top of Hawaiian mountain, Mauna Kea (elevation 13,796 ft), used a mirrored lens cap to guide the attacking Zeros to their targets.

So the next time, you remove your mirrored lens caps, stop, think, and reflect upon it's historical significance. For what it's worth, even when I'm without my camera, I'm never without my mirrored lens caps. Hey, you never know....
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Old 01-23-2014   #12
Murray Kelly
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You can tell it's a fairy story because HCB never used a TLR? Plus it's very Grimm.
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Old 01-23-2014   #13
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And I thought I could make up some tall stories, nice one.
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Old 01-23-2014   #14
KoNickon
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"ein Tor schiesst"? Must be an idiom.

The story is worthy of one of Jon Goodman's ads over on APUG; funny.

Actually, I've been told that you can use the mirror on the lower cap as an aid if you want to take a picture of yourself. Leave the cap engaged with the top bayonet but swivel the cap so that the lower half is clear of the lens. If you can see yourself reflected in the lower cap, you'll be in the picture. Haven't tested this myself.
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Old 01-23-2014   #15
alienmeatsack
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I assumed it was for "selfies" as well. I've had a few cameras with mirrors for selfies, including 2 of my phones over the years. Makes perfect sense to me.

The "catches your eye in the shop" thing is also makes perfect sense.
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Old 01-23-2014   #16
Brian Atherton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
...Actually, I've been told that you can use the mirror on the lower cap as an aid if you want to take a picture of yourself. Leave the cap engaged with the top bayonet but swivel the cap so that the lower half is clear of the lens. If you can see yourself reflected in the lower cap, you'll be in the picture. Haven't tested this myself.
Or use the back of a spoon. The effect is pretty much the same... and cheaper.
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Old 01-23-2014   #17
alienmeatsack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Atherton View Post
Or use the back of a spoon. The effect is pretty much the same... and cheaper.
Because so many of us photographers have a spoon in our equipment bags for selfies. ;D
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Old 01-23-2014   #18
KoNickon
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"Microflex in practical use" -- man, they copied F&H's rather stilted wording exactly! Funny. I'd love to see some pictures from your Microflex.
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Old 01-24-2014   #19
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I have no way of knowing personally, but as someone who has spent way too much time chasing down dropped or mislaid lenscaps, I was thinking a mirror might be useful as light catchers/reflectors when one was looking for them.
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