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  1. #1

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    Rollei 35 Light Leak?

    I was recently given a Rollei 35 (the compact, scale focus camera--it's the model with the 3.5 Tessar). I've had fun running several rolls of film through it and have generally been impressed with the results. But I've encountered what looks like a light leak (see attached image, top center). The evidence does not appear on every frame: the first roll had perhaps 4 (of 36) affected, the second roll had only one, but the third had 5 or 6 leak-smeared prints. When it does appear the leak is always in the same spot, (though it does vary in intensity), at the top center on prints, bottom center on slides.

    I see no obvious sources for the leak on the camera body; the back fits snugly and the camera seems solid. Perhaps the lens tube (the camera has a retractable lens) is involved? Anyone else experience this problem? Any ideas on how easy it is to fix on this camera?

    --Ben
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leak.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Ben, a suggestion. With no film in the camera, remove the back.

    Get a flashlight, turn it on and insert it into the film chamber. Go into a dark room and slowly retract and extend the lens. See if you can detect any stray light.

    I would check this first. Let us know if you find anything.

    There are some other possibilities, but I would check this first.

  3. #3

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    I'll give that a try

    Thanks for the suggestion, Mike. I'll give that a try when I get home tonight. I've been surprised by how much I like using this camera.

    --Ben

  4. #4
    sionnac's Avatar
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    Here is an image from my Rollei 35 - same lens - also a light leak - but I like it!http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...00&ppuser=6085

  5. #5

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    They're gorgeous little cameras, but I've had problems with both the ones I've had: wind-on jamming and poor lens locking. Now there's your story. I just don't trust 'em any more: I'd rather use my Retina IIa with a faster lens and coupled rangefinder.
    Free Photography Information on My Website
    http://www.rogerandfrances.com

  6. #6

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    No Leaks Around the Lens Barrel

    Well last night I tried the test suggested above and did not see any light leaking around the lens barrel. Any thoughts about where to look next? If the camera had any foam seals, I'd suspect those, but I don't see a trace of foam anywhere.

  7. #7
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Would you people take this discussion off-line? I'm waiting for one of these to arrive in the mail, and don't want to hear negative things about this camera!
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  8. #8

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    My Rollei (same model as yours) developed a light leak similar looking to yours but mine was due to the back not fitting properly. It didn't quite slide all the way up to the top. As I recall I had to flex the bottom piece that holds the back in place so that it locked securely and haven't had a problem since. I carry mine with me wherever I go. It's my favorite camera (used to belong to my father).

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    IloveTLRs's Avatar
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    I got mine from my mom, who bought it in 1972 at a sale at the Harvard Coop

    johnnywalker - I have had no problems with mine. It's the S-Xenar lens model. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The only re-occuring problem I've heard of is film ripping, but I think working with the camera carefully will avoid that problem.
    Those who know, shoot film

  10. #10

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    I've had roughly half a dozen of these, and all have been very fine cameras. I've had no problems with light leaks.

    Because this is a German camera (even though many were made in Singapore), it doesn't use foam seals. Foam seals by and large are features of Japanese camera to compensate for an inadequate light-blocking labyrinth design for the back. For the most part, you won't find foam in German cameras.

    Getting back to the Rollei 35 cameras (not including the B35 or C35), the damage to the camera generally occurs in two areas:

    1) At some point, Rollei replaced a key metal gear in the film advance with a plastic one. It worked fine, except when a heavy handed user reached the end of the film and forced the film advance anyway, either damaging the gear or stripping the film sprockets or both.

    2) The shutter must be tensioned before the lens can be collapsed. However, if you twist the lens hard enough, you can snap the lens mount.

    There also are some other plastic parts that can fail, but these two are generally the most common problems with the Rollei 35 cameras.

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