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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Questions regarding Rollei 35
Old 10-26-2018   #1
pauld111
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Questions regarding Rollei 35

Don't you think it would have been interesting for them to have designed a Rollei 35 that instead of the c35 had the Sonnar or Tessar lens and the original viewfinder magnification (viewfinder in proper place unlike c35), and no light meter it would be like the 'Leica M-A' of Rollei's?

Along those lines I wonder why they never implemented a lens with an f2 stop. Was the area too small for that sort of lens design?

Just something I have wondered about.
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Old 10-26-2018   #2
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I would go with the more common Rollei 35 for the viewfinder placement.
An f/2 lens using zone-focus only would be kinda sketchy. Even if it had a rangefinder I'm not sure how accurate it would be given the width of the body. The Rollei is more of a zone type focus kind of camera IMO.
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Old 10-26-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjäll View Post
I would go with the more common Rollei 35 for the viewfinder placement.
An f/2 lens using zone-focus only would be kinda sketchy. Even if it had a rangefinder I'm not sure how accurate it would be given the width of the body. The Rollei is more of a zone type focus kind of camera IMO.
Thanks, didn't think about how the accuracy would be affected. Would still like a Rollei 35S built without a light meter. Think it would be cool.
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Old 10-26-2018   #4
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f2 lens is bigger than 2.8 and 3.5, smallest one I'm aware of is Summar. You can't toss in f2 like this on this body.

Plenty of R35 with no meter (crapped out), it is cheap to get one. Try it. Come back and let us know why no meter is better in such a small body.
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Old 10-26-2018   #5
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
f2 lens is bigger than 2.8 and 3.5, smallest one I'm aware of is Summar. You can't toss in f2 like this on this body.

Plenty of R35 with no meter (crapped out), it is cheap to get one. Try it. Come back and let us know why no meter is better in such a small body.
Maybe not back then, but my iPhone 8 has a 28mm f1.8 lens that is 7 element and tack sharp corner to corner, and it is a fraction of the size of any Rollei 35 lens.
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Old 10-26-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMA1965 View Post
Maybe not back then, but my iPhone 8 has a 28mm f1.8 lens that is 7 element and tack sharp corner to corner, and it is a fraction of the size of any Rollei 35 lens.
iPhone 8 has a very small sensor compared to the 24x36mm image size of the Rollei 35. So they can build a fast, small lens. Look around at f/2 lenses designed to cover 24x36mm and you'll see how big they must be. The M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 on the CL/CLE is about the most compact I can think of.
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Old 10-27-2018   #7
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Yashica Electro 35 CC has a 35mm f/1.8. But it is not half as compact as Rollei35's 40/2.8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMA1965 View Post
Maybe not back then, but my iPhone 8 has a 28mm f1.8 lens that is 7 element and tack sharp corner to corner, and it is a fraction of the size of any Rollei 35 lens.
An iPhone with a 24*36 sensor in the pants pocket would be phenomenal.
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Old 10-27-2018   #8
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The meter in the Rollei 35 is about as unobtrusive as could be. Is there an advantage to be gained if it weren't there? I suppose the meter display could be covered with tape if so desired, appropriate silver or black to match the camera.
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Old 10-27-2018   #9
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R35 meter isn't TTL, film M is. So R35 meter is like Viightlander meter on M-A.

Also, how good OP is on 40/2 scale focus?
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Old 10-27-2018   #10
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I love the meter in the Rollei 35. Perfectly placed for the whole scale focus process.
I don’t tend to use mine with the viewfinder all that much, i prefer just extend the lens, meter, scale and pop.

f/2.0 seems totally unnecessary, not like I’m looking through the lens. A little late in the day to offer Rollei advice on this one anyhow.

I have other cameras without meters but they mostly have some kind of focusing mechanism to concern myself with. The nearest i can think of is the Hasselblad SWC, but id happily stick a needle meter on top of mine, I already have to watch the bubble level so...
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Old 10-27-2018   #11
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As mentioned, scale focus and 35mm cameras are not going to play well together. My only experience with this is with the Retina 1A cameras that were scale focus and mostly had 50 3.5 lenses. You really needed that 3.5 to cover focusing errors.
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Old 10-27-2018   #12
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How I came up with this idea of no meter was looking at the Rollei c35 as a concept and also the Werra 1 (which I own)...I just like the sleekness in design of the Werra and wanted to see if this would translate well in a Rollei.

With regard to the f2, I was just curious if this was possible, because then surely the Rollei would have been able to compete fully with a Leica M with Summicron lens attached.
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Old 10-27-2018   #13
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Hello everyone:

I've inherited a black Rollei 35. It has a Tessar 40mm f/3.5 lens. Engraved on the back reads "Made in Germany by Rollei." There is also a sticker on the back reading "Rollei, Honeywell." It came with its leather case, although with a broken zipper. It also has a Rollei filter on the lens, marked "Rollei H1, Germany, R 00." FWIW serial number is 3115868.

I've been dry-shooting it, and the various mechanisms seem to work okay, but without a battery I don't know if it meters. I plan to get a CLA for the camera, and have found a couple of places on the web that service them. I'd appreciate any recommendations along that line. Also, given that the 1.35 V batteries are no longer available, is it worth it to have the camera adjusted to use a 1.5 V battery? I have a hand-held meter, but it would be nice to have a meter on board.

Any suggestions or information very much appreciated.
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1 Each MR9 Battery Adapter
Old 10-27-2018   #14
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1 Each MR9 Battery Adapter

You can use a Kanto MR9 battery adapter that contains a Schottky diode to bring down the voltage of modern 1.55 volt silver oxide S625PX cell.

http://www.kantocamera.com/english/adapter/adapter_en.html


For a CLA: https://www.rolleirepairs.com/ a.k.a. Oceanside Camera Repair
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Old 10-27-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMA1965 View Post
Maybe not back then, but my iPhone 8 has a 28mm f1.8 lens that is 7 element and tack sharp corner to corner, and it is a fraction of the size of any Rollei 35 lens.
Your iphone has a 28mm FOV equivalent lens in it. Due to the small size of the sensor the actual focal length of the lens is a little less than 4mm. Aperture is a ratio of focal length to diameter and when the focal length is tiny, needed image circle is tiny than it doesn't take a very large lens to have a fast aperture.

The Rollei's lens is literally 10x the focal length and needs to have enough glass to cover film with dramatically more surface areas. The Rollei's lens is tiny for what it does.

Shawn
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Old 10-27-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASA 32 View Post
Hello everyone:

I've inherited a black Rollei 35. It has a Tessar 40mm f/3.5 lens. Engraved on the back reads "Made in Germany by Rollei." There is also a sticker on the back reading "Rollei, Honeywell." It came with its leather case, although with a broken zipper. It also has a Rollei filter on the lens, marked "Rollei H1, Germany, R 00." FWIW serial number is 3115868.

I've been dry-shooting it, and the various mechanisms seem to work okay, but without a battery I don't know if it meters. I plan to get a CLA for the camera, and have found a couple of places on the web that service them. I'd appreciate any recommendations along that line. Also, given that the 1.35 V batteries are no longer available, is it worth it to have the camera adjusted to use a 1.5 V battery? I have a hand-held meter, but it would be nice to have a meter on board.

Any suggestions or information very much appreciated.
Try shooting it with a 1.5v battery before bothering to get it adjusted. Compare it to your handheld and see how close they match. You can likely get it to match up close enough by adjusting the ISO setting by some multiplier. Great little cameras.

Shawn
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Old 10-27-2018   #17
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When Heinz Waaske of Wirgin designed the camera, beginning in 1962, his aim was to make it as tiny as possible, even down to a "trick" shutter to allow a collapsible lens. He succeeded: arguably, it's the camera that destroyed half-frame. It's so crowded and intricately fitted together on the inside that there's not much scope for changes, even when you take out the meter.

Of course you can fit an f/2 lens onto a rangerfinderless Leica, and if you try, you soon learn why it isn't a good idea: depth of field is just too small at even 5 metres/18 feet that few people could judge it accurately. Even f/3.5 (the Anastigmat/ Elmax/ Elmar) is quite demanding under about 3 metres/10 feet.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
When Heinz Waaske of Wirgin designed the camera, beginning in 1962, his aim was to make it as tiny as possible, even down to a "trick" shutter to allow a collapsible lens. He succeeded: arguably, it's the camera that destroyed half-frame. It's so crowded and intricately fitted together on the inside that there's not much scope for changes, even when you take out the meter.

Of course you can fit an f/2 lens onto a rangerfinderless Leica, and if you try, you soon learn why it isn't a good idea: depth of field is just too small at even 5 metres/18 feet that few people could judge it accurately. Even f/3.5 (the Anastigmat/ Elmax/ Elmar) is quite demanding under about 3 metres/10 feet.

Cheers,

R.
Thanks Roger for your input. As an aside, I find your website really informative. I am trying to find a working SEI meter to really get to grips with light.

Cheers

Paul
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Old 10-27-2018   #19
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Well Roger, I’ve owned a couple of Rollei 35’s, a model B and a model S. For many years now I’ve also had a Oly Pen, the original all manual viewfinder type. And, although the Rollei indeed was smaller, and with the 35S much better specified, the Pen has always been much more pleasant to actually use. No pulling out the lens to operate and despite being larger much more sleek with no protuberances to catch on cargo pockets and such.
The original 2 blade Copal although limited in range is whisper quiey and does not suffer from being gummed up near as much as the later 5 blade Copal in the Pen S models. The projected bright frame .5X viewfinder also is a improvement over Rollei’s.

As for trying to use up 75 exposures, well if I really want to look at what I have then I go in the darkroom, snip off the exposed film and load it straight away onto a reel, and then just reload the remaining film.

Just my take/experience and, as is always the case, YMMV.
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Old 10-27-2018   #20
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If it would be too unwieldy for the Rollei 35 to support an f2 lens, how is it possible that a Robot Star comes with a f1.9 40mm Xenor? Is it because the Robot is a 24mmX24mm format? And then the only reason the Robot Royal 36 was able to support the Sonnar 50 f2 is because of the rangefinder?
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Old 10-27-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauld111 View Post
If it would be too unwieldy for the Rollei 35 to support an f2 lens, how is it possible that a Robot Star comes with a f1.9 40mm Xenor? Is it because the Robot is a 24mmX24mm format? And then the only reason the Robot Royal 36 was able to support the Sonnar 50 f2 is because of the rangefinder?
The Robots are a completely different breed —— basically, the rangefinder-less cameras were made for surveillance, in particular: speed cameras; so to say, a very special form of "street photography"
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Old 10-27-2018   #22
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Like most tools, the Rollei 35 is best used in only a certain range of conditions. It is a compact mechanical jewel with a high quality lens that excels in daylight shooting. It is not a low light bokeh machine, can be tough to use close up and wide open, and the accessory shoe on the bottom make using a flash awkward at best. Design compromises made it good for what it does, but for those same reasons, outside of that range it isn't the best tool. Enjoy it for what it excels at. The f2.8 and f3.5 lenses fit this design but an f2 would not.

Steve
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Old 10-27-2018   #23
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Originally Posted by pauld111 View Post
Thanks, didn't think about how the accuracy would be affected. Would still like a Rollei 35S built without a light meter. Think it would be cool.
Just take the battery out of yours, and don't tell anybody.
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Old 10-27-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauld111 View Post
Thanks Roger for your input. As an aside, I find your website really informative. I am trying to find a working SEI meter to really get to grips with light.

Cheers

Paul
Dear Paul,

Thank'ee kindly, but quite honestly I'd recommend a simpler spot meter: the 1/2 degree spot is wonderfully precise, but the upside-down image is more awkward than you might think (unless of course you already think it's pretty awkward).

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Well Roger, I’ve owned a couple of Rollei 35’s, a model B and a model S. For many years now I’ve also had a Oly Pen, the original all manual viewfinder type. And, although the Rollei indeed was smaller, and with the 35S much better specified, the Pen has always been much more pleasant to actually use. No pulling out the lens to operate and despite being larger much more sleek with no protuberances to catch on cargo pockets and such.
The original 2 blade Copal although limited in range is whisper quiey and does not suffer from being gummed up near as much as the later 5 blade Copal in the Pen S models. The projected bright frame .5X viewfinder also is a improvement over Rollei’s.

As for trying to use up 75 exposures, well if I really want to look at what I have then I go in the darkroom, snip off the exposed film and load it straight away onto a reel, and then just reload the remaining film.

Just my take/experience and, as is always the case, YMMV.
Sure: no argument. I prefer my Pen W to Frances's Rollei 35. From the same source as before:

Technical quality and versatility are not the only components of the quality plateau, though. Two more questions are ease of use, and how much you like the camera.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauld111 View Post
If it would be too unwieldy for the Rollei 35 to support an f2 lens, how is it possible that a Robot Star comes with a f1.9 40mm Xenor? Is it because the Robot is a 24mmX24mm format? And then the only reason the Robot Royal 36 was able to support the Sonnar 50 f2 is because of the rangefinder?
Dear Paul,

Smaller format (as you say) and non-collapsible. Also 40mm = more depth of field.

And Robot Stars are pretty chunky.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #27
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I'm not alone in having a 35S with bung meter. It's one of three Rollei devices I have with bung electronics that can't be repaired ("no parts"). I think the manufacturers in that era who were marvelous at mechanical engineering had a naive view of the reliability of electronics then. I'm thinking of cars, electrical appliances as well as cameras.
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Old 10-27-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASA 32 View Post
Hello everyone:

I've inherited a black Rollei 35. It has a Tessar 40mm f/3.5 lens. Engraved on the back reads "Made in Germany by Rollei." There is also a sticker on the back reading "Rollei, Honeywell." It came with its leather case, although with a broken zipper. It also has a Rollei filter on the lens, marked "Rollei H1, Germany, R 00." FWIW serial number is 3115868.

I've been dry-shooting it, and the various mechanisms seem to work okay, but without a battery I don't know if it meters. I plan to get a CLA for the camera, and have found a couple of places on the web that service them. I'd appreciate any recommendations along that line. Also, given that the 1.35 V batteries are no longer available, is it worth it to have the camera adjusted to use a 1.5 V battery? I have a hand-held meter, but it would be nice to have a meter on board.

Any suggestions or information very much appreciated.

Put an A76 Silver Oxide battery in, set the ASA dial and using the sunny 16 rule see if the meter looks accurate. it probably is. The go shoot a roll or two of film. Develop.
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Old 10-27-2018   #29
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Everybody wants a fast or faster lens. f2.0, or 1.4, or 1.2 or better yet 1.0. I some how got along great with Kodachrome 25 and f3.5. Except for the pictorial effect of extreme minimal DOF, how many really shoot with an f stop larger than f4.0 or 5.6? I love my little Rollei. DOF is huge. And yes I love my Retina 1a also.
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Old 10-28-2018   #30
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Thanks for the helpful tips! I plan to get an A76 battery and calibrate the metering with the ASA dial and my hand-held meter, and give it a go.

Again, thank you.
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Old 10-28-2018   #31
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Quote:
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Everybody wants a fast or faster lens. f2.0, or 1.4, or 1.2 or better yet 1.0. I some how got along great with Kodachrome 25 and f3.5. Except for the pictorial effect of extreme minimal DOF, how many really shoot with an f stop larger than f4.0 or 5.6? I love my little Rollei. DOF is huge. And yes I love my Retina 1a also.
Me. In poor light. That's what I always believed (and still believe) fast lenses are for. Nor am I alone.

Using fast lenses in good light is a sideshow, commonly abused.

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Old 10-28-2018   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASA 32 View Post
Hello everyone:

I've inherited a black Rollei 35. It has a Tessar 40mm f/3.5 lens. Engraved on the back reads "Made in Germany by Rollei." There is also a sticker on the back reading "Rollei, Honeywell." It came with its leather case, although with a broken zipper. It also has a Rollei filter on the lens, marked "Rollei H1, Germany, R 00." FWIW serial number is 3115868.

I've been dry-shooting it, and the various mechanisms seem to work okay, but without a battery I don't know if it meters. I plan to get a CLA for the camera, and have found a couple of places on the web that service them. I'd appreciate any recommendations along that line. Also, given that the 1.35 V batteries are no longer available, is it worth it to have the camera adjusted to use a 1.5 V battery? I have a hand-held meter, but it would be nice to have a meter on board.

Any suggestions or information very much appreciated.

Argh!

My Rollei 35 is missing its battery cap! What's the chance of finding one? And where?

Thank you!
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Old 10-28-2018   #33
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Are you sure? The actual battery cap looks like it is missing the battery cap.

If you are missing it parts are tough to find. The pics below are from a black 35S in great shape but it is missing one tiny pin on the shutter mechanism that opens the blades in the lens.

Shawn
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File Type: jpg IMG_6660_DxO.jpg (41.7 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_6661_DxO.jpg (37.7 KB, 16 views)
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Old 10-28-2018   #34
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
Are you sure? The actual battery cap looks like it is missing the battery cap.

If you are missing it parts are tough to find. The pics below are from a black 35S in great shape but it is missing one tiny pin on the shutter mechanism that opens the blades in the lens.

Shawn
Thank you so much, Shawn! Yes, I was mistaken, the battery cap is there. Looking forward now to some shooting!

About that thread, "Is RFF still relevant?" Well, duh!
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Old 09-25-2019   #35
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I was just thinking (late to the show, as always) If you want a 35 S without a light meter, the best bet is to buy a 35 S with a broken light meter and save a hundred bucks.

But I hear you. I covet a C35 for its clean looks and nice handling. (those front dials on the original design don't feel or look good)

This is just an educated guess, as I haven't had them apart, but one thing that I think they did on the B and C35 was put plastic gears in the film advance train. In order for them to be strong enough, they had to make them thicker or wider than the original metal gears, and to have room for that, the viewfinder had to be moved over. In other words, they sacrificed ergonomics to save cost. It does work fine, but some of the original elegance was lost. Let's not even get into the feel of advancing film. It feels like the B35 is full of rocks, compared to the original design.
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Old 09-25-2019   #36
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Quote:
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...
But I hear you. I covet a C35 for its clean looks and nice handling. (those front dials on the original design don't feel or look good)
...
The design meme for the original Rollei 35 was to hold the camera at waist level when setting exposure and focus. The match-needle meter, shutter/aperture control wheels, and the focus with DoF scale are all set up so you can see them at a glance from the top. When those things are set, you quickly bring the camera to your eye, frame, and make the exposure. Then put it down again. It's an ideal street camera for this reason.

Once you understand HOW to use the camera this way, without prejudices of looking at metering indication and making settings through the viewfinder, you see that most of the control ergonomics are right on the money. The frame counter and hot shoe on the bottom were obviously there because the designer was trying to make the camera as small as possible and wasn't too concerned with flash.

Later models with the LED indication for the meter in the viewfinder were never as clean ergonomically as the original. The 35B and 35C models were far less expensive, plastic cameras by comparison ... completely different from the original 35 (35T) and 35S, with a simple Triotar three-element lens; the entire camera was simplified and redesigned to reduce cost; the centralized viewfinder was likely a matter of cost reduction in making the plastic casting. The 35's Tessar four-element lens and the 35S's five or six element Sonnar lens were far superior. The 35 Classic series moved the hot shoe to the top, which was nice mostly in that they reinforced the very thin top metal and it didn't dent so easily.

The C35 was a totally different camera, totally different design, and (if I recall correctly) was a bought in design from when Rollei acquired Voigtländer designs in the early '70s. Design-wise, it was completely different from the Rollei 35 series, and was released almost a decade later (first Rollei 35s release dates to 1966).

I have been a big Rollei 35 fan and user over the years. My favorite and forever one is a black 1973 model 35S with Sonnar 40/2.8 lens which I've owned since about 1990. It traveled with me all over the world for over a decade+ and is still in 100% perfect working order, has made many many superb photos. I should take it out and do some shooting with it again... The meter is still working fine, and I think I still have a couple of good mercury batteries for it. If not, I have the MR-9 adapter and can use a silver oxide replacement battery. But even if I don't put in a battery, it works great ... and I have a number of excellent metering apps on my iPhone that I can use without having to carry a dedicated meter if I so choose.

Klaus Prochnow wrote an excellent Rollei 35 Compendium book many years ago that is one of my prized bits of photographic memorabilia.

G
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Old 09-26-2019   #37
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The design meme for the original Rollei 35 was to hold the camera at waist level when setting exposure and focus. The match-needle meter, shutter/aperture control wheels, and the focus with DoF scale are all set up so you can see them at a glance from the top. When those things are set, you quickly bring the camera to your eye, frame, and make the exposure. Then put it down again. It's an ideal street camera for this reason.
Agreed. It's so fast into action, once set.

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Once you understand HOW to use the camera this way, without prejudices of looking at metering indication and making settings through the viewfinder, you see that most of the control ergonomics are right on the money.
Also agreed. In street photography, once the camera is brought up to the eye, it is like an alarm that you're about to snap a picture. Then, any shots are not candid.

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The 35's Tessar four-element lens and the 35S's five or six element Sonnar lens were far superior.
Five element. I would say they are superior, but not FAR superior. The Triotar is surprisingly good. Below are a few of my favorite Triotar pix. The lack of some sharpness at the edges is mostly lost in the film grain.

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The C35 was a totally different camera, totally different design, and (if I recall correctly) was a bought in design from when Rollei acquired Voigtländer designs in the early '70s. Design-wise, it was completely different from the Rollei 35 series, and was released almost a decade later (first Rollei 35s release dates to 1966).
I've read that it is identical to the B 35, except that it lacks the uncoupled light meter. But as you have that nice book, you can correct me if I turn out to be wrong.

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I have been a big Rollei 35 fan and user over the years. My favorite and forever one is a black 1973 model 35S with Sonnar 40/2.8 lens which I've owned since about 1990. It traveled with me all over the world for over a decade+ and is still in 100% perfect working order, has made many many superb photos. I should take it out and do some shooting with it again... The meter is still working fine, and I think I still have a couple of good mercury batteries for it. If not, I have the MR-9 adapter and can use a silver oxide replacement battery. But even if I don't put in a battery, it works great ... and I have a number of excellent metering apps on my iPhone that I can use without having to carry a dedicated meter if I so choose.
Yes, you should take it out and use it again. It will feel like meeting an old friend again. What I do is put it in a nice padded case (not the original thin one) and keep it in my bag that I carry every weekday. It is forgotten most of the time, but when I see an opportunity, out it comes! If you don't have such a case, check your local thrift stores. Cases from 80s point & shoot film cameras are often a good fit. Do use the light meter, though. As you pointed out above, it is quite convenient. I shot a roll with my B 35 (with the iffy meter) and a phone light meter app, and the shots came out well, but having to refer to a different device for the light meter kind of ruins the process, for me.

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Klaus Prochnow wrote an excellent Rollei 35 Compendium book many years ago that is one of my prized bits of photographic memorabilia.

G
I just looked on Amazon and eBay for that book; it is not available. So it is good that you prize yours! I could only find a 25 year anniversary book for $75 - $100. I will keep an eye out, though.
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Old 09-26-2019   #38
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I am perhaps thinking of a different Rollei C35 ... Far as I recall, the nomenclature for the Rollei 35 series always put the letter descriptor after the "35" ... so Rollei 35, 35S/35T, 35B, 35C, etc. Of course there are variations out there, and even from Rollei.

Never meant to say the Triotar was a bad lens or couldn't make a good photograph, but the Tessar and Sonnar are much higher performance designs. The Sonnar in particular has much much more even illumination across the frame and performs well even wide open, where both Tessar and Triotar really need to be stopped down a ways before they're in their sweet spot. Not so big an issue on a scale focus camera that you normally use set to f/8-f/11, I agree.

I'm not at home, but when I get back I'll pull out Klaus' book and see what it has to say. My understanding is that these books were published for internal consumption at Rollei and were never distributed commercially. I can't remember how I got hold of one ... probably through "a friend of a friend" etc ...

Fun stuff!

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Old 10-02-2019   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I am perhaps thinking of a different Rollei C35 ... Far as I recall, the nomenclature for the Rollei 35 series always put the letter descriptor after the "35" ... so Rollei 35, 35S/35T, 35B, 35C, etc. Of course there are variations out there, and even from Rollei.

Never meant to say the Triotar was a bad lens or couldn't make a good photograph, but the Tessar and Sonnar are much higher performance designs. The Sonnar in particular has much much more even illumination across the frame and performs well even wide open, where both Tessar and Triotar really need to be stopped down a ways before they're in their sweet spot. Not so big an issue on a scale focus camera that you normally use set to f/8-f/11, I agree.

I'm not at home, but when I get back I'll pull out Klaus' book and see what it has to say. My understanding is that these books were published for internal consumption at Rollei and were never distributed commercially. I can't remember how I got hold of one ... probably through "a friend of a friend" etc ...

Fun stuff!

G
It seems the only one that had the letter either before or after the '35' was the B. Originally, it was 'B 35'. C 35 was discontinued sooner, probably due to lack of sales. Then later, they decided to change it to move the letter after, to be consistent with the 35 S. They made the regular 35 T to be consistent with that, in later years.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollei_35
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Old 10-04-2019   #40
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The name change from B35 to 35B took place in January 1976. According to Claus Prochnow, Rollei Report 3, the sales dropped in 1975 and the marketing section used this occasion to change the name (they never liked the "B35" name), hoping to get a closer connection between all Rollei 35 models. There was no technical change. The name change could´t save the 35B.

The B35 was sold for 299,-DM in 1969, the C35 for 249,- and the regular Rollei 35 for 498.-DM.

For collectors:
The B35 and C35 were manufactured in five different leatherette colors (red, orange, brown, blue and white). Most interest came from the american market.
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