Rollei 35- sanity check- broken or not?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by fotoobscura, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    I have a very nice (looking) Rollei 35s (Tessar glass) (circa 1966) "made in Germany by Rollei" model and it doesn't seem to want to load. I have followed the directions but the winder seems stuck (or locked? it really feels locked). I know this camera isn't exactly intuitive but I find it hard to believe the camera is broken. Or I want to believe it isn't..

    The meter battery is assuredly dead (1.35V button cell) but that shouldn't prevent the camera from working..(or at least winding..right?)


    Are there any known tweaks with cameras like this? Such as unscrewing something and resetting a winder, a lever, etc?

    Thanks!
     

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  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Usually, the loading procedure is this:

    1) Extend the lens.

    2) Unlock and remove the back.

    3) Flip down the pressure plate.

    4) Insert new roll of film.

    5) Insert film tongue into top slot of takeup spool. There might or might not be a set of arrows.

    6) Advance film using either the serrated thumb wheel (not sure if this was on the early Rolleis) or the film advance. You might have to trip the shutter, which is why you have to extend the lens.

    I usually let film wrap around the takeup one complete turn. Then I replace the back, lock and you can advance-trip the shutter until the frame counter reaches zero.

    Are you sure it's a 35S? That's the Sonnar model and that was only made in Singapore, as was the 35T(essar). The first Rollei 35 had no letter designation, because they all were made with a Tessar.

    I ask, because early in the Singapore production, a key part of the film advance used a nylon gear, which was prone to damage when a heavy-handed user reached the end of a roll of film and forced the film advance lever to the end of its travel.

    That part was later replaced with a metal gear.
     
  3. bill williams

    bill williams Member

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    The take up spool mechanism is likely full of very dry and hard grease. It will have to be taken apart and cleaned, and re-lubed. The camera is likely to be worth the repair cost.

    The battery can be replaced by a zinc/air hearing aid battery type 675, which I buy in an eight pack at WalMart for about 7 bucks.
     
  4. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    You may be right- the problem is that it literally feels locked- it'll move a little and then it won't budge at all...So no reasons why this would happen other than a mechanical problem? It truly feels like a safety is on or something.

    Does the battery have any logic to do with the camera operations other than the meter?

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. bill williams

    bill williams Member

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    The battery only powers the meter. If you've done everything according to the instructions then I'd bet as mentioned either the gear or the grease.
     
  6. elekm

    elekm Member

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    No, the battery has no effect on the film advance. It just runs the meter.

    Can you release the shutter at all?

    The likely explanation is a gear jam in the mechanism.
     
  7. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    I think you're right on a jammed gear. Pretty handy with fixing cameras but was unable to figure out how to remove the top casing- removing all the screws there must be some trick to removing the winding level (those two tiny holes) and it looks like I have to remove the shutter button as well.
     
  8. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    You can try 2 things: extend the lens and lock and set the little handel to "Rewind" and check if the windspool moves freely.
    Then try to wind the film and release the shutter, see if that works. All can be done without film in the camera.

    If the housing states 35S and it has a Tessar lens in it, somebody swaped lenses on this camera and could have messed up the filmtransport.

    Peter
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Foto-o,
    Do not challenge your sanity any longer. I'll give you a dollah for the camera and I'll even swing by to take it off'n yur hands!!! (VBG)
     
  10. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    Ansco, that's a good one.

    Anyway,

    Arch it's not actually a 35s (but looks like it)- it's an original with a tessar lens....Not sure where I came up with the S--maybe a website...Either way. I did what you suggested but no deal....the actual spool winds freely but the shutter won't fire...It truly seems jammed or locked/confused. The camera is 100% original as from the original owner.

    Thanks
     
  11. elekm

    elekm Member

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    To remove the top deck, it's best if you have a spanner wrench.

    Remove the screws on either end.

    Carefully remove the cap on the rewind lever. Carefully remove the small screw that is to the right of it about 1 inch (2.5cm-3cm).

    Carefully remove the cap on the film advance.

    I say "carefully," because it's easy for the tool to slip and scratch the camera.

    I can't recall if there is a threaded collar in the film advance. I think not. If there is, remove it. The top deck should now slip off easily.
     
  12. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Be aware that the shutter release needs a bit of a push (force) but not too much. It needs more power than am OM1 at times.
    My 35S Black has that problem since it was new, back in 1980.
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    To remove the top deck, it's best if you have a spanner wrench.

    Remove the screws on either end.

    Carefully remove the cap on the rewind lever. Carefully remove the small screw that is to the right of it about 1 inch (2.5cm-3cm).

    Carefully remove the cap on the film advance.

    I say "carefully," because it's easy for the tool to slip and scratch the camera.

    I can't recall if there is a threaded collar in the film advance. I think not. If there is, remove it. The top deck should now slip off easily.
     
  14. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    And please don't do what elekm says: you will damage your camera !
    One screw goes clockwise to unscrew, please leave it to a repairman !

    Peter
     
  15. elekm

    elekm Member

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    That's simply not true. If you take care, you can do this work.

    And there are no reverse-thread screws involved to remove the top deck of a Rollei 35. I just removed one now to make sure.

    The Japanese tended to use some reverse-thread screws, but the Germans (in general) did not.

    If you've worked on cameras before, then it's straightforward to remove the top deck.

    There are three small screws under the cap on the film advance. You'll have to remove those.

    There is a small spring that must be pushed out of the way when you replace the film rewind post. You'll see it.

    If you don't know what you're doing with a camera or don't possess mechanical skills, then I agree -- this is no time to start.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You can be assured it's not dried lube! If it doesn't have a broken or stripped gear(different symptoms) you may have a loose screw. Well not loose but migratory stuck in the gearing. Seen this a lot on the A Canons and sometimes Spotmatics..
    The screw holding th wind lever is the one with the two holes in it. It's made for a spanner wrench but a rubber stopper can be used to loosen it.
    Firmly press down on the screw and turn the stopper. If no one has used loctite on it it should unscrew. There are three washers/spacers under the screw note the sequence they're in so it can be reassembled correctly.

    If a sealant has been used a soldering iron can be used to heat the screw head & break the bond.
     
  17. neelin

    neelin Member

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    1) Extend the lens "and twist lock until you feel/hear a resounding click."


    NOTHING shutter or transport related works until the lens is clicked into shooting position. And remember the shutter has to be cocked otherwise the collapse button to put the lens back in the body doesn't work. When the shutter is cocked the wind lever doesn't ratchet freely, it becomes fixed in the neutral position.

    (see my PM for additional info)

    Robert
     
  18. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Send it to Krimar in New Jersey. He fixed my 35s a couple years ago and it is still perfect. It took 5 days total from my house on the west coast to his shop and back to my house. He must have fixed it right when he got the box and then sent it right out.
    Dennis
     
  19. houseofstrange

    houseofstrange Member

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    me too

    i have the same problem mentioned above. although i can extend my lens and also depress the shutter. but my winding mechanism is stuck in the same way mention by the initial poster.
    did you ever manage to fix your camera and find out what the problem with the winding mech was?
    any help would be great
     
  20. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    Neelin, that was it! Thanks man! It was that "click" that made it all happen!

    See you on Flickr! :smile:
     
  21. neelin

    neelin Member

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    You're going to put it away some day for 5 years. When you pull it out again, you're going to scratch your head until you figure it out. Don't ask me why I know..... :wink: :wink:
     
  22. rakerake

    rakerake Member

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    Hey, I had the same problem and I removed the upper alluminium hood and tried to fix it(it weas really hard to remove the small knob with the R sign) and I found that the problem came from the small metal disc that is just above the film holder, and the previous owner was trying to load the film too hard and and disc was in another position that blocks the shutter button, so you just have to put it in the right position. My mail is closedctv gmail com write me to explain you