About to buy a ROLLEI 35 as back up for our holidays in Italy. Does this camera have a mechanical shutter without any need of bacteries ?
Yes the shutter is mechanical, batteries are just for the meter. It makes a wonderful travel camera, love to use mine for walking about in a city. I have the 35TE with the f3.5 tessar, so I tend to shoot K200 or tri-x to go with the slowish lens. You need the extra DOF since there is no rangefinder, scale focus only.
I have 2, 35s models. The next camera that had a lens that good was a 50 summicron on my M-4.
Never had one, but I seem to remember that it had some wierd arrangement which made it possible to wreck the shutter by retracting the lens unless the shutter was cocked (or was it uncocked). I'd check that one.
Lovely little camera, but there are a lot of different models with different lenses and (as far as I can see) different build qualities. I sold my last one because films would occasionally jam for no apparent reason. I don't think it was a design fault, just wear and tear on one of the cheaper (Triotar-lens, non-German) models. Buy the best you can afford, from a reputable dealer who gives a guarantee, and put a couple of rolls through it before you go to Italy.
My wife Frances Schultz had at least one of her favourite pictures out of it (attached), and a friend of mine did an entire model shoot with one in Scandinavia when his main cameras were stolen, so image quality with a good one isn't an issue.
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They're great little cameras. Instruction manuals can be downloaded from the Internet. Run a couple of rolls through your before you go to get the hang of it, and you'll be fine. The nice thing about them is their feel. They actually feel like a piece of photo equipment, not a cheap piece of disposable plastic. It does take some getting used to, especially estimating distances.
"While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"
I've been using Rollei 35s for thirty years - there are many pictures taken with one version or another in the link in my signature. Most are in the 'Hills' portfolio. You should be able to view the full-size versions by clicking on 'large'. The six-pointed stars you see when the sun is in the picture are from the aperture blades, not from an effect filter.
I have a few 35Ts, a 35S and two 35s. I had an SE, but sold it because I didn't like the meter. My first version was a 35B which I quickly sold to buy a 35T because I realised what a truly great camera series it was.
Of the versions, I prefer the plain 35, the 35T and the 35S the best. They are the easiest to operate one-handed because the match-needle meter is on the top plate. This is a useful feature when you would prefer to keep one hand on the rock or on the other person's rope. The TE and the SE have LED meter displays in the viewfinder, and may people prefer those. It's good to have the choice.
The S and SE have a Sonnar lens. The original 35, T and TE have a Tessar lens, which is not far behind the Sonnar in performance. Otherwise the versions are equivalent. The 35 was renamed the 35T when the S was introduced. The 35B has a Triotar, and has other differences from the Tessar and Sonnar models, including a different meter and shutter speed range.
Don't worry too much about small dings in the body. Many of these cameras were used by mountaineers and they can take heavy abuse. Check the lens for scratches by removing the back and opening the shutter on B. If you put a protective filter, or any filter, on the T models the factory lenscap doesn't fit. I modified my lenscaps with glass tape and epoxy.
*See, for example, the snap entitled 'N Face, Tour Ronde' in my Hills portfolio - I hope that will also give you an idea how good the meter is, because you don't bracket in those situations.
I've been looking at the Rollei 35 for several months thinking 'Do I need another camera'. Having looked through your work Helen, I now think I do.
Ps. What do you think of the Singapore built Rollei 35s as compared to original german built Rolleis? They tend to be cheaper, but is the build quality also cheaper?
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Originally Posted by Andy K
I have the Singapore-made Rollei 35S. From what I've seen in it, from how it handled, and the sort of picture quality it produced, there's no reason why its build quality should be a concern. It feels solid and well-built, and is well-finished as well. I suppose its lower (in terms of money) value - it does sell for less in auctions and other places- stems from its being labelled as 'made in Singapore' and nothing else. Otherwise, I see no reason why the Singapore-built Rollei should be inferior to the German-made one. I am sure that Rollei maintained the same quality control in their Singaporean factory as they did in their German factories. Afterall, the camera bears their badge.
The build quality on the singapore cameras are the same as the german ones. Thanks Helen for all the info. I can't comment on the other models as the only ones have ever bought were the 2.8 sonar, 35s models. Bought my first one new for $135.00. Top plus for this camera for me is the leaf shutter. Flash sync at all speeds.