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  1. #1

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    Rollei SL35 SLR, any users out there?

    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. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    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?
    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. 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!

  3. #3
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Being a huge Rolleiflex TLR fan myself (got the tele and the wide and a couple of 3.5 and 2.8 too) plus a whole SL66 system, I've often wondered about these babies too. Too happy with my Contax and older Nikon 35mm SLR systems to dive into it however. But when I see this I often want to:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rolleiflex-C...-/180915423344
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
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    My Photography Website
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  4. #4
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    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. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    BobD's Avatar
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    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. #7

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    THanks for all the positive feedback, I'm now encouraged to purchase one.

  8. #8

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    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. #9

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    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. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    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.

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