Rollei 35 Light Leak?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Ben 4, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    I was recently given a Rollei 35 (the compact, scale focus camera--it's the model with the 3.5 Tessar). I've had fun running several rolls of film through it and have generally been impressed with the results. But I've encountered what looks like a light leak (see attached image, top center). The evidence does not appear on every frame: the first roll had perhaps 4 (of 36) affected, the second roll had only one, but the third had 5 or 6 leak-smeared prints. When it does appear the leak is always in the same spot, (though it does vary in intensity), at the top center on prints, bottom center on slides.

    I see no obvious sources for the leak on the camera body; the back fits snugly and the camera seems solid. Perhaps the lens tube (the camera has a retractable lens) is involved? Anyone else experience this problem? Any ideas on how easy it is to fix on this camera?

    --Ben
     

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  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Ben, a suggestion. With no film in the camera, remove the back.

    Get a flashlight, turn it on and insert it into the film chamber. Go into a dark room and slowly retract and extend the lens. See if you can detect any stray light.

    I would check this first. Let us know if you find anything.

    There are some other possibilities, but I would check this first.
     
  3. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    I'll give that a try

    Thanks for the suggestion, Mike. I'll give that a try when I get home tonight. I've been surprised by how much I like using this camera.

    --Ben
     
  4. sionnac

    sionnac Subscriber

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  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    They're gorgeous little cameras, but I've had problems with both the ones I've had: wind-on jamming and poor lens locking. Now there's your story. I just don't trust 'em any more: I'd rather use my Retina IIa with a faster lens and coupled rangefinder.
     
  6. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    No Leaks Around the Lens Barrel

    Well last night I tried the test suggested above and did not see any light leaking around the lens barrel. Any thoughts about where to look next? If the camera had any foam seals, I'd suspect those, but I don't see a trace of foam anywhere.
     
  7. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Would you people take this discussion off-line? I'm waiting for one of these to arrive in the mail, and don't want to hear negative things about this camera!:sad:
     
  8. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Member

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    My Rollei (same model as yours) developed a light leak similar looking to yours but mine was due to the back not fitting properly. It didn't quite slide all the way up to the top. As I recall I had to flex the bottom piece that holds the back in place so that it locked securely and haven't had a problem since. I carry mine with me wherever I go. It's my favorite camera (used to belong to my father).

    Good luck.
     
  9. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I got mine from my mom, who bought it in 1972 at a sale at the Harvard Coop :smile:

    johnnywalker - I have had no problems with mine. It's the S-Xenar lens model. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The only re-occuring problem I've heard of is film ripping, but I think working with the camera carefully will avoid that problem.
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I've had roughly half a dozen of these, and all have been very fine cameras. I've had no problems with light leaks.

    Because this is a German camera (even though many were made in Singapore), it doesn't use foam seals. Foam seals by and large are features of Japanese camera to compensate for an inadequate light-blocking labyrinth design for the back. For the most part, you won't find foam in German cameras.

    Getting back to the Rollei 35 cameras (not including the B35 or C35), the damage to the camera generally occurs in two areas:

    1) At some point, Rollei replaced a key metal gear in the film advance with a plastic one. It worked fine, except when a heavy handed user reached the end of the film and forced the film advance anyway, either damaging the gear or stripping the film sprockets or both.

    2) The shutter must be tensioned before the lens can be collapsed. However, if you twist the lens hard enough, you can snap the lens mount.

    There also are some other plastic parts that can fail, but these two are generally the most common problems with the Rollei 35 cameras.
     
  11. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    It looks terribly like the flare I get from one of my Helios-103 1.8/52 lenses on a Kiev mount. Always in the same place, and quite impossible to predict from the observed image in the viewfinder.

    Have a good look and check there isn't any delamination of any of the elements in the lens. Could be it needs some black paint judiciously applied to one of the groups.

    Murray
     
  12. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    Thanks for the additional ideas, folks. I'll look at the back and the way it fits once again. How do I check for lens delamination?

    --Ben
     
  13. toyotadesigner

    toyotadesigner Member

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    I've checked your image. For a light leak the shape a bit too irregular. Try this: without a film advance the lever, turn and push the lens in. Then check the rear lens element: any scratch on it? Even if it is a tiny one it could be the reason. Scratches or a hair on the rear lens element can cause the weirdest effects if the light is at a certain position during exposure. In your case the irregularity should be located between 7 to 8 o clock when the lens is retracted.
     
  14. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    Diverting attention, however briefly, from the Leica discussion…

    After Toyota Designer's post I went back and took another look at the rear element of the lens. At first glance it looked pristine. But, held at a certain angle, I could see little bits of gunk in several places. There is, as suggested above, a tiny deposit at about 7:00; there's also stuff at 11:00 and more just left of center. I should emphasize that the deposits are barely visible, but I suppose it is possible that they are causing the problem I'm seeing. In any case, I'll try cleaning this up (any hints on how to do it without scratching the lens?) and hope that solves the problem.

    --Ben