Prototype MINT 35mm Film Camera

It certainly looks like they are using the Rollei 35 as a strong reference camera. Kind of looks like the new camera will have one dial on the front, maybe not two. But it has a very similar boxy shape as well. Very interesting! They will probably beat Ricoh/Pentax to the punch.
Spoiler: they did NOT beat Ricoh/Pentax to the punch.
 
So the main competitor at this size and film is the contax t3. If they cant compete this quality of lens after so many years then they planed the whole project wrong. With the prices of film its worth it to use it only with top notch glass.
The Contax T3 goes for 2-3x the price though... no? Surely Mint can have a slightly worse lens and still do ok.
 
The timing? We’ve been talking about the MINT on this site for just as long as the Pentax. Both have been showing their progress for maybe 1.5 years. The camera was no secret. It isn't spoiling anything if you cannot buy it still.
Yes: The MiNT Rollei 35AF and the Pentax 17 were both announced as 'projects in development' by their respective manufacturers in late 2022 or early 2023. The fact that they're both hitting a similar release date simply shows us that this is how long it takes to bring a camera project from the "we are going to make this" point to a release ... a simple example of unrelated, parallel development timelines.

Remember that not all pur sang Rollei 35 cameras listed the name Zeiss on the lens, even though all the original Rollei 35 lenses were actually made by Zeiss. It was part of a cost-cutting deal between Rollei and Zeiss to not list the Zeiss name, which cost a per-unit fee paid to Zeiss for cameras featuring the Zeiss name. Exactly what the lens is (a 5-element, compact 35mm f/2.8 lens... vs the Rollei 35S Sonnar 40/2.8) and how it performs are two of the biggest questions that can only be answered after production units are in the field and we can do some testing. But I have confidence that Gary is putting a best effort into making this camera very high quality.

G
 
Japan Camera Hunter did a live reveal on Instagram which detailed a few things that I hadn’t heard before.
Cliffs:
- Lens designed with help from ex-pentax engineers
- Goes on sale in September, available in October
- Exposure can be fully manual
- Right dial is aperture
- Left dial has Auto with exposure comp or manual speed selection
- No manual focus (from the video the autofocus was a little loud to me)
- Lock focus/recompose is possible
- .7m minimum focus distance
- DX coding w/ manual override
- Weighs 277 grams

I'm really looking forward to this!

-lids
 
Is the lens used on that camera a zeiss one like on the original ? A camera coming oit with such a name has to have an excellent lens..
I asked the guy who appears to be heading up the development effort and did not get a very clear reply. All he said was that the lens has five elements and is made of glass! And he said the lens design was different than the Sonnar or Tessar designs used in earlier Rollei 35 cameras.
 
As mentioned in a comment above, the lens has nothing to do with Zeiss, nor anything to do with any of the lenses in the original series of Rollei 35 cameras. It's a f/2.8 35mm lens, and non-collapsible (which no doubt makes assembly much simpler). It will in all likelihood be better than the original lenses.

Launch price will be $799 apparently. I wish them luck, but $799 will buy you a lot of camera elsewhere. The main advantage of a new cameras, is, I suppose, that it will have a warranty. So if Mint provide a good one and the cameras are solid, it may be worth every dollar. On the other hand there are plenty of 40 year old Rolleis out there still working fine, what will the longevity of a Mint Rollei look like?
 
As mentioned in a comment above, the lens has nothing to do with Zeiss, nor anything to do with any of the lenses in the original series of Rollei 35 cameras. It's a f/2.8 35mm lens, and non-collapsible (which no doubt makes assembly much simpler). It will in all likelihood be better than the original lenses.

Launch price will be $799 apparently. I wish them luck, but $799 will buy you a lot of camera elsewhere. The main advantage of a new cameras, is, I suppose, that it will have a warranty. So if Mint provide a good one and the cameras are solid, it may be worth every dollar. On the other hand there are plenty of 40 year old Rolleis out there still working fine, what will the longevity of a Mint Rollei look like?
Used price for "premium" point and shoot are mostly over the roof, let alone the cost of those cameras when new. Of course there're other choices out there (like, why rangefinders in the first place, RFF people?), but if shopping in this category, $800 for a new camera is a bargain IMO even if it doesn't have a top notch lens.

Again like I've said elsewhere, the primary concerns for such daring endeavor from miniature makers like Mint would be craftsmanship, quality control and electronic bugs. I also have a feeling that the camera can fall short on many details that we take for granted but maybe hard to recreate now that most of the supply chain is gone, like in-viewfinder display for the basics like shutter speed. We shall see.
 
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Japan Camera Hunter did a live reveal on Instagram which detailed a few things that I hadn’t heard before.
Cliffs:
- Lens designed with help from ex-pentax engineers
- Goes on sale in September, available in October
- Exposure can be fully manual
- Right dial is aperture
- Left dial has Auto with exposure comp or manual speed selection
- No manual focus (from the video the autofocus was a little loud to me)
- Lock focus/recompose is possible
- .7m minimum focus distance
- DX coding w/ manual override
- Weighs 277 grams

I'm really looking forward to this!

-lids
Thanks. That's all pretty much what I surmised looking through the available photos and blog posts.

As mentioned in a comment above, the lens has nothing to do with Zeiss, nor anything to do with any of the lenses in the original series of Rollei 35 cameras. It's a f/2.8 35mm lens, and non-collapsible (which no doubt makes assembly much simpler). It will in all likelihood be better than the original lenses.

Launch price will be $799 apparently. I wish them luck, but $799 will buy you a lot of camera elsewhere. The main advantage of a new cameras, is, I suppose, that it will have a warranty. So if Mint provide a good one and the cameras are solid, it may be worth every dollar. On the other hand there are plenty of 40 year old Rolleis out there still working fine, what will the longevity of a Mint Rollei look like?
A non-retractable lens makes doing a good AF implementation many times easier.

Presuming the quality which I've come to expect from Gary Ho and MiNT, $800 seems a fair price for a NEW camera. A clean, fully working, original 1980s Rollei 35S Black like mine is a $400 purchase used, if looking at Completed Sales on Ebay is any guide. And MiNT Camera has done well on service and repairs in my experience.

Used price for "premium" point and shoot are mostly over the roof, let alone the cost of those cameras when new. Of course there're other choices out there (like, why rangefinders in the first place, RFF people?), but if shopping in this category, $800 for a new camera is a bargain IMO even if it doesn't have a top notch lens.

Again like I've said elsewhere, the primary concerns for such daring endeavor from miniature makers like Mint would be craftsmanship, quality control and electronic bugs. I also have a feeling that the camera can fall short on many details that we take for granted but maybe hard to recreate now that most of the supply chain is gone, like in-viewfinder display for the basics like shutter speed. We shall see.
Rollei 35s never had a shutter speed readout in the viewfinder to begin with. The whole camera was designed to be set up to do settings at waist level, and the LED equipped versions had a simple "on target", "over", and "under" lights in the viewfinder.

That Rollei has given MiNT permission to use their name on the camera, to me, lends a huge amount of cred to the effort. Rollei is still a very highly valued brand and would not do that lightly.

I've had nothing but good experiences with MiNT and Gary Ho ... I'll buy one. The major question to me is how well will the AF work ... that is, how much will I have to adapt my usual picture taking workflow to accommodate it. I had to do that with a couple of Sony digitals once upon the day because their manual focus and old EVFs made manual focus nearly impossible for close in-wide aperture work. Machines are inflexible, humans adapt easily... ;)

Have to say: The design of the Rollei 35AF appeals to me many times more than that of the Pentax 17. That said, Pentax made some very very good lenses in the past, and if it's a Pentax optical team that lent a hand in designing the lens, that also gives the MiNT effort a lot more cred in my opinion.

G
 
I think it was this thread ... There was a question about what the numbers on the aperture wheel were for. I believe the photo showed the upper half of the DIN/ASA settings. Here's my Rollei 35S aperture wheel:


:) G
 
Japan Camera Hunter did a live reveal on Instagram which detailed a few things that I hadn’t heard before.
Cliffs:
- Lens designed with help from ex-pentax engineers
- Goes on sale in September, available in October
- Exposure can be fully manual
- Right dial is aperture
- Left dial has Auto with exposure comp or manual speed selection
- No manual focus (from the video the autofocus was a little loud to me)
- Lock focus/recompose is possible
- .7m minimum focus distance
- DX coding w/ manual override
- Weighs 277 grams

I'm really looking forward to this!

-lids
This ticks off all the boxes for why I wouldn't buy the Pentax, not to mention that it's full frame! The reliance on autofocus is my only objection, but the focus lock might be OK, if awkward, depending on how well the Lidar actually works. If I were shooting more 35mm these days, I'd spring for one of these.
 
This thread has encouraged me to pull out my Rollei 35S and run a roll of film through it.

Biggest challenge is getting used to the meter again... LOL! The old CdS cell, match needle meter has a limited range by the standards of any modern in-camera meter and getting used to using it again is funky. Focus by scale is no problem...

G
 
This thread has encouraged me to pull out my Rollei 35S and run a roll of film through it.

Biggest challenge is getting used to the meter again... LOL! The old CdS cell, match needle meter has a limited range by the standards of any modern in-camera meter and getting used to using it again is funky. Focus by scale is no problem...

G
Remember when CdS cells were state-of-the-art? We fell all over ourselves getting that cutting edge technology! The current technology is amazing, but are our photos really better? I'm looking at myself in the mirror as I ask this...
 
Remember when CdS cells were state-of-the-art? We fell all over ourselves getting that cutting edge technology! The current technology is amazing, but are our photos really better? I'm looking at myself in the mirror as I ask this...
Well, CdS metering cells were far more sensitive than the selenium cells they obsoleted, and were worth it. The CdS generation of in-camera meters ran for years until the silicon photo diode metering sensors replaced them with far better sensitivity, virtually zero 'memory' effect, and virtually instantaneous response.

A better meter is a better meter, it helps you measure the light more accurately so you can evaluate and make exposure settings with better information. Good exposure helps you make exposures that are not muddily underexposed or blown out with burnt highlights ... But these technical details of exposure have little to do with making better photos, just like better film (and better digital sensors...). Better photos is *always* a matter of seeing, resting on top of and besides the various teknos of photography. :D

G
 
I have several older cameras with CdS-cell metering. Yeah, silicon blue cells are better, but CdS cells don't slow me down.

It's all good.

- Murray
 
Remember when CdS cells were state-of-the-art? We fell all over ourselves getting that cutting edge technology! The current technology is amazing, but are our photos really better? I'm looking at myself in the mirror as I ask this...

Reliable and accurate metering on film, plus same film stock, same chemicals and so on makes it much more easier in the darkroom. Negatives are consistent.

If darkroom is not involved, but scans, I see not to much need for metering at all.
I did thousands of exposerures manually. Never had real problem.
 
Reliable and accurate metering on film, plus same film stock, same chemicals and so on makes it much more easier in the darkroom. Negatives are consistent.

If darkroom is not involved, but scans, I see not to much need for metering at all.
I did thousands of exposerures manually. Never had real problem.
I've shot quite a few rolls in the Rollei 35 that I bought last year. I don't think I've ever used the meter and probably should just remove the battery. I shoot negative film in it, always in the daytime and Sunny 16 is fine for photos that I only scan. I like my camera so much that I won't be buying the new version. But I did purchase the Pentax 17. I plan to get back heavily into diptych, triptychs and more.

I'm now shooting lots of infrared in the Rollei 35 with, of course, Rollei Infrared 400 film. I only shoot in bright sunlight, f/8 and 1/60 with a 720 nm filter. Most everything is at infinity and the f/stop covers the IR focus point. It's a point and shoot for IR.
 
I've shot quite a few rolls in the Rollei 35 that I bought last year. I don't think I've ever used the meter and probably should just remove the battery. I shoot negative film in it, always in the daytime and Sunny 16 is fine for photos that I only scan. I like my camera so much that I won't be buying the new version. But I did purchase the Pentax 17. I plan to get back heavily into diptych, triptychs and more.

I'm now shooting lots of infrared in the Rollei 35 with, of course, Rollei Infrared 400 film. I only shoot in bright sunlight, f/8 and 1/60 with a 720 nm filter. Most everything is at infinity and the f/stop covers the IR focus point. It's a point and shoot for IR.

I had Rollei 35 twice. Original and afterward one. I just didn't liked boring 40 and cruel film advance mechanism.
Link between shutter and lens retraction didn't impressed as well. But it is camera made to last, except metering. Original metering to be exact. Which is fixable by light cells from calculators. While Olympus XA, Minox 35 were better than Rollei 35, both are gone to the parts only, due to failing electronics.

How long "Rolley" 35 will last? Most likely longer than DOA Minox 35.

Diptych-triptychs... Never seen anyone been really involved... Half-Frame? Who became famous with it? It just for savings and nothing else.

But what I was really going to say, S16 works as well and very good on slides (positives, transparent, reversal). For years, all I had was ORWO slide films in FED-2. I had no idea about exposure. All I did was checking S16 print-out (included with each roll/pack).
Decades later I checked it with Kodak E100something expired films. S16 worked.

S16 is irrelevant to the type of film. It works for you for IR just as with slides for me. The only problem is within S16 operator. Just some brains or completely not.
 
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