Rollei 35S - just arrived today

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by eubielicious, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    I was just talking to Fiona (my wife) on the phone, she told me that an interesting looking box had arrived, could she open it?

    After fighting through the gaffer tape she found my latest ebay purchase. "Oh, that's very nice," she said, "it's too good for you". She might have forgiven my indulgence, although by the sounds of things, I might have to buy another one!

    I never intended to buy another 35mm camera anyway, but then I got looking at these... and I really could do with a smaller camera to carry around... you know the story...

    Seriously, I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has one and any good tips as I gather these cameras are just a bit quirky.

    Euan
     
  2. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hi Euan, a wife that understands your ebay purchases..... wow! Seriously I did have a 35S some years ago and I did find it a bit quirky but the results from the Sonnar, especially in colour are really great. Once you get used to the upside down controls they are actually quite a treat to use and certainly compact. The only criticism that I have heard is that of the lack of rangefinder but in practise it's no real problem.
    I often toy with the idea of getting another one but prices have gone through the roof over here!
    Cheers, Tony
     
  3. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Congratulations on your new toy! :smile: A serious toy, that is...

    I have a 35S with a dead meter. Even if its meter was OK, it's likely going to stay dead anyway since the battery which the camera uses (PX25) is banned and no longer available here.

    The 35S is indeed a good camera. Its so small that there's no reason not to have it around (unless you've got a small Leica D with a collapsible elmar :smile: ). I haven't found it to be quirky at all. Other than, as Tony has mentioned, its odd layout, it's an honest to goodness camera which is used in a very straightforward, conventional manner. The lack of RF isn't by no means a real handicap: the 40mm Sonnar set at "snapshot" settings would get almost everything right in more than acceptable focus.

    You'd note too that the DOF scale is a bit on the conservative side. It would suggest to have less DOF when compared to the DOF scales of 50mm lenses.

    Be careful of the link which holds the wriststrap to the camera. It tends to pry and can cause the camera to separate from the strap. Check this often.

    In addition, the lens will only collapse when the shutter is cocked.

    Jay
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I have two of them. One in pristine condition that I don't use, and one that shows a few "knocks" that I do use.

    Main point is to be careful with the lens in terms of extending and retracting (i.e. not forcing it against the lock). Pretty obvious, but you can be surprised by what a former owner may have done.

    Note that the meter is always on, so if you don't have the meter cell covered (such as in an opaque case), you are draining the battery.

    I use mine with the 625 battery adapter (http://www.buhla.de/Foto/batt-adapt-US.pdf) and have found it to be accurate enough for print film.

    There are manuals online. If you need one and can't find one, PM me.
     
  5. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Congrats - mine is a black Rollei 35 (not Sonnar). The Tessar is in the running for the sharpest lens I own (of many big names) which says a lot for the Sonnar.

    I don't think you'll be disappointed once you get the hang of using it. If you're using the meter, tilt it down somewhat to avoid underexposure due to the sky. I use mine to regularly meter with slide film.

    Rollei 35, Sensia 100

    [​IMG]

    Seriously, the tiniest details are visible when you examine closely, e.g. the print on the white buoy on the roof.
     
  6. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Jay,

    The meter of your Rollei 35S could be replaced and it could be adjusted to take a PX625 Alkaline battery or an adapter could be gotten as mentioned above to take an Alkaline battery.

    Rich
     
  7. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Thanks Rich.

    I don't really miss the meter. Quite used to shooting with tiny cameras without meters :D

    Jay
     
  8. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Hi Jay,

    Case and point where smaller is better???!!! :tongue:
     
  9. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    I have the Rollei 35B which I like a bit better, its not battery operated, but it is full manual where I can set the shutter and aperture. The meter does still work, and I like the black finish on it, and how the body doesnt have the two big dials, but rather on the lens itself. Its the cheapest lens of all the Rollei 35 but it seems to be just fine.

    The only 'quirky' thing to make sure to do in case you havent already figured it out, is to make sure the shutter is cocked before trying to retract the lens back into the camera, despite the cameras being quite well built, their insides are not that difficult to damage from trying to get the lens back in without cocking it first.

    As far as the battery on the original 35 goes, it can be used with a 1.5v 625, true you may be off by half a stop (which can either be rewired or adjust the ISO to compensate) but it would work which is better than not working at all. After a while you become the judge of what settings work based on the meter's sugestions. Or as someone I know puts it, the more meters you own, the more incorrect they all are.

    They're great little cameras despite not having a rangefinder in them, tho you can get a small handheld rangefinder thats a fraction the size of the rollei if you really must have close-to-accurate focusing, I got a small little kodak one that I can snap into the flash shoe of the camera and focus on that first then set it on the lens.

    Here is a picture of mine that I managed to repair.
    http://www.karlblessing.com/shares/rollei35B/rollei35b.jpg

    It suffered one of those 'retracted without cocking first' issues from the previous owner, but after removing most of the broken black plastic inside, and resetting the shutter cocking hammer and such, it works just fine, I just have to make sure I pull the lens completely out before turning, as it doesnt have the extra depth of the black plastic peices that would have made it more snug before being finally snaped into place. (it also prevented you from accidently turning it onto the shutter firing mechanism which would actually open the shutter and keep it opened til you got into the back of the camera lol. )
     
  10. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Well, I've got the camera. It's got a really good solid feel about it and actually I don't think it's going to take too much getting used to, I've used plenty of rangefinders with manual focus before so this shouldn't be too difficult.

    I seem to have benefitted slightly from the seller not being a camera person - what he described as a lens cover is in fact a UV filter and his fuzzy picture and sketchy description may have put a few bidders off. The camera and lens appear to work beautifully, the lens comes out and retracts really easily. The bonus is that the meter seems to be in good working order too - at least it appears to obey the sunny/16 rule.

    I'm going to run a roll of film through and see what comes back!

    Euan
     
  11. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Rich

    Uhm, yes...

    But it's a different case when you put the 35S in your pants pocket and walk around with it. People may think of something else. Heheheheh :D

    Jay
     
  12. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    A thread on APUG, a quick look on the Ffordes website, a severe attack of GAS...

    ...and there's a black E++ Rollei 35 (Tessar) arriving Monday!

    Dammit Euan! :smile:

    To be fair, I've been looking for an ultra-compact, all-manual 35mm with good glass for a while. The zone focusing put me off before, but I recently acquired a tiny vintage optical rangefinder designed to fit in a hotshoe (£7 ebay) so...
     
  13. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Well Frank - I am delighted with my Rollei 35, it's so small but yet so solid and I've found it quite easy to use, the strangest bit is loading film as you have to actually pull the back of the camera off! Also the left sided film winder is a bit odd at first.

    The first film goes into the shop tomorrow and it'll give me a very good idea as to how well the camera works and how well I can work with it!

    Euan
     
  14. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Glad you're enjoying it, mate! Post some results when you get them; I'd be most interested.
     
  15. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    FrankB, I guess you know this but... if you are thinking of mounting the tiny RF on the camera, you're in for bad luck - the hotshoe is mounted on the bottom of the camera... Time for some DIY, maybe? :wink:
     
  16. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    It is a bit awkward, but it works. I have a mint Voigtlander Rangefinder which I can slip into the shoe. It can be used upside down, but you can also flip the camera around to focus and the correct it as well. Not ideal but it is doable.

    Rich
     
  17. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Hi Jerevan,

    Yep, I'd spotted this (but thanks for pointing it out!).

    For general usage I'm looking to use it the regular way, i.e. guesstimate the distance and select a small enough aperture to give me a bit of 'windage'. The rangefinder will live in my pocket (it really is a tiny affair) for those occasions when my guesstimations need some reassurance or I want (or am stuck with) shallow DoF.

    All the best,

    Frank
     
  18. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    No one ever said you had to keep the camera facing upright to use an RF on the bottom....
     
  19. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Ffordes appear to have done it again!

    A beautiful black Rollei 35 arrived well-packed and presented this morning. If anything their description is a bit pessimistic; E++ and it's immaculate with a tiny, tiny ding in one side (if you didn't know it was there you'd be hard pressed to find it). All controls smooth, lens clean and clear, meter about a stop optimistic (compared with my WestonMaster) which I reckon is down to voltage discrepency (I'll just change the ISO setting from 400 to 200).

    Loading film was a little odd. The flip down pressure plate nearly fooled me (not difficult) and I won't be too surprised if I haven't threaded it correctly (ah, the fun of learning new kit!).

    Looking forward to using this little gem in anger!

    EDIT (after putting half a roll through) - Lovely to use, great little viewfinder, everything silky smooth and feeling good. I just wish I'd brought that little rangefinder in today to check my distance guesses!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2006
  20. redsnapper

    redsnapper Member

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    My wife bought me a Rollei 35S as a birthday present a few months ago and I'm delighted with it. The Sonnar lens is superb.

    I invested in a voltage converter (about £27) that converts a silver oxide 386 cell to the correct voltage and which screws directly into the battery compartment. A couple of test rolls confirm the meter is working very well with this solution.

    All the best,

    redsnapper
     
  21. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Thanks RedSnapper. I'd spotted the converters, but I think I'll probably leave it as it is.

    The meter is currently reading 1 stop high, so I'm compensating by setting the ISO dial 1 stop below the film speed. The ISO scale on the Rollei goes from 25-1600. I can't see me wanting to rate any film at 25 ISO in this camera, but 3200 is much more likely (for me).

    It could be quite convenient!
     
  22. TomWB

    TomWB Member

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    I have the 35SE since 1980, and I love shooting mine with a Vivitar 283 flash. Since as another mentioned, the "hot" shoe is on the bottom, I hold the camera upside down, and release the shutter with my left thumb. If you think that's funny, imagine the lab trying to get the film printed right side up. :+) Seriously, great images (like Mike K's), I wouldn't do without mine.... Only thing I would recommend is once a quarter or so, go and check all the screws with your jewelers screwdriver to make sure they are still snug, or put some nail polish on them, I lost a couple screws. (I get around the wife/ebay/B&H thing by having my packages delivered to my job!)
     
  23. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Well, I'm hoping to collect the first processed prints from the Rollei 35S tomorrow, depending on the lab. I've asked for them to be scanned onto CD so, all being well, there might be something to show for my efforts too. I think I've talked too much on APUG and not produced any work yet, so it's about time!

    Euan (still in West Yorkshire, moving a week on Saturday!)