I recently became the proud owner of a vintage Rolleiflex camera. It's a medium format manual camera known for its twin lens system, which allows you to hold the camera at waist-level and look down to see the large viewfinder made possible through a complex system of mirrors. My model was made sometime between 1951 and 1954 and is in perfect working condition. These cameras are also known for their excellent lenses and durable mechanics. I heard a story that the salesmen used to prove that by setting the camera on the ground and standing on top of it.
The only downside is that there's no light meter of any kind built into it. My other manual camera, a Canon AE-1 from the 1970s, at least has a manual pointer needle to indicate the recommended f-stop. Without one, I'm completely on my own for making accurate calculations of the existing light in order to set the shutter speed and aperture. I haven't really paid attention to these formulas since my first photo classes back in high school, and it certainly isn't something you need to think about much in the digital age. When digital cameras also commonly go up to an ISO of 3200, it's very different to think in terms of a film speed of 160.
So it's amazing that my first roll of film with the Rollei wasn't completely blank or solid black when it came back from being developed. After re-schooling myself on a few basic rules for sunny conditions, I doubled and halved my way to the proper settings for clouds and dappled shade. Not only are most of these photos properly exposed, but the color, sharpness and quality show why these cameras are still highly prized. The only mistake I made had to do with not properly advancing the film. My model was the first to include an automatic counter, based on the thickness of the film roll inside. But that means the amount you wind the film after each frame changes over time. I started off without fully advancing to the next frame, which resulted in one double exposure, and one half-frame, below. But honestly, I think they're still kind of fun photos. Certainly a unique reminder of the surprises film can bring.
All of these photos are from Walden Pond on a partly cloudy day in October. None of these have been altered or edited at all. The color and exposure are all exactly from the negative.