Rollei 35 S

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Tony-S, Feb 14, 2022.

  1. This camera was gifted to me a few weeks ago. It's in mostly working condition but it has the apparently a common problem that its lower shutter speeds are effectively bulb because of a failure in the shutter mechanism. I don't know if the meter works, I just used the Pocket Light Meter app on my iPhone. It's a zone focusing camera and is definitely the smallest 35mm camera I've used. Not a fan of it; I'd rather use my conventional rangefinders (Canon QL-17, Yashica 35 SE) but they are definitely bigger cameras.

    Rollei 35 S.jpg

    Delta 100 at f/11, processed in Perceptol 1+2 for 11 min at 68F.
    CVID Rollei 35 S Delta 100.jpg
  2. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Nice camera and results, Tony. Two features I like with the Rollei 35 series cameras are the depth-of-field scale (more useful to me than a RF camera without one, like the Olympus XA) and that they take standard threaded filters and hoods, which can remain on the lens when it it retracted. The Minox 35's also have a fine lens with a DOF scale, but use fiddly push-on filter-hoods, which have to come off every time you fold up the camera. I also prefer the Rollei's 40mm focal length.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
    Julio Fernandez likes this.
  3. SCL


    If you don't really connect with it, sell it. There seems to be a pretty good demand for them.
  4. Sell it. No shortage of drooling admirers who'd happily put cash in your hand. If you like the form factor, look into a used Fuji X-100S/T/F camera.
  5. Beautiful looking camera, but an ergonomic nightmare. I had one for about 2 months and found it painful to shoot with, but many others swear by them. They command a good price second hand, because they have two famous names in one camera: Rollei and Sonnar (Zeiss) - so it has to be really good...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
  6. Julio Fernandez likes this.
  7. Shutter speeds and aperture are really fiddly esp the aperture, you have to press the button (why?). I think it is an f8 and be there kind of camera. No easy way to hang it around your neck. It's really heavy for a small camera. Guessing focus is even harder with a 40mm over a 35mm. Does look handsome in black though.
  8. Definitely a marvel of miniature engineering, but nevertheless not for the non-dedicated. I have gotten good results from mine and not something I would part with. Just my opinion.
  9. Actually, because it would otherwise be easy to accidentally change settings and with only a viewfinder you'd likely not catch on...
  10. To my opinion, the Minox35 is smaller, lighter and more streamlined, so that when closed it slips better into any pocket.
    And it has an electronic shutter, which works OK between 1/500 ans several seconds (like the Yashica Electro35 - my first rangefinder).
  11. JD: Why in that case is the shutter speed not locked too? I think the camera is like that because you are expected to keep the aperture at a "sweet spot" and adjust s/s to match.Those dials are not exactly easily moved either, with or without locks.

    I agree about the Minox. That was a fun camera.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2022
  12. How would I know?

    No doubt you have solved the problem to your complete satisfaction, however
  13. I bought my Rollei 35 from Minicam on 32nd St in NYC the first day offered for sale.
    An essential component of this camera is the wrist strap, very helpful for carrying the
    camera, but more important for steadying the camera when shooting. The strap is designed
    to fit into the springlike slot on the side of the camera.
    The Tessar 3.5 depth of field and overall positive characteristics mean that guesstamation
    focusing works very well. The camera’s mass helps steady the camera. I have taken
    pictures of text handheld at 1/4 sec that revealed no camera shake due to its weight and
    leaf shutter.
    I always felt that the Rollei 35 cameras with faster lenses were a marketing ploy.
    The tab on aperture wheel is to prevent accidents.
    Also rugged construction. Sixty some years of frequent use is not a bad service record.

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