Rollei 35

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by BBonte, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. BBonte

    BBonte Member

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    About to buy a ROLLEI 35 as back up for our holidays in Italy. Does this camera have a mechanical shutter without any need of bacteries ?
     
  2. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    Yes the shutter is mechanical, batteries are just for the meter. It makes a wonderful travel camera, love to use mine for walking about in a city. I have the 35TE with the f3.5 tessar, so I tend to shoot K200 or tri-x to go with the slowish lens. You need the extra DOF since there is no rangefinder, scale focus only.
     
  3. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    I have 2, 35s models. The next camera that had a lens that good was a 50 summicron on my M-4.
     
  4. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Never had one, but I seem to remember that it had some wierd arrangement which made it possible to wreck the shutter by retracting the lens unless the shutter was cocked (or was it uncocked). I'd check that one.

    David.
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Lovely little camera, but there are a lot of different models with different lenses and (as far as I can see) different build qualities. I sold my last one because films would occasionally jam for no apparent reason. I don't think it was a design fault, just wear and tear on one of the cheaper (Triotar-lens, non-German) models. Buy the best you can afford, from a reputable dealer who gives a guarantee, and put a couple of rolls through it before you go to Italy.

    My wife Frances Schultz had at least one of her favourite pictures out of it (attached), and a friend of mine did an entire model shoot with one in Scandinavia when his main cameras were stolen, so image quality with a good one isn't an issue.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    They're great little cameras. Instruction manuals can be downloaded from the Internet. Run a couple of rolls through your before you go to get the hang of it, and you'll be fine. The nice thing about them is their feel. They actually feel like a piece of photo equipment, not a cheap piece of disposable plastic. It does take some getting used to, especially estimating distances.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I've been using Rollei 35s for thirty years - there are many pictures taken with one version or another in the link in my signature. Most are in the 'Hills' portfolio. You should be able to view the full-size versions by clicking on 'large'. The six-pointed stars you see when the sun is in the picture are from the aperture blades, not from an effect filter.

    I have a few 35Ts, a 35S and two 35s. I had an SE, but sold it because I didn't like the meter. My first version was a 35B which I quickly sold to buy a 35T because I realised what a truly great camera series it was.

    Of the versions, I prefer the plain 35, the 35T and the 35S the best. They are the easiest to operate one-handed because the match-needle meter is on the top plate. This is a useful feature when you would prefer to keep one hand on the rock or on the other person's rope. The TE and the SE have LED meter displays in the viewfinder, and may people prefer those. It's good to have the choice.

    The S and SE have a Sonnar lens. The original 35, T and TE have a Tessar lens, which is not far behind the Sonnar in performance. Otherwise the versions are equivalent. The 35 was renamed the 35T when the S was introduced. The 35B has a Triotar, and has other differences from the Tessar and Sonnar models, including a different meter and shutter speed range.

    Don't worry too much about small dings in the body. Many of these cameras were used by mountaineers and they can take heavy abuse. Check the lens for scratches by removing the back and opening the shutter on B. If you put a protective filter, or any filter, on the T models the factory lenscap doesn't fit. I modified my lenscaps with glass tape and epoxy.

    Best,
    Helen

    *See, for example, the snap entitled 'N Face, Tour Ronde' in my Hills portfolio - I hope that will also give you an idea how good the meter is, because you don't bracket in those situations.
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I've been looking at the Rollei 35 for several months thinking 'Do I need another camera'. Having looked through your work Helen, I now think I do.


    Ps. What do you think of the Singapore built Rollei 35s as compared to original german built Rolleis? They tend to be cheaper, but is the build quality also cheaper?
     
  9. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    I have the Singapore-made Rollei 35S. From what I've seen in it, from how it handled, and the sort of picture quality it produced, there's no reason why its build quality should be a concern. It feels solid and well-built, and is well-finished as well. I suppose its lower (in terms of money) value - it does sell for less in auctions and other places- stems from its being labelled as 'made in Singapore' and nothing else. Otherwise, I see no reason why the Singapore-built Rollei should be inferior to the German-made one. I am sure that Rollei maintained the same quality control in their Singaporean factory as they did in their German factories. Afterall, the camera bears their badge. :smile:

    Jay
     
  10. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    The build quality on the singapore cameras are the same as the german ones. Thanks Helen for all the info. I can't comment on the other models as the only ones have ever bought were the 2.8 sonar, 35s models. Bought my first one new for $135.00. Top plus for this camera for me is the leaf shutter. Flash sync at all speeds.
     
  11. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    The only reason the german models are more expensive is that they are scarce. My first one was a german model. They transfered productuction to singapore early in it's history. Low production numbers translate to more value in the collectors world.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    OK, I stand corrected; my assumption was based on the problems I had with a Singapore version. I suppose I must just have been unlucky.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  13. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Andy K wrote: "What do you think of the Singapore built Rollei 35s as compared to original german built Rolleis? They tend to be cheaper, but is the build quality also cheaper?"

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the kind comment, I appreciate it. Your question has already been answered so I'll just add that I have one German-made 35 and I don't think that there is any practical reason to choose a German one over a Singapore one. Maybe it's the other way round if you want the best lens coating. I'm not sure of all the possible combinations of lenses, coatings and body origins, but some Singapore models have HFT-coated lenses.

    Best of luck with your search for a 35.

    Helen
     
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  15. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Roger, actually, you are somewhat correct. The B35/C35 (those with the Triotar) are made significantly cheaper with prolific use of plastic in the film advance and a number of other parts. I had one that wouldn't rewind because a plastic part in the film rewind had broken.

    And having disassembled both the regular 35 (Tessar and Sonnar) and the B35, the B35 isn't as sturdy.

    There is one thing to watch with the Rollei 35 Singapore models. Some of the cameras used a plastic gear in a key location in the film advance. When the end of the roll was reached, some users forced the film advance and damaged teeth on the plastic gear. Eventually, this part was replaced (reverted) with a metal gear. The use of plastic shouldn't cause a problem under normal use. You can't tell if the gear is plastic or metal unless you remove the top deck.

    Before you collapse the lens on any of the Rollei 35's, you must always advance the film (which also tensions the shutter). Some users have forcibly twisted the lens from its locked position to push it back into the body, damaging it.
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Elekm,

    Thank you; I'm glad I wasn't completely wrong.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. edz

    edz Member

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    Prior to the "Classic" series, in my opinion, the best of the 35 series were NOT made in Germany. Production moved to Asia quite early and there were significant improvements made over the course of time with the pinacle, in my opinion, the HFT Sonnar fitted Rollei 35SE. Helen might not like the LED meter design but its still the best meter that Rollei ever built into the series--- as well as the "Classic" models. The meter in the S--- aside from using an imbalanced meter circuit and demading a battery now obsolete and placed in an obnoxious location to replace--- is OK and maybe a bit better than no meter.. but not by much.. The LED meter is NOT a "Point-and-Shoot" but is to be used as a kind of zoning spot. Its fast and works surprizingly well.. not a replacement for my Spectra but then the whole camera is much smaller than my Spectra..

    I like the SE and build quality is OK but its not a well-built camera by the standards set by German camera making in the 1950s. It was never intended to be. It was designed to be and is a good "affordable" pocket camera. My wife spent less than half the DM (German Mark) price in the early 1980s for her SE than a Voigtlaeder Vitessa (a classic early 1950s "pocket camera"), for example, would have demanded (not adjusting for inflation or earnings) nearly 3 decades earlier.
     
  18. skahde

    skahde Member

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    I have and use a 35 SE with a HFT Sonnar and especially like the lens which is sharp, contrasty, has a vivid colour reproduction and is extraordinarily (!) resitstant to flare. The meter is exact enough for slide film but has a rather low sensitivity.

    Stefan
     
  19. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    I won a Rollei 35S Sonnar HFT on eBay last evening. I hope to have it sometime next week. I will report in after I have had a chance to play with the camera


    Rich
     
  20. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    I'm a relative newcomer to the series but my black Singapore Rollei 35 (Tessar 40/3.5) is just killer. It travels everywhere with me in its small belt case. That Tessar has to be among the best lenses I have used. I think the swing out pressure plate also does an exceedingly impressive job of holding the film flat.

    The *only* real negative agaiinst this camera IMO is the wacko ergonomics - left hand wind, bottom mounted flash hotshoe, front dials for aperture/shutter, etc. Its minor - before long the left hand wind becomes second nature.

    I'm with Helen on the meter - I think the top plate meter meshes better with the shutter/aperture dials on the front. You can easily look down and see exactly what you are doing with the dials while indexing the meter needle. I can't imagine fiddling with the dials while looking through the viewfinder.

    One more gripe - for a CdS meter, its not overly sensitive. With 100 speed film, about 1/15 at f/3.5 is the limit of its sensitivity. Yes I have a nice Gossen incident meter, but the meter is as big and heavy as the R35! The meter is dead-on accurate with slide film.
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

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    You know Mike, I never had a problem with the ergonomics. But maybe it's because I hadn't handled that many cameras when I had bought my first Rollei 35 (the T).

    I bought it shortly after arriving in Germany at the base exchange. I think I paid about $135 new and I also bought the matching flash.

    I carried the 35T to work almost every day for two years and took a huge number of photos. The Tessar lens is first rate, and the design of the pressure plate keeps the film very flat.

    I took that camera all over Europe. Very reliable, and I really liked the top-mounted meter. I have the TE and SE, but I don't find the in-viewfinder meter to be as nice to use, because that wasn't the original design.

    The original concept was to hold the camera at waist level and meter the scene while looking at the shutter speeds on the left and the aperture on the left. You lose that with the in-viewfinder LEDs.

    Along the way, I lost one of the screws on the side of the top deck and the lens cap. Then finally, around 1992, I lost the camera. Darn.

    I had bought a 35S in the learly 1980s, but I never found the 35T to be inferior optically in any way to the Sonnar-equipped Rollei.

    In this photo, the man isn't riding the tricycle. He is reading a newspaper, although maybe it would have been funny if he had been riding the trike. This was taken in 1980 in Spain. I think it was either Ilford Pan F or ... I don't know. I would have to find the negative.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    I just picked up the Rollei 100XLC flash for next to nothing. I don't consider it much of a flash camera but I've shot some fill flash with it on a few occasions now and it just doesn't balance with my small "cobra head" Vivitar.

    "ND" (my Rollei 35 consultant) strongly recommended this flash to me over the other offerings because it has some "auto" modes and packs a lot of power for its size. Its small and with its offset flash shoe sits flush along the bottom of the camera.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. sionnac

    sionnac Subscriber

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    Mike, I think I have the same flash setup. Viva tiny cameras!
     
  24. BBonte

    BBonte Member

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    Does anyone have a copy of the instruction booklet of the Rollei 35 ? Found one via google but unable to print it. Prepared to pay for the shipping via paypal preferable. They charge up to 10 euro on ebay. Ridiculous.
     
  25. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    There is not much in that booklet that you don't know already, I think.
     
  26. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I bought two Rollei 35S cameras, Silver Anniversary models, in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia in the early 1980's -- I was going to put them on a bar and shoot stereo! I left one in the glove compartment of a rental car in Washington, and an hour later when I went back, what a surprise, no one had seen it. Gone with the wind. I still have and use the other, and yes that lens is very sharp. A great little camera -- and no light falloff in the corners like my little Oly XA.