Rolleiflex.. Has it always been german made?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ToddB, May 29, 2014.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Hey guys,

    I had a customer come by at work, and we started talking cameras and showed him my Rollei 3.5f he was in awe of he mention that he had a GX version. He mention that Rollei contracted out at some point and made japenese version/Parts/Lens. Anyone know foresure?

    Todd
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    They made their 35mm cameras & lenses outside Germany, but Rolleiflex cameras were always high end and made in Germany.

    Ian
     
  3. ath

    ath Member

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    They did for sure with the Rollei 35 (Rollei Singapore). Not sure about the SLRs and I think the TLRs ware always made in Germany.
     
  4. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Some 35mm SLRs (maybe all?) were also made in Singapore. The 35mm P&S were re-branded Fuji's.

    I don't know about the 120 SLR's but I presume that all of those were made in Germany, as well as the 120 TLRs.
     
  5. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    My good man

    Vas is los? I've owned two Rolleiflexes -- one I got in 1956 and the other one (60 years old) I just recently got. I have always kept an eye on the 'Flexes and do not believe any were made anywhere but Germany. I do have a Yashicamat that some people say has lenses made in Germany and some say they were German designs made in Japan.
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The expansion from niche-market model policy to serving most different markets necessitated the expansion of manufacturing capacity as well as reduction of wage cost.

    Result was a small OEM production at a japanese manufacturer and, more important, the installation of an own (huge!) plant in Singapore.
    Rollei were the second german manufacturer to go abroad (after Leitz) and the first to go to a low-wage country.

    The Rollei Singapore plant had about twice as many employees as the german Agfa camera plant which already served a mass market.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The Lumaxar lens is a tessar design lens that Yashica bought from Rodenstock while they retooled their plant to make Yashinon lenses.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Rolleiflexes were indeed made in Singapore. The 35mm SL 35 E (the last model of that model range)
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some of us always think of Rolleiflex cameras as being TLRs and MF SLRs, I'd forgotten that the 35mm SLRs also had the "flex" part added to the name and wasn't there a 126 Rolleiflex as well ?

    Ian
     
  10. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Wasn't the SL66 made in Singapore?
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Yes, SL 26
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The OP asks about Japan, not Singapore. In that case the "ROLLEINAR" [35mm] and "ROLLEIGON" [6x6cm] brand of lenses were made in Japan. (Not to be confused with the German-made close-up lens of the same name.)
     
  13. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    All of the TLR's are made in Germany. The little Rollei 35's are mostly made in Singapore, but originally in Germany. I have several SL35's, which are branded Rolleiflex, and one is made in Germany, the others in Singapore.
    Many of the lenses that fitted the later Rollei 35mm SLR's were made in Japan by Mamiya, but used Voigtlander names as Rollei and Voigtlander had joined forces by then.
     
  14. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I think the Seiko shutter of the GX was made in Japan. The SL66 was never made in Singapur, but some SLX were.
     
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  15. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    I don't think the small 35mm ones are named Rolleiflex. They are Rollei 35 (pronounced like roll-eye, but the R should be pronounced the German way).

    The SLR was called Rolleiflex.

    See here: https://www.google.gr/search?q=roll...5ffMMmFOP2hgIgK&ved=0CCcQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=883
     
  16. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have never known what the connection between Rolleiflex and Honeywell was. Some of the prisms say Honeywell... which is USA I think. (?)
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Honeywell was a US importer for overseas cameras. Some imported models were marketed under the Honeywell brand.

    But that was not a one-way-street. The electronics campany not only imported cameras but also handed out own design, such as for a electronic flashlight that was manufactured and marketed by Rollei.
     
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  18. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I have two Rollei 35s. One is an original 1966 model from Germany. The other is a Singapore model. I think that some of the early postwar Rolleiflex cameras had bodies made in West Germany and lenses from East Germany.
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    So does the prism on my Pentax H1a. You'll see Canons marked "Bell & Howell", too. In fact I seem to recall at least one Canon-made body - and some lenses - that said B&H only, no reference to the manufacturer except the small "Made in Japan" markings. In each case, the US company was the importer/marketer.

    The mercury-switched thermostat on my wall was made by Honeywell in the US, probably 1960s.
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    My 2.8F is mid 1970s "Honeywell" era; it reads "Honeywell" on the flip-up finder. Of course that camera and its lenses were made in Germany.
     
  21. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    My late Father had various Rollei 35mm gear in the mid-1970's, which was around the time some production moved to Singapore ; at the time Dixons (IIRC?) were doing good deals, as though there might have been surplus stocks or similar.

    His little Rollei 35 was definitely made in Singapore, the lens "Tessar made by Rollei". He also has 2 Rolleiflex SL35's, made in Singapore, the lenses 50mm 1.8, "Planar made by Rollei". But the wide angle and longer lenses were "Carl Zeiss, made in W. Germany", and the more specialist bits like extension tubes and bellows were "West Germany".

    The SL35 bodies and lenses were the quality expected from Rollei, but the spec. was a bit dated even at the time, no interchangeable finders, motor drives, etc., and the camera bodies themselves seemed of quite lightweight construction. I'm fairly sure that he eventually sold the outfit in favour of more versatile and sturdy Nikon gear.

    (Sorry,this is all a bit OT for the original question, but hopefully of interest).
     
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  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I used to knew Terry Donovan the fashion photographer who used to say that all his Rolleiflexes given a coat of grey paint at the beginning of each September would gang up and invade Poland !