Rollei SL35 SLR, any users out there?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by rolleiman, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Although I've used a Rolleiflex Twin lens reflex most of my photographic life, I've never tried their 35mm SLR; the SL35. Given the Rollei reputation, I would guess it's a first class camera, yet strangely Rollei don't seem to have manufactured it for very long before production shifted to Singapore, where I ubderstand there were some problems with production quality.

    Perhaps at the time it couldn't compete with Nikon or Canon on the professional front. Yet I would think that the Rolleinar lenses for this model are at least on a par with the competition. Anyone tried them?
     
  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    1,922
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I had one for a few years; the Singapore-made body and Zeiss/Zeiss-designed lenses were fine and I enjoyed using it...I recall that it seemed quite light and compact. Perhaps not robust enough for professional use (no motor drive) and it lacked interchangeable finders and screens so maybe limited for technical or scientific uses.

    Sadly mine got dropped onto a stone path by my (then) wife, breaking the prism and mirror. :sick: :cry: I sold off the lenses and accessories. And my new wife enjoys photography as much as I do...she is even more careful with her own photo gear than I am with mine! :angel: :heart:
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,800
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,357
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bega N.S.W.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I have three SL35's with various lenses and they are great little cameras. Two of these are German manufactured and one in Singapore, I really can't tell any difference, but the collectors of course prefer the German cameras.
    I have tried the later electronic cameras and they do have a deserved reputation for unreliability,as do the Voigtlander offspring...avoid these. The SL35's though are really nicely made and apart from being very pretty, handle well wit first class lenses. I have a few standard lenses that I have accumulated....the 50mm 1.8 Planar, 50mm Ultron (same lens) the 50mm 1.4 Planar and the Schneider Xenon. I must admit that although the German made Planar 1.4 is a great lens, my experience is that the Xenon is the best performer of this bunch.
    Also have a 35mm Distagon, 28mm Color-Skoparex, 135mm Tele-Tessar, 200mm Tele Tessar, 135mm Tele-Xenar. All of these are German made except for the 28mm which is made by Mamiya... lovely lens too.
    I rekon that if you are a Rollei TLR fan, and who isn't, then you should try a SL35. They are not too expensive, especially with the 50mm 1.8 Planar, but the other lenses are a bit hard to find and collector interest has forced up prices a fair bit. The most expensive are the German made 25mm Distagon and 85mm Sonnar.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,195
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't have any literal "SL35" cameras, but I use plenty of the "SL35 system" equipment. SL35E, SL35M and SL2000F and SL3000 but no SL35.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I had mint German SL35 and, regrettably, sold it. It was a great little camera with a fine lens. Now I have an SL35E which I quite like. It's actually much like a Nikon FE. Lenses are pricey though.
     
  7. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    THanks for all the positive feedback, I'm now encouraged to purchase one.
     
  8. qadesh96

    qadesh96 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Someone could help me?
    I'm a few days trying to disassemble my Rolleiflex SL35, but I can not remove the top plate, because you need to first remove the handle from the movie and do not know how to do this, I've tried a few forums about this case, the majority says to unscrew one piece of metal but it is very tight and I can not take it and I'm afraid of scratching the metal foil. If someone could tell me in detail how to remove this piece without creating damage, very grateful, as I am for days trying to remove the piece. Thank you.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I have most of the models, including the SL 35. It's a throwback camera that was behind the times when it was introduced in 1970.

    It used stop-down metering when others had moved to open aperture metering. It didn't have a split-image focus aid in the viewfinder when others were offering that feature. It lacked a true hot shoe - again, others were offering that as a standard feature. There is no aperture or shutter speed information in the viewfinder when others were starting to introduce this.

    There are two types for the SL 35 - those made in Germany, and those made in Singapore. Functionally, there is no difference between the two, although the "Made in Germany" models usually command a higher price. Both are available in satin chrome and all black.

    I've used the SL 35 (Singapore) for about five years and enjoy it quite a bit. It's a very basic camera. You set exposure, focus and take your photo. The camera was sold with a small cap for the shutter release. That usually is missing today. I've found that a soft release does help this camera, because the release is a very thin post.

    The reason to buy this camera is for the Carl Zeiss lenses. The Rolleinars enjoy a good reputation. The Zeiss lenses should be a notch above them. The earliest lenses are single-coated, I believe, while the later "Made by Rollei" optics use Rollei's patented HFT coating.

    There's nothing wrong with the Rolleinars. I just think that the reason to buy into this system is for the Zeiss lenses. Otherwise, any other camera should fit the bill.

    The f/1.8 Planar is excellent. It served as the basis for nearly all 50mm lenses at one point.

    The good thing about these lenses is that they tend to be less costly than their counterparts for the Yashica/Kyocera Contax system, although they still command decent money and almost always more than the Rolleinars.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,195
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As I posted above, I don't have a SL35, so I'm just throwing out a suggestion. I know for a fact that some other cameras have LEFT-THREADED screws that hold the lever in place. This may be the case with the SL35.
     
  11. qadesh96

    qadesh96 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello elekm
    My SL35 says: "Made by Rollei Singapore", bought it in Switzerland, there is a difference between the SL35 made ​​in Singapore and made ​​in Germany? Well anyway I still desperate because I still do not know how to remove the handle film. This handle has a metal cap with two holes, I tried turning it counter-clockwise (as some forums suggest) but I could not ...
    Or is too tight, or not as I am doing. Sometimes it makes me want to run even harder, but I'm afraid that the tool I'm using, eventually damaging the machine, do not even know what to do.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

    Messages:
    4,182
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    My late brother sold Rollei equip way back when ... classic items like the SL66 and these. I still have his own old 35mm Rollei, and the shutter
    doesn't work, even though the camera shows little use - they had a reputation for such problems.
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The film advance is on the right. The film rewind is a crank and is on the left.

    To rewind film, push the silver button on the bottom of the camera, unfold the crank and turn in the direction of the arrow.

    Pull up on the crank after you rewind the film, and the back will pop open.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    In terms of reliability, the SL 35 is the simplest and the least prone to problems.

    However, many have problematic shutters or are simply beaten up for some reason.

    The SL 35 M/ME is an evolution of the Voigtlander Icarex 35. The electronics on this camera are unreliable.

    The SL 35 E also suffers from unreliable electronics. This is my favorite model.

    The SL 2000F has a reputation for electronic failure.

    The 3003 has a better reputation. I have a 3001, which is a simplified version of the 3003. It has some issue with the motor advance, which I need to sort out.
     
  16. qadesh96

    qadesh96 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    hello,
    I apologize for not having explained myself properly. What I wanted to know is how to remove these two pieces surrounded the red in the following image: 19471_18_c.jpg
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,200
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To remove that film advance/cocking lever you need a special tool with two tiny, fitting pins. You can either get such from supply companies as "Microtools" or make such yourself. Some people juse a divider caliper. I would not do so.
    If you are really lucky a piece of rubber pressed on that screw would work too.
    Keep in mind what has been said above on the possibility of a left-hand thread.

    Here is a complete description of how to remove the body cap of a 35 SL E:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=992918

    On the net you can buy a complete repair manual.

    I would not begin taking off the cap without knowing in advance what to do next though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2013
  18. qadesh96

    qadesh96 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello, I apologize if I did not understand well what I want to know is how to remove these two pieces that are circled in red in the following image: 19471_18_c.jpg because without taking them I can not open the top plate of the machine. Thank you so much.
     
  19. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    You need a spanner wrench to remove both of those parts. You can buy a spanner wrench at Micro-Tools (http://www.micro-tools.com/).
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,058
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A spanner if you're going to need it more than once.

    Lever: A rubber jar opener or rubber stopper also works. You need to put the camera on a flat surface and use A LOT of pressure as you turn the rubber.

    Shutter speed dial: 1, is there a soft touch, shutter release extender installed? If there is, it looks like a silver nut with two notches is beneath it. It's a standard thread.

    It looks like it will definitely need a spanner.
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    There is a small slotted retaining ring around the shutter release. The soft release was original to the camera and unscrews normally.

    There also is a similar slotted retaining ring around the rewind knob.

    Not to be mean, but if you don't know what you're doing, be careful. And take plenty of photos along the way.

    Otherwise, you can end up with a table full of parts.
     
  22. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The lenses are awesome, the bodies are a bit fragile. If you can get the bodies for cheap, go for it
     
  23. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I actually just received one of these cameras, and am debating what to do with it.

    I got a well worn black SL35, which doesn't work, the film advance lever only swings half way.

    Came with the apparently sought after Sonner 2.8/85, Distagon 2.8/25, and Xenon 1.8/50.

    Also came with the seemingly worthless Bower 3.5/135 and Toyo 3.5/28-80.

    Because the body is broken and very worn, I'm debating if it's worth trying to repair it, buy a new body, or just sell off the 3 Zeiss lenses and recycle the rest.

    Thoughts?

    Can these lenses be used on any other camera than this body?
     
  24. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,195
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    You bought it for the lenses but you want to get rid of them? Were they no good?
     
  25. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,048
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    Some folks have tried converting the lenses to M42. Apparently not easy. I'd look for another cheap body and pull that one apart or sell for parts/repair.
     
  26. frank

    frank Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,103
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Bit north of
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Buy another body cheaply to use the lenses, or sell off the lenses and take apart the broken body for fun..