Club Rollei User – Issue 26

by John Wild on 1 September 2012

In this issue, it may appear that we have ceased to be a Rollei camera magazine and instead have become a sub-aquatic magazine.

Scuba diving and underwater photography are now common place, but not many years ago, the concept of underwater diving and underwater photography was limited to a handful of people. It had become a necessity to combine the two activities and hone the skills during the second world war. But it was not really until Jaques Cousteau and Hans Hass became well known with their underwater books and films, that it was brought into the general public's eye and interest widened.

In 1943, Cousteau was involved with the development of the first Aqualung which gave the diver more freedom; in 1951 Hass published "Diving to Adventure" which inspired many to the underwater world. The ROLLEImarin was first marketed in 1954, the original idea having been conceived five years earlier in 1949.

There had been underwater housings before, but this accessory for the Rolleiflex quickly became the market leader. The "Calypsophot", designed for Jacques Cousteau, in 1956, which became the "Nikonos" when production was taken over by Nikon, probably is now the most widely known brand name. The Calypso-Nikkor camera became available in 1963 and appeared as a gadget in James Bond's "Thunderball" in 1965.

The development of the ROLLEImarin and the popularisation of scuba diving are on the same time line and go very much hand in hand. Not a lot is known, outside the diving fraternity, about the ROLLEImarin, especially when it comes to realising how successful it was and how many design features were copied. It has a place of great importance in the Rollei museum. Even though developed during a period of austerity, it is of sound design and construction, built to last and be easily repaired if that became necessary, unlike the modern 'disposable' plastic cameras.

A topic that will no doubt be taking all your interest for the next few weeks is the Olympics. If any of you have booked tickets, I hope that you will have a great time; for those who will be sitting at home watching from the comfort of their arm chair, I hope that you will have a great time also. As cameras with long lenses have been banned, I do not expect that you will submit any photographs to appear in the next issue!


Front Cover: ROLLEImarin Nr 504

3 Rolleiflex 2.8GX Urushi Japan Limited Edition
4 Your Forum
5 Cliff Wilson’s Rolleimagic II
6 The Rollei P8400S by David Morgan
7 Orpheus in the Underground
7 Club Rollei Postal Auction and In Passing by David Morgan
8 4x4 Rolleiflex Replica by Carlos M. Freaza
10 Photographs from our visit to Chesterfield by David Morgan
12 “Old 504” – Submarine Lens #71 by Sid Machen
16 The “Aquamarin WKD-SL66 by Wulf Koehler
20 A Weekend in Tossa de Mar by John Wild
29 The Historical Diving Society - Tossa de Mar Hall of Fame
31 ... and finally, the many faces of Andrés

Back Cover: Swan Lake at Bosham by Denis Camp A.R.P.S.

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