This round of First Roll was a shot in the dark as I knew absolutely nothing about the Rollei™ Prego AF camera. I found it on an online thrift store for $90 (shipping included) but wasn’t even sure if it was in working condition. I just really liked the way it looked and thought it was worth a shot; and when comparing it to eBay prices which put this camera at a $200+ value, I figured this is the perfect type of point and shoot to test out. After purchasing the camera, I tried to do a bit of research but couldn’t find very much information on it aside from a photographer using it for a few frames in a Youtube video and briefly talking about how it tends to have light-leaks. Not really a fan of lomography type images, I was already regretting my purchase.
The camera got delivered and upon the initial inspection I was really happy with the visual aesthetics and overall condition. It looked like it was hardly ever used and came with the original Rollei™ neck strap and pouch. Things were looking good so far but the real tests happen when I install a battery and fresh roll of film. First things first, I popped in C123 battery and prayed for juice. I hit the on button and boom, the camera came to life. Just like the voltage running through the circuits, I was equally energized with optimism as I loaded a roll of Kodak™ Portra 160. Time to take this baby for a spin.
While walking around and shooting, I found myself constantly keeping it in my hand. That’s really rare for me. I usually just snap a shot then put the camera back in my pocket or bag but with this one, I wanted to keep holding it and using it. I wasn’t even sure if the photos would come out good due to the untested mechanics but I simply didn’t care because I was getting lost in the viewfinder and the experience that I got each time I hit the shutter button. Aesthetically, it’s a very fun and responsive camera that feels great in your hand and is extremely easy to shoot with. After a day of walking around in Hollywood, it was time to drop off the roll.
I was honestly blown away when I got the scans back. The photo quality was beyond what I expected and quite frankly, comparable with the likes of a Yashica™ T4, perhaps even superior. I absolutely love everything about this little shooter, dare I say, it’s my new favorite point and shoot. It definitely performs way above its price bracket, even at $200, and is surely one that I’ll never get rid of. Hopefully if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to find another one as a back-up. Some of you may be saying, “wait, if this is your new favorite, why isn’t there that many images from the roll?”. That’s because I took this camera with me on the gals birthday and didn’t want to share her special occasion with something as mediocre as my need to nerd-out over a piece of plastic (you can scroll down to see the images). Now time for the pros and cons.
- Easy to use
- Cool design
- Super sharp 35mm 3.5 lens
- Accurate auto focus
- Adjustable modes
- Strong flash
- Great contrast and tones
- Plastic body
- Hard to find
- The fact that I wish I had 5 more
In closing, this is the type of camera that embodies the whole point of this First Roll project. Hunting for an overlooked piece of machinery that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. This camera singlehandedly is the epitome of what my pursuits are geared towards when digging through the mud and trying to strike oil. If you happen to come across a Rollei™ Prego AF, please don’t buy it, just let me know where it is so I can come and get it. Thank you.