Rollei 35s battery
Not exactly a rangefinder, I know.
The 1.35V battery in the camera has died. A bit of googling seems to leave me with two choices: an adapter from Cris Camera that will enable it to use a 1.55V silver-oxide battery, or a battery from WeinCell.
The former is really expensive ($32 + $22 shipping to Canada). I can live with the price of the Cris Camera adapter, but I refuse to pay $22 for shipping something that weighs a couple of grams.
Wein says their batteries last only "up to" a year. The price ($8) and shipping seem reasonable ($4) though.
Anybody know of any options I've overlooked?
I have a Rollei 35s. Tried the wein cells and was really disappointed in the short life. Got the adapter from cris and LOVE it! (but I am quite sure I didn't pay nearly so much!). I don't think I tried any other option.
I've successfully used a zinc-air 675 hearing aid battery with a #9 O-ring in a number of cameras, but not sure if that will work in the Rollei as it requires that contact with the battery be at the top and the bottom. Jon Goodman (of camera foam fame) sells a machined adapter (http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-149.html; about 2/3s down the page) that should mitigate that issue.
However, the zinc-air battery requires air to activate. As I remember, there is a screw on cap to the battery compartment. If it's air tight, you may need to drill a small hole in that cap.
If you use the camera a lot you can have it re-calibrated for alkaline or silver oxide cells. This is pretty routine and not very expensive to do. Alternatively just get a compact exposure meter - there are many good ones. The shoe mounted VC and VCII meters from Voigtlander are tiny and accurate as can be.
Thanks for your thoughts. I actually have a small meter I can use while I decide what to do.
Could any decent repair shop do the recalibration if I decide to go that route?
Recalibrating for silver-oxide will work but not sure about the availability of 625 sized cells. But you could use a silver oxide cell with an adapter. Further, given that the meter in the Rollei 35 is not reading a specific spot in the field of view, I'm not sure that reading altered by a 1.5v battery would make that much of a difference. None the less, there are relatively simple ways to electronically compensate. Here's one example: http://www.rangefindercameras.net/weston.html
I don't know if recalibration would really work with alkaline cells as the voltage drops over time with alkalines. Some meter designs compensate for this and others do not. I don't know if the Rollei does.
You could fit it with a silver 1.5v cell (I forget the number). May need an O ring spacer to keep it in place. If the extra voltage is a problem then a Schottky diode can be fitted in one of the cell connections to drop the voltage by 0.2v
If you want to do a quick test to see if the 1.5v affects the meter, buy a PX625A cell. This is a 1.5v alkaline cell in a PX625 package.
An alkaline battery has a voltage fall off once it starts running out and is not as stable as a silver cell but a new cell will tell you if you need to re-calibrate or have the diode fitted.
Keep in mind the Criscam adaptors also work on other cameras & are easily switched over if your needs change. I pick up the replacement batteries locally.
I phoned Criscam today, and they came down a bit on the shipping, so I ordered one. I like my little Rollei too much to not have it working as it should.