Flash sync on my Rollei 3.5F -- can this be right?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Trask, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I've got a Rollei 3.5F (SN2282038) f/3.5 75mm Planar, and it seems to me that the flash synch "choice lever" on this camera is a bit weird. As you look at the front of the camera, to the left of the viewing lens is the small lever that allows you to choose bulb sync (lever near lens), X sync (lever above and touching the little metal post), and then you can push it all the way counter-clockwise for the self-timer.

    What strikes me as odd and fraught with danger is the little quasi-spring loaded knob on the lever that is supposed to maintain contact with the metal post for X-sync. The ability of the camera to sync properly relies entirely on that little knob remaining in contact with the little metal post. You'd think there would be some more positive way of ensuring that contact isn't broken as the camera is being tossed around.

    Does anyone have any views on this? Is there a piece missing from my Rollei? Thanks.
     
  2. domaz

    domaz Member

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Duct tape it down? I think that was a common solution to other cameras with an X Sync selector.
     
  3. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    An awful lot of people glued their little synch selector/self timer thing to the camera to keep it from moving. It's caught me before. For some wedding photos of course..
     
  4. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This little lever caused the worst disaster in my entire photographic career: the loss of a couple's 50th wedding anniversary photos!
    And the worst part was that it gave no warning of its failure. It's not actually the metal post that makes the x-synch contact; it just keeps it from moving to M. In my case, the contact was actually made when the lever was just a little bit away from the post. But I learned that later; I didn't know it was not synching that day until I got the clear film back. Most difficult phone call I ever made in my life...
    So after that I used a tiny piece of gaffer's tape to hold the lever away from the post, but not engage the self-timer. And I checked the flash synch before each job by looking through the taking lens to be sure I could see the flash fire. In fact, I learned to do that with very camera I own. It was a hard lesson, but a valuable one.
     
  5. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,366
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Thanks everyone. That's an interesting point that the post is not there as an electrical contact, but to stop the lever from moving toward the lens into M sync. I'll run a test to see if I keep the lever to the left of the post, but not touching it, whether it will flash. I suppose it's possible that coincidentally the point where the lever permits X sync is the same point where it touches the post, hence my belief that the touching was key.

    I do remain baffled how Rollei let something like this come into the marketplace on one of the final iterations of their TLR line.