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Mirror replacement for my new Rolleicord.
Old 07-29-2009   #1
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Mirror replacement for my new Rolleicord.

I know there are other threads on this subject but I wanted to post some photos to show how easy it is to get a new mirror for your TLR.

I recently acquired a Rolleicord Art Deco at an auction.

When I looked at the viewing screen the image was really blurred. I cleaned the grime off but it was still awfull.

When I unscrewed the viewfinder the source of the problem became apparent. Where the mirror should've been there was a piece of glass covered with a bit of silver card. The image it gave was how I imagine the world looks if you have cataracts.

A search of the inter-web found this thread which suggeted I could use the mirror from a Polaroid camera:

I wasnt quite sure what "bulk housing" meant but picked up a Polaroid One Step which I easily took apart and removed the mirror. Not the actual one but they look like this:

The mirror in these cameras is slightly bigger than needed for the Rolleicord so it needed cutting down. Unfortunately the person I asked to do it f***ed it up and broke the corner off. It still worked but the top right-hand bit of the image was black in the viewfinder.

Next I picked up this thing for 50p at a car boot sale:

I took this one apart using these specialised camera repair tools:

I should point out that I am hopeless at fixing stuff so if I can do it anyone can. Like the One Step, this camera came apart really easily.

First I removed the lift-up flash part. I pulled it off then cut the ribbon that attaches the two parts.

Then I set about prizing the other bits out of the front of the camera using a screwdriver. I dont think I actually unscrewed anything - just pulled it all out.

It's very easy and you get this out:

On this one I lifted up the plastic covering at the back from the bottom to reveal a lovely intact mirror:

This just pops out, no glue or screws holding it in place. I took it to a nice chap who cut it down for £2.

My Rolleicord now has a screen that works well enough for me to get this photo:

So far focussing seems ok, although I may need to fine tune it. We'll see.
Leica M3 + 3.5 Summaron, Mamiya 6, Voigtlander Vitessa + Ultron 2.0, Olympus XA, Olympus 35SP (broken), Olympus Mju II, Rolleicord Art Deco, OM-4Ti, OM2n, Canon 30D.

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Last edited by simonSE15 : 07-29-2009 at 11:53.
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Old 07-29-2009   #2
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Very interesting rescue, thanks for sharing.

B2 (;->
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Old 07-29-2009   #3
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As noted elsewhere, the Poloroid's boast surface mirrors, and though they are available from specialty shops, you can't beat the dead one-step's price!

Thank you for sharing how simple this can be.
Rick Beckrich

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Last edited by newspaperguy : 07-29-2009 at 10:38. Reason: sp
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Old 07-29-2009   #4
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Thanks for sharing an interesting repair. My first camera was a Rolleicord Ia, not nearly as pretty as your 'Art Deco" one. Rollei made a brighter focusing screen in the 1960s, which I had installed in my (later) Rolleiflex. I had a black focusing hood extension which I sometimes used on both Rolleis. It helped me see the image on the focusing screen more easily. Placing a focusing screen on the film rails would help you adjust the focus of your mirror and focusing screen. PM me if you'd like to borrow a Rollei sheetfilm back and groundglass. Good success.
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Old 01-25-2012   #5
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Hello, a bit of a post un-earthing : do you know if a mirror from just any polaroid fits? I've got a Pola Black Onyx but I don't really want to rip apart, and I'd really like to get back my Art Deco to life.

Thanks a lot!

Rolleiflex T, Rolleicord Art Déco, sweet Minolta XD5, dead XGM, X300 and X700 ; Hi-Matic F, Hi-Matic 9, Pentax SP1000 and K20D
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Old 01-25-2012   #6
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Made for different models, but perhaps can be modified to fit:

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Old 01-25-2012   #7
Steve M.
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I've used the US Camera mirrors several times. Excellent quality. You might have to cut it down on the 'cord models. That's what I had to do to get it in an Autocord.
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Old 01-25-2012   #8
Dan Daniel
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Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
I've used the US Camera mirrors several times. Excellent quality. You might have to cut it down on the 'cord models. That's what I had to do to get it in an Autocord.
US Camera's Yahsica TLR mirror fits in an Autocord quite well. i think their mirror might be a millimeter shoter and a bit wider at the base, but I know from installing several into several Autocords that they do work.

I may be mistaken in my memory, but I think I put a US Camera Yashica mirror into a Rolleicord III and to a Rolleiflex Automat K3. The US Camera site has dimensions on the mirrors; mock up a dummy of both the Rolleiflex and Yahsica sizes to see if one will work?

Also, this is probably obvious to many most or all people most likely, but I learned the hard way that Polaroid batteries in film packs are quite long-lasting, capable of charging a flash after months, and that cutting a wire to the flash can discharge it into your wire snips. The plastic coated handles kept the energy away from me, but also put a 1/16 inch divot in the edge of the cutting blade on the snips from the arc. Leave wires to the flash unit alone.
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