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Thread: Rollei 35 tips?

  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Rollei 35 tips?

    Well, in return for taking care of a good friend of my family's cat while he went on vacation, he gave me his old Rollei 35, it's flash, collapsable lens hood, medium yellow filter, protective filter, and manual, as he no longer used it. It has the Zeiss Tessar 40mm f3.5 and it's serial is 3067585. The shutter sticks at all speeds below 30 but from 30 to 500 the speeds seem to work correctly. I just put a roll of E200 in it, so we'll just have to see how accurate it is. The light meter is spot on, I checked it with my L-508.

    My biggest problem is that the manual seems to be in French (wtf?) and I can't read French. It took a while to figure out, but by looking at the pictures I finally figured out how to retract the lens. :rolleyes:

    Sorry for the ramble, but can anyone tell me the age of this camera and any tips and tricks when using a camera such as this?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    I have one they're fun once you get used to the quirky control placement. I keep my lens out all the time, I seem to remember there is a problem if you attempt to use it while it is still retracted.
    The Tessar is a very good lens, quite capable of excellent results, some more of my thoughts and images here:
    Rollei 35

    Mark

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    I have a black Rollei 35S since 1981 and took it with me on my travels throughout Europe and the Middle East and the last time to Brazil.
    It is a great performer and as said has some quirky control placement due to the extreme compactness of the camera.

    I truely love this little camera with its great performance.

    Peter

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    Like you I have been enjoying an old camera, in my case a Vito II folder from the 50's which also has a Tessar lens. The shutter on my camera also has problems in the 25'th of a second range. My enjoyment level improved measurably after I decided to start using 400 ASA film in the Vito II. This has allowed me to keep shutter speeds up in the safe range all the time with aperatures in the sweat spot. I've been using the new TMY-2 film, but if you want to go color I've heard good things about Provia 400. These two films, IMHO, could very well be a one stop kit for shutter challenged camera's like ours. The one downside could be if your old camera has a lens with excellent performance at f/4 and below.

    Denis K

  6. #6
    neelin's Avatar
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    after having not used mine for a couple of years, tip#1
    "it's not broken. the lens won't retract unless the shutter is cocked!"

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    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Antony View Post
    I have one they're fun once you get used to the quirky control placement. I keep my lens out all the time, I seem to remember there is a problem if you attempt to use it while it is still retracted.
    The Tessar is a very good lens, quite capable of excellent results, some more of my thoughts and images here:
    Rollei 35

    Mark
    What do you mean? My shutter won't even fire with the lens retracted.

    Quote Originally Posted by neelin View Post
    after having not used mine for a couple of years, tip#1
    "it's not broken. the lens won't retract unless the shutter is cocked!"
    Yeah that freaked me out at first.

    Is it normal for these cameras to have problems with the slower shutter speeds?

    Is it possible to get these cameras fixed? Expensive?

    I want to take this camera backpacking with some Velvia and Kodachrome due to it's small size and quality lens.

    Usually, a camera this small with components this small gives me doubts about build quality, but however this camera seems to be quite solid indeed. What are your experiences about the reliability of this camera?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    RIP Kodachrome

  8. #8
    Mark Antony's Avatar
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    What do you mean? My shutter won't even fire with the lens retracted.
    Possibly I didn't explain that too well, what I meant was you can’t push the lens back in until the shutter is cocked and if you try people have told me you have a paperweight- hence why I leave it out all the time.

  9. #9
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Check the focussing accuracy: At least on two Sonnar equipped models that has been an issue (2 out of 2).

    Shoot something at infinity at full aperture. Or even better, shoot something at one (measured from film plane) metre on tripod, still full aperture. If the sharpness isn't "perfect", then it needs adjusting.

    At least on the Sonnar models, it's a very easy, if somewhat fiddly, fix. Ask again if necessary, but do check.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #10
    smcclarin's Avatar
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    I noticed on my Rollei 35 (Honeywell sticker still in place, made in germany, Tessar lens) That with Bulb setting, you have to really press the shutter button with certitude otherwise the shutter will close prematurely (watching the actuations with the back open to see what is happening), it also appears that this feature really can only be used effectively with a shuter cable and a tripod, but long exposures are possible with this little Gem, it is as big as my Nikon P5100, but goes along nicely in my Mamiya RB67 bag during landscape adventures. sometimes I check the meter agains my Soligor spot meter, so far the meter is accurate enough for me. The BW images from Ilford Delta 100ISO are really nice and this camera quickly becomes a point and shoot with very little understanding, save for the obvious shutter always cocked to open the lens and close it (springs always under tension) Too bad there wasnt a switch to close the shutter when stored to preserve the slow speed timing. Bought mine from Forsters Camera for 175.00 it had been adjusted and CLA'd so the slow shutter sounds accurate down to 1/4 of a second compared to my Mamiya RB 67 Pro-s. I have taken to storing it with the lens out and the shutter fired but transport it with the lens in shutter cocked. the good thing with this little thing is you never go out half cocked which is sometimes the case with the Mamiya. I am looking foreward to doing candids in Salt Lake city, the shutter is really a whisper.
    "Often you will discover in life, that temerity yields little that quiet observation and decisive action can!"

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