Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by doug_williams|4, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. I saw this on Ebay (I know that may be a problem) but the camera was so unusual that I had to see if anyone has any information on it. The ad said that it was the only 35mm with removeable backs and motor drive. Can anyone help?
  2. Without actually looking it up (and it's actually nearly 2 am here), I am a little hazy on the details, but something about the name doesn't sound quite right. Nonetheless, what it was, was like a 35mm Hasselblad (or Soyuz or whatever). It was an effort to break out of the "Contax" box, literally. Most 35mm SLRs are still basically a Zeiss Contax II with a reflex mirror and pentaprism on top (as established by the Contax S). However, Rollei tried to do something really different in body form. Whether or not it is truly more ergonomic than the standard 35mm SLR, it was certainly innovative.
  3. The name is correct. Google it.

    >The ad said that it was the only 35mm with removeable backs and motor drive.

    Pure BS. The Nikon F predates it by more than 10 years.
  4. If you mean a removeable back, then yes the Nikon F is earlier. But that's not how the Rollei was designed. With the Nikon F, and indeed the earlier rangefinder cameras from them, Leica, the Russians,, the back came off to load and unload the camera. That's it. The user could not swap film magazines mid roll. The Rollie was was designed more like a medium format SLR. You could swap out a film magazine mid roll without wasting a single frame. So no, it's not pure BS.
  5. Did own one once. For a very short period of time. The 2000f was the first version of this style. It was quite an innnovative camera for its time. Unfortunately, it was plagued with electrical problems, was quite expensive to purchase. Some of the features included a dual viewing system, removable film back with detachable battery packs, charger, and a couple other things I can't remember. I got one roll of film through mine before it took a dump. A later version, called the 3003 or something like that had most of the gremlins worked out. A really slick design, just put out before it was ready.
  6. The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super (~1959) had removeable backs available. I have some here, but never used them, it seems that you lose two frames every time you switch backs. But of course the Contaflex has no motor drive...
    That Rolleiflex looks like a 35mm camera that was built to the design of a MF SLR . A neat concept in theory, but way overengineered in reality. Done issues-free and thirty years earlier it might have led to a different camera design school, but so it was a typical product of late Rollei: Expensive and manufactured without knowing if there is a real market for it.
  7. I had one, and managed to get rid of it while it was still working. It's an ergonomic nightmare, they managed to get not one but two shutter releases into locations where you can't reach them while holding the camera. Incredibly impressive feature set, incredibly complex and awkward to use.... the epitome of late Zeiss Ikon design and a fitting successor to the Contarex.
    Here's mine:
  8. Didn't the Rollei 2000 had removable magazines ? This was not just a bulk magazine.
    As far as bulk magazines like Nikon's, I think the Leica Reporter had a bulk film magazine back in 1934 or so, and of course the Praktina had such a magazine on a 35mm SLR starting around 1952. These were not for swapping film, but for allowing long shoots without reloading.
    Of course, motor drives of one kind or another were available before the war (Robot) and the Praktina also had both a spring-powered motor and an electric motor also in the mid-50's.
  9. >If you mean a removeable back, then yes the Nikon F is earlier.

    Read the original message. It's the seller's claim.

    >But that's not how the Rollei was designed. With the Nikon F, and indeed the earlier rangefinder cameras from them, Leica, the Russians,, the back came off to load and unload the camera.

    Wrong. Every single Leica rangefinder (except the CL) bottoms loads to this very day. Ditto the early Russian and Japanese copies. The Nikon F also took huge magazines for bulk film, as well as a motor drive.

    Interchangeable magazine for a 35mm camera dates as far back as the pre-war Contaflex TLR, again from Zeiss Ikon, and as late as the Contarex, all before this Rollei which probably evolved from the Contaflex TLR.
  10. I remember seeing these things and wondering how many "pros" really used such a thing...
    I asssumed those with the same thing in MF! What lens mount did these use?
    The earlier Rollei mount?
  11. Couldn't the prewar Kodak Ektras and Medalists also switch out film backs without losing exposures?
  12. Yes, this uses the Rolleiflex bayonet.
    As for film magazines, yes, it has a removable magazine in which there is a removable film insert which holds a standard 35mm cartridge. You can swap backs in mid-roll, there is a dark slide that nests in the back when not in use. If you don't have multiple inserts to pre-load and swap out and an assistant to keep them coming, then you need to schedule some time for changing film ... this is no drop-in quick loader. The magazine was not a first, as noted above the Contaflex Supers and Contarex had optional magazine backs... this one isn't optional though, it's the only way it works. The integral motor drive probably was a first, especially the absence of any manual wind option for times when you don't want the motor noise.
  13. Avoid the SL2000 like the pest. It isa nightmare to repair and it has a solid reputation for suddenly dying. I bought a mint SL2000F with dead shutter, expecting a minor repair job. KEH repair had to send the camera to Germany,and after six months of waiting, they found a replacement main board for it. Six months later, and after paying a special low repair bill of $400, the main board seems to have died again.
    Supposedly, the SL3003 is much better.
  14. First 35mm SLR with built-in electric motordrive, the "lowly" Konica FS-1came out in 1979, two years before the Rolleiflex.
  15. i guess you're right. that leaves it not being first at much of anything, except maybe combining all of these features together in one place. in any case, i thought it was an interesting camera but not one that i would want to depend on, and i was pretty relieved to be rid of it.
  16. Thanks Guys. Needless to say I did not place a bid after reading the responses. By the way the camera went for $455! Your help is very much appreciated I did google the camera but this is the only way I could get feedback from people who owned the camera. Thanks again.
  17. Yeah, with the money I got selling off the 2000F, I bought a Rollei TLR and a Leica and still had money left over.... a much better deal all around.
  18. Steve Gandy has a feature on this camera on his site Cameraquest. I happen to own one myself. The camera has some issues, but if you know them it can be used as a reliable camera. One thing is that the camera should not be used with alkaline batteries but with the highest possible capacity rechargable batteries you can get. Don't try the camera with old rechargeable packs, all cells have to be new. Another thing is that the contacts that connect the battery compartment with the camera body are very often corroded, thus causing trouble with electricity. If these contacts are clean and the rechargable batteries fresh, the camera shall probably work without problems, if you succeed working out how to use it. The problem of cameras suddenly dying is mostly a problem of the battery compartment being not properly connected to the body or with weak battery cells.
    If it works, the camera is a delight to use and - with Contarex - virtually the only 35mm pro grade camera that allows for bw zone system work. Did I mention the Zeiss lenses?

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